Public pessimism about the direction of the country has jumped to its highest level in nearly three years, erasing the sense of hope that followed President Obama’s inauguration and pushing his approval ratings to a record low, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
More than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high.
By 2 to 1, more Americans now say the administration’s economic policies are making the economy worse rather than better. The number who say those policies have helped has been chopped in half since the start of the year. The percentage of Americans disapproving of how Obama is doing when it comes to creating jobs spiked 10 percentage points higher since July.
Of the more than six in 10 who now disapprove of Obama’s work on jobs and the economy, nearly half of all Americans “strongly” disapprove.
Things are also bad for Obama when Americans are asked a version of the famous “are you better off today” question that Reagan used to bludgeon Jimmy Carter on his way to defeating Carter in 1980. By better than 2 to 1, more say they are not as well off financially as they were at the start of Obama’s term.
If Obama wants to improve his approval ratings, this is what he needs to say on Thursday:
“I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”
People always think more kindly of a president once he’s safely out of office.