December 31, 2013 — Ron Chusid
The National Journal led with Barack Obama in their list of biggest political losers of the year, comparing his trajectory to that of George W. Bush. We have a very small sample of presidents serving a second term in recent years, straining the significance of attempts by the media to make such comparisons. Bloomberg has picked up on a trend which most might have missed over a holiday. Obama’s popularity has picked up at the end of the year:
President Barack Obama has picked up five points in public approval since he’s gone away to Hawaii for a year-end family vacation.
The president’s public approval rating was hanging at 39 percent in the days before Christmas, by the Gallup Poll’s average of daily tracking surveys.
Today, in the surveys Dec. 26-28, his approval has risen to 44 percent. His disapproval rating, 54 percent pre-Christmas, is down to 49 percent.
It might also be premature to write Obama off so soon considering another recent Gallup poll which shows Obama leading the list of most admired men for the sixth consecutive year.
None of these polls are conclusive by themselves but should at least make us keep open the possibility that Obama’s popularity could rebound. A messed up web site is hardly as catastrophic as the incompetence shown in Bush’s handling of Katrina.
One factor which might be helping is that the Affordable Care Act is looking far better now than it did a month or two ago. Steve Benen points out over six million people receiving coverage. On top of the groups he looked at, an additional fifteen million are receiving coverage due to now being able to remain on their parents coverage until age 26.
Unfortunately many of the people taking advantage of these benefits probably do not even realize that they are receiving this due to Obamacare.
As I discussed a few days ago, Barack Obama might never receive the credit he deserves for the Affordable Care Act as people take for granted the benefits they are now receiving while blaming Obamacare for problems in the medical system which were already present.