Disapproval of Obama Rises to All-Time High, Says Gallup

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 24, 2010 | 12:09 PM EDT

President Barack Obama, accompanied by his daughters Malia and Sasha, waves as he leaves the Bunch of Grapes book store in Vineyard Haven, Mass., on Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - For the first time in his presidency, Barack Obama’s average weekly “disapproval” rating has hit 50 percent, according to the Gallup Poll.

Each week, Gallup interviews about 3,500 American adults, asking them whether they approve or disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. On a daily basis, the polling firm publishes a three-day rolling average of the results; and, on a weekly basis, it publishes the weekly average.

During the week of Aug. 16-22, President Obama’s average approval was 43 percent and his average disapproval was 50 percent. This marked both Obama’s lowest average weekly approval rating in the Gallup poll and his highest average weekly disapproval rating.

“President Obama's job approval rating slipped to 43 percent for the week of Aug. 16-22, down one percentage point from the previous weekly low set a week ago,” said Gallup’s analysis of the poll. “The new low also marks the first weekly average in which 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s job performance. The erosion reflects particularly low ratings at the beginning of last week, including 41% for Aug. 15-17 and Aug. 16-18, the lowest three-day averages of his administration.”

The Gallup analysis of the poll pointed to a question that cannot be answered by the polling data: Would Obama’s weekly approval rating have been even lower had he not gone on vacation at the end of the week, causing a decline in news coverage of his activities.  

“The president arrived at Martha's Vineyard, Mass., on Thursday, settling in with his family for a 10-day vacation, and for the most part dropping out of the daily news cycle,” said the Gallup analysis. “Whether this contributed to his slightly better ratings near the end of the week cannot be determined.”

The full Gallup poll results for the week of Aug. 16-22 show some interesting trends in Obama’s approval rating. These include:

--For the first time, Obama’s average weekly approval rating dropped below 40 percent among men. In the week ending Aug. 22, only 39 percent of males said they approved of the job Obama is doing. Among females, Obama’s approval rating was 46 percent.

--For the first time, Obama average weekly approval rating dropped below 40 percent among those in the 50-64 age bracket. Obama’s approval rating increases as the respondents grow younger. His most recent weekly approval rating was 37 percent among those 65 and older, 39 percent among those 50-64, 44 percent among Americans in the 30-49, and 52 percent among those 18-29.

--No region of the country gives Obama an approval rating above 50 percent. For the week ending Aug. 22, Obama’s approval rating was 37 percent in the South, 43 percent in the Midwest, 46 percent in the West, and 47 percent in the East. Obama’s 37 percent approval in the South marked the first time his average weekly approval dropped below 40 percent in any region of the country.

--When Americans are sorted into income groups, Obama wins the least approval from those on the bottom end of the middle-class. For the week ending Aug. 22, Americans earning between $2,000 and $4,999 per month gave him an approval rating of 39 percent. This is the first time Americans in any income bracket reported by Gallup gave Obama an approval rating of less than 40 percent. No income bracket gave Obama an approval rating as high as 50 percent. Among those earning less than $2,000 per month, his approval rating was 49 percent. Among those earning $5,000-$7,499 per month, his approval rating was 43 percent. And among those earning more than $7,500 per month his approval rating was 40 percent.