Gallup Poll: Year 5 of Obama’s Presidency Not as Awful as Year 3

Posted: Jan 22, 2014 11:45 AM

That’s not to say it was a very good year for him by any stretch of the imagination vis-à-vis his job approval ratings. But in any case, his job numbers didn’t hit their nadir in Year 5 as many of us probably expected:

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The president's yearly average approval ratings hit their lowest point in Year 3. I’m surprised. With all the scandals and the disastrous roll-out of his signature health care law, I expected Year 5 to be the worst year of his presidency -- and approval ratings aside, perhaps it was. Nevertheless, the pollsters put his fifth year numbers into their historical context, and here’s what they discovered:

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Most modern American presidents served two terms so the data is instructive: Obama wasn't nearly as popular in his fifth year as most of his predecessors were. But he wasn't as unpopular as, say, Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson, either. Interestingly, his job numbers in 2013 are right around where George W. Bush found himself after his fifth year in office.

Now, of course, the obvious caveat here is that Obama's job approval average in Year 5 is probably much more accurate than everyone else’s. For example, his average was calculated using 351 polls; Clinton and Eisenhower’s averages, for example, were calculated using only 19 and 15 polls, respectively. So the data is almost certainly skewed. But even if it is, 2013 was not a very good year for him.

Question: Will 2014 be any better?

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