It seems that whenever I read an MSM article on the president, they describe the Illinois Democrat as “popular” because his approval ratings are well above those of his predecessor during his second term.
Yet, as I ponder the use of that adjective, I wonder how often (if at all) reporters used it to describe President Bush from September 2001 until the summer of 2003 when his approval begin to dip below the levels where his successor currently finds himself.
Indeed, I wonder if they used the term before September 11, 2001.Â In the first few months of his first term, Bush’s approval ratings, while starting below where Obama’s did, did not fall as quickly as have those of his successor.Â As pollsters Douglas Schoen and Scott Rasmussen point out in today’s Wall Street Journal,
Polling data show that Mr. Obama’s approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama’s net presidential approval rating — which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve — is just six, his lowest rating to date.
Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president’s performance. This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration. Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative.
Schoen, by the way, was a pollster to President Clinton.Â In the 2008 election, Rasmussen’s final tracking poll nearly perfectly anticipated Obama’s popular vote victory.