President Obama will proclaim that all is well but more is to be done tonight (we suspect) and lay out his agenda for fixing it all now (which we are sure will be different from the fixes of the last 5 years). However, as The WSJ reports, he faces a nation increasingly worried about his abilities, dissatisfied with the economy and fearful of the economy’s future. Since the rise of modern polling in the 1930s, only George W. Bush has begun his sixth year in the White House on rockier ground than Mr. Obama. 59% are uncertain, worried, or pessimistic about the rest of Obama’s term; 63% believe the US in on the wrong track; and, despite record high stock prices and ‘wealth’, 71% expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the broader economy.
The survey found that just over half of Americans disapprove of the president’s job performance, with 43% approving, a trough that remains little changed since the early summer. Nearly six in 10 say they are uncertain, worried or pessimistic about what he will do with the remainder of his presidency. Disapproval for Congress, too, is near its all-time high.
Americans are generally satisfied with their own personal economic situation, and gauges of consumer confidence remain strong. But that optimism hasn’t translated into strong confidence in the broader economy or the president. In the Journal poll, 61% of respondents said they were satisfied with their own financial situation, but 71% expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the broader economy.
Mr. Obama’s low approval numbers spell trouble for congressional Democrats heading into midterm elections this November. Such contests are historically challenging to the party of incumbent presidents.