Eye on Sentiment: Rasmussen Total Approval Index

As we mentioned in The Early Look today, President Obama’s total approval rating, based on the Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll, is at 60%, which is near the lowest levels of his Presidency. At the peak, Obama’s total approval rating, which is a combination of approve and strongly approve, was at 69%. While the current approval rating is well off the peak, it is still a very high approval rating and eight points above his approval rating on November 6th.

More noteworthy from the poll is the Presidential Approval Index, which stands at +10 today and is charted below. The Presidential Approval Index measures the delta between Strongly Approve and Strongly Disapprove. At its peak, on January 22nd, just two days after the inauguration, this measure stood at +30. In less than a month, President Obama’s Presidential Approval Index rating has declined by an amazing 20 points. This is partially attributable to his very high rating post inauguration, which was obviously unsustainable, but also due to a number of missteps that the administration has made in the first few weeks in office.

The decline in the Presidential Approval Index is about the best leading indicator we can find for President Obama’s approval rating. It shows the broad shift of approval for President Obama as voters downshift from Strongly Approve to Approve and from Disapprove to Strongly Disapprove. To the extent that it matters, it is very likely that President Obama’s broad approval rating heads into the mid-50s in the coming months, if not lower, as these internals are showing a very negative trend. As his approval rating declines further, his mandate is likely to diminish as will his ability to accomplish legislative actions quickly.

Daryl G. Jones
Managing Director

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