Obama approval ratings hit new lows

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

US President Barack Obama's approval ratings have hit new lows.
Image: The Obama-Biden Transition Project.

According to new polls, US President Barack Obama's approval ratings have dropped across the board. According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans are losing faith in the president's plan in Afghanistan and Iraq, where wars have been going on for years and casualties have risen. 43% of those polled say that it was a mistake for Obama's predecessor George W. Bush to go to war after terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center buildings in New York on September 11, 2001. Barely a third of respondents favoured Obama's strategy in the two Middle East wars. In another Gallup poll, just 36% of poll respondents supported the way Obama was handling Afghanistan, a sharp decline from 48% in February.

The drop in support for the ongoing wars (though the one in Iraq is slated to end soon) has been hastened by rising casualties and the Wikileaks leak of over 90,000 confidential military documents that paint a grim picture of the war in Afghanistan. About 76,000 of these have been released to the public. However, two-thirds of the people polled in the USA Today/Gallup Poll said it was wrong for the whistle-blower website to publish the documents, which have often been compared to the Pentagon Papers. Also, 57% of respondents said they want a timetable for removing American troops, and two-thirds of those 57% said they want a gradual withdrawl.

Obama's personal approval rating also hit a new low in the poll. Just 41% of poll respondents approved of Obama's handling of his job, while 53% disapproved. The above poll was conducted Tuesday through Sunday, and a Gallup poll on Monday had him at 45% approval. A Rasmussen Reports poll has Obama's July approval rating at 46%, while 54% disapprove.

Also, according to another poll, Obama's quarterly job approval average has hit an administration low. The quarterly rating, which is compiled of Gallup polls averaged out each quarter, has sunk every quarter Obama has been in office, but at different rates. In his sixth quarter of office, Obama averaged 47.3% approval, which varied from 52% in a poll conducted in mid-May to just 44% in another one conducted in mid-July. The biggest quarterly drop that Obama had was from Q2 to Q3 of his presidency, when health-care reform ran into trouble. Obama's approval rating declined from 62% to 52.9% during that period. Since then, the approval slide has plateaued, with declines of 2% of average from Q4-Q6.