Poll finds Obama losing favor among independents

July 7, 2010

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is showing the steepest decline among independents, slipping below 40 percent for the first time in a year, according to a new Gallup poll. OBAMA/

That’s not good news for Democrats four months before the November elections when all seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for a vote.

Even though it isn’t a presidential election year, the state of  Obama’s popularity can rub off on his party with Democrats fighting to retain control of both houses of Congress. Independents could be key in determining the outcome of close races, and certainly worthy of wooing.

The Gallup poll was conducted the week of June 28 to July 4 and found that over the past year Obama lost support among all parties, but that the decline was steeper among independents than Republicans or Democrats. The most recent 38 percent approval rating among independents was down from 56 percent a year earlier.

Gallup says Obama has an overall 46 percent approval rating in the June 28 to July 4 week.

That rating is well within the company of  former presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter whose approval ratings were  in the 40s in July of their second year — and each of those presidents saw his party lose a substantial number of seats in that year’s midterm election, Gallup said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama in Wisconsin June 30)

6 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I’m an independent (actually unaffiliated). It now looks like the only arguement I have for voting for Obama is that there was no other alternative (McCain/Palin? Get real). Obama’s Justice Department is just as heinous as the Bush/Cheney whitehouse; the Wars are continuing and I’m being told by Obama not to be hung up on timelines. What else? Goldman Sachs is still doing business as usual (no derivative controls), the Intertior Department, I’ve learned, still has a pro-oilman in Salazar at the helm, The economy, although inherited, shows no growth sustainability going on 2 years of chnage. Very dismayed, even more so when you see that the Repubs are still not presenting any intelligent (non-sound bite)alternatives.

Posted by Jonesy | Report as abusive

I’m an independent who voted for Obama, based primarily on his promise to fix our trade problems, but also his promise to implement an energy strategy. And my hope was that he’d do no harm when it came to enforcing illegal immigration.

I’ve been very disappointed with his broken promises on trade, his lackadaisical approach to the oil spill, his failure to shake up enforcement agencies (as evidenced by the BP well failure more than a year after the minerals and mines office came under his jurisdiction and should have caught the corner-cutting by BP) and now by his siding with illegal aliens against the best interests of Arizonans and the American people in general.

I can’t wait to vote this guy out of office.

Posted by Pete_Murphy | Report as abusive

Both parties are more concerned about power than working through the nations problems. We have pander ship and we need leadership. BHO said he would govern in a bipartisan fashion…he has done anything but that. Did he think the other party would just roll over…did he not have a plan the bring the parties together??

Just pandering…..

you fooled me once , shame on you

if you fool me twice , shame on me

Posted by Gen | Report as abusive

I’m unaffiliated myself. I haven’t voted since I turned of age to vote because of the simple fact you pointed out above, Jonesy. There’s no real choice. It’s an electoral college, not a popular vote, so your vote really and truly doesn’t matter. It’s just a non-binding indicator. Look at the 2000 election. Gore gets the popular, Bush wins the presidency. It’s not a broken system, as it’s working as designed, and major companies are able to buy their preferred candidate, but it is a screwy system that needs a major overhaul. Most important to change, the yahoos that you can choose from. Anyone who ever attempts to run for the presidency sells/sold their soul on the way to that position. Every last one of them has compromised themselves in some way for the sake of campaign funds. You wouldn’t hear their names had they not. It’s a false choice of diametric opposition and no amount of voting is going to fix it.

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
…And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson

It’s near time to warn our rulers that the spirit of resistance is still alive.

Posted by Kriminy | Report as abusive

kriminy, the electoral college only applies to the presidential vote, not to the House or Senate. And yes, look at 2000 for how close a presidential race can be, indicating that every vote does count. This cynicism about our country is truly sad, but pandering to it and promoting it is much worse.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

There is only 3 ways to end this cycle of power for powers sake…
1) Term limit congress…2 terms is good enough for the President, why is congress any better. Pelosi, time to go!
2) Campaign Finance Reform…instead of limiting donations, make all donations a matter of public record, regardless of size BEFORE the election. This business of finding out about donations 6-12 months after an election is over and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to “investigate” is both an insult to those same taxpayers and a true whitewash of the whole situation.
3) Vote Independent….I am,for the time being, a registered Republican due to my local elections. I have come to realize however, that neither party has a worthwhile candidate or a viable plan. Its time to end “organized crime”, vote them all out and start over again. Turn off the TV and think for yourselves people, we are citizens not sheep.
The system in its purest sense works..the corruption of the system does not.

Posted by flyinglasss | Report as abusive