President Barack Obama’s approval rating is now the lowest it has ever been in his nearly five years in the White House, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, according to a USA Today report on Thursday.
The all-time low approval rating reflects the nation’s frustration with Washington, D.C. in general as the public’s pessimism about the direction in which the nation is headed continues to escalate, according to the poll results’ data.
Only 42 percent of Americans approve of what the president is doing in his job as president. That figure is down five points from earlier in October. Comparatively speaking, 51 percent disapprove of his job in office which is tied for his all-time high of disapproval by Americans.
While many would be quick to say the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) since Oct. 1 would be the reason for the incredibly poor approval rating, the NBC/Wall Street Journal pollsters claim that there is really no one issue that completely explains the poor rating. They say that the accumulation of recent setbacks have resulted in the latest rating.
Since summer alone, the issues have gone beyond Americans’ growing displeasure with the health care program. There has also be the issue of the National Security Agency’s spying as well as the debate over Syria’s chemical weapons that has gone unresolved. Additionally, Obama’s perceived stance during the governmental shutdown was not a positive for the president. And, of course, going back long before these issues, the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11, 2012 is still on the minds of many Americans as a suspicious issue widely ignored and unresolved by the White House.
Besides Obama taking a hit in the poll, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner all remain quite unpopular with Americans. In fact, 63 percent of voters want to replace their members of Congress, in general, as 74 percent believe the United States Congress is adding to the nation’s problems rather than solving them.
A mere 22 percent of those polled believe the United States is headed in the right direction, while half of the nation thinks there will likely be another government shutdown.
Though the Republicans were reportedly most to blame for the government shutdown, by a 41 percent-to-21 percent margin, those surveyed say they now have a less favorable impression of Obama after the shutdown rather than a more favorable impression.
When it comes to Congress, Democrats have a four-point lead over the Republicans – 45 percent to 41 percent – as to which political party ought to control Congress after next year’s midterm elections. However, in the last poll, the Democrats had double that edge with a 47 percent to 39 percent lead. The Democrats are losing ground fast.
Finally, Obamacare is less popular now than it was in the past. Only 37 percent of the nation sees the Affordable Care Act as a good idea while 47 percent see it as a bad idea. Previously, 38 percent thought it was a good idea and 43 percent thought it was a bad idea. Obamacare has never been polled positively by the American public. Additionally, 37 percent believe that the current HealthCare.gov problems are short-term and will be fixed, while 31 percent believe the troubled site’s concerns are longer-term issues with the law’s design that cannot be corrected. The remaining 30 percent think it’s too early to say how the web site will turn out.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was administered Oct. 25 – 28, 2013.