Washington, Nov. 21 (ANI): Amid rising unemployment and growing unpopularity for his health care reform plan, Barack Obama's job approval rating has gone below 50 percent for the first time in his presidency, a Gallup survey has found.
After dropping to 49 percent in the national survey conducted this week, Obama has joined the club of three other presidents who have seen their job approval score drop below the symbolic 50 percent. They were: Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
The Washington Times quoted analysts as saying that Obama's plummeting job approval score was mainly due to deep division in the country about his health care reform plan and double-digit unemployment.
"Although the current decline below 50 percent has symbolic significance, most of the recent decline in support for Obama occurred in July and August. He began July at 60 percent approval. The ongoing, contentious debate over national health care reform has likely served as a drag on his public support, as have continuing economic problems," Gallup said.
But Thomas Mann, senior analyst at the Brookings Institution, said: "Obama's approval ratings have been stable for three months - in the low 50s. Gallup acknowledges in its release today that the latest measure of 49 percent is more a symbolic than substantive finding."
"However, if it declines well below 50 percent, it will be a serious drag on the president's agenda. For now, however, Democrats realize they have no alternative but to pass health care and hope for improved economic conditions a year from now," Mann pointed out. (ANI)