Obama got a bounce after last week’s jobs report but that has disappeared in the latest Rasmussen 3-day tracking poll released last night. The latest polls give Romney a lead of 47% to 43% for Obama. The jobs report has been heavily criticized as misleading and covering up the true jobs picture. For example, while Obama claimed last week that 4.3 million jobs have been created in the last 3.5 years, that fails to reflect that nearly that many have been lost resulting in a net gain of only about 43,000 new jobs over the last 3.5 years. That figure says only one thing — the American economy is no longer growing at a significant rate.
A president’s job approval rating is one of the best indicators for assessing his chances of reelection. Typically, the president’s job approval rating on Election Day will be close to the share of the vote he receives. Currently, 46% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s job performance. Fifty percent-three (53%) at least somewhat disapprove.
Rasmussen enjoys a stellar reputation for its accuracy in predicting the outcome of elections. In 2008 Rasmussen predicted that Obama would win over McCain by 52% to 46%. The final result was Obama 53% over McCain at 46%.
No poll 89 days before an election is likely to be as accurate as one taken 3 days before the election, but Obama has not had an approval rating above 50% for almost 3 years. One will want to watch his approval numbers closer to the election to see if they improve significantly.
The overall approval and disapproval rating don’t measure the intensity of support or lack of support. Therefore, Rasmussen also measures the percentage of likely voters who strongly approve of Obama against those who strongly disapprove of him. Currently, 26% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of −16.
In August of 2011 Obama’s approval index was −22, and in February, 2010 it was −21. The above chart shows that it has been negative since August of 2009 and has fluctuated between -12 and -22. The number who strongly disapprove has been as high as 47%. It is currently 42%. That is a firm percentage of voters who can be counted on to vote for whoever the other candidate happens to be. The other 10% who somewhat disapprove currently are also likely to not vote for Obama unless his opponent has strong negatives going into the election. Right now, the Obama team is concentrating all of their effort in desperately trying to convince as many people as they can that Mitt Romney is a monster from another planet. That is all they have to run on. They cannot run on Obama’s record because it’s an abysmal failure.