Overall job ratings for the president continue to be below majority level
Thirty-eight percent of independents approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, the first time independent approval of Obama has dropped below 40% in a Gallup Daily tracking weekly aggregate. Meanwhile, Obama maintains the support of 81% of Democrats, and his job approval among Republicans remains low, at 12%.
These data are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted the week of June 28-July 4.
Over the past year, Obama has lost support among all party groups, though the decline has been steeper among independents than among Republicans or Democrats. Today's 38% approval rating among independents is 18 percentage points lower than the 56% found July 6-12, 2009. During the same period, his support has fallen nine points among Democrats (from 90% to 81%) and eight points among Republicans (from 20% to 12%).
Overall, 46% of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president in the June 28-July 4 aggregate, one point above his lowest weekly average. Obama's average weekly job approval rating has not been above 50% since Feb. 8-14, though it reached the 50% mark as recently as May 3-9.
Obama's lower ratings come amid a still-struggling economy, the ongoing difficulties presented by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent change of command in the war in Afghanistan.
Underscoring the challenge at hand, Obama's 44% approval rating in July 2-5 polling (Gallup did not interview July 4) ties his lowest three-day average to date.
Obama is not alone in facing a challenging second year in office -- Bill Clinton (43%), Ronald Reagan (42%), and Jimmy Carter (40%) all were below the majority approval level in July of their second year. Of course, each of those presidents saw his party lose a substantial number of seats in that year's midterm congressional elections, though both Reagan and Clinton recovered in time to win a second term as president.
Gallup Daily tracking of Election 2010 voting preferences suggests a more favorable Republican than Democratic outcome this year if the elections were held today. Even so, there are still nearly four months remaining before the elections, and thus, time for the Democrats' prospects to improve. (Source Gallup)