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The Honeymoon Is Over: Obama Approval Rating Drops to 51 Percent in Minnesota

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After six consecutive months of notching approval ratings between 59 and 65 percent in the Gopher State, President Barack Obama's job performance numbers haven taken a nose-dive in July, in not only Minnesota, but other key battleground states as measured by the polling firm SurveyUSA.

SurveyUSA's latest monthly poll was conducted last week of 600 adults in Minnesota plus twelve other states, including Iowa and Wisconsin. Polling was conducted several days before Obama's nationally televised press conference on Tuesday evening.

Obama finds his approval numbers in July at just 51 percent in the Gopher State - down 8 points from 59 percent in June, down 10 points from 61 percent in May, and down 12 points from 63 percent in April. Overall, that represents a 19 percent erosion of his support in Minnesota in just three months.

Obama's disapproval rating of 46 percent also marks a 10-point increase from 36 percent in June.

Minnesota is one of four states tracked by SurveyUSA which has given Obama lower and lower marks in each of the last three months. Obama has also seen his numbers fall consecutively in Alabama (from 48 percent in April, to 47 percent in May, to 46 percent in June, to 42 percent in July), Kentucky (52, 51, 47, 41), and New York (73, 72, 65, 63).

Prior to July, Minnesotans had demonstrated the most stable views of the President's job performance of the 13 states tracked by SurveyUSA every month this year - fluctuating by only five percentage points from January through June. Only Washington (7 points) and Virginia (8 points) had also seen single digit fluctuation during this span.

July's polling results, however, measure a drop in approval ratings for Obama in 10 of the 13 states, with a net approval rating drop of 3.7 points - the largest cumulative decline since February.

The President endured statistically significant declines in his approval rating this month in states such as Virginia (from 59 percent in June to 44 percent in July), Wisconsin (59 to 50 percent), Kansas (49 to 41 percent), and Washington (63 to 56 percent).

Obama's job performance rating in the Upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin is now at a collective all-time low of 52.3 percent. The net 6.0-point drop from June to July in the three-state region is also the largest since Obama took office in January.

Barack Obama Upper Midwestern Approval Ratings, 2009

Month
Iowa
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Average
January
68
64
70
67.3
February
63
62
60
61.7
March
57
61
53
57.0
April
59
63
56
59.3
May
66
61
57
61.3
June
57
59
59
58.3
July
56
51
50
52.3

Obama did see his approval rating increase in three states, by a statistically insignificant two points in California (to 66 percent), by four points in Missouri (to 55 percent), and by eight points in New Mexico (to 61 percent).

Across the 13 states tracked by SurveyUSA, Barack Obama's approval rating is now collectively lower than the percentage of the vote he received in these respective states for the first time in his administration.

Barack Obama Collective Approval Rating Vis-à-vis Presidential Vote Across 13 States, January-June 2009

Month
Approval
Vote
Difference
January
66.9
52.5
+14.4
February
58.9
52.5
+6.4
March
58.8
52.5
+6.3
April
58.5
52.5
+6.0
May
58.8
52.5
+6.3
June
56.0
52.5
+3.5
July
52.3
52.5
-0.2
Note: The thirteen states tracked by SurveyUSA are Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Aggregate approval ratings were compiled for each month across the thirteen states and compared to the average vote Obama received in the presidential election in these states.

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6 Comments


  • The Difference between january and july is really huge, but its not really surprising me.

  • I don't find approval rating polls to be particularly enlightening. If asked by a pollster, I'd express disappointment with Obama because he is much less progressive than I had hoped he would be, but my lack of approval would not translate into me voting for a Republican in 2012.

    More enlightening would be a poll which when asked such questions of those that disapprove as "Which of the following statements best reflects the reason for your disapproval?" or "Despite your disapproval, do you expect to vote for Obama in 2012, or not, or not sure?"

    Until the economy recovers decisively, as in consistent employment growth of over 200K/month I think Obama's approval rating will drift down by about 1% a month. Reagan's did and he bottomed out 40% in winter of 1982-83. Reagan came back, and Obama will too.

  • It infuriates me that all of these people have expected Obama to clean up 8 years worth of a mess in 6 months time. He can't just wave a magic wand and make it all better! But disapproval ratings or not, he's in office for another 3 1/2 years, so I hope that things will gradually improve and people's faith in him will be restored. He was brave to take on the position of President at such a challenging time, and I am certain that regardless of any potential missteps, his heart is in the right place. That's more than I can say for the previous administration...

  • These approval polls are characteristically fickle.

    Bush the Elder had approval ratings in the neighborhood of 50% until he launched Desert Storm. Miraculously, it jumped almost immediately to 89%, but then after the war hysteria wore off, it dropped right back down where it was before.

    Those campaign contributions of $750 million are having their impact on Obama's policies and legislative programs (Whaddayagonnado? Stiff your supporters when they need you most?).

    It seems the candidate and the president are not one and the same person, leading to some disappointment. Add to this the Republican propaganda machine effectively working to demonize his every proposal; the economy showing few signs of recovery - in particular its flat job growth; progressive watering-down of his health care reforms; and it is inevitable he will have a declining approval rating in these polls, so long as these factors continue.

    If these factors don't change, I expect Obama at some point will "hit bottom" in these polls, which would indicate the level of immovable supporters. Bush the Younger hit bottom at about 25% - 30%, but then he took us to war in a willful and colossal mistake.

    It makes one wonder where the "bottom" in these polls will be for Obama?

  • Obama is one of the best president!!! He only sleep 6 to 7 hrs per day and work his ass off. CHEERS BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!!! Any person between the age of 18~32yrs in here from any university?
    The president is a workaholic.

  • Obama is going to crash this country into the ground with debt and socialism.

  • Leave a comment


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    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

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    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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