Which president was the last one to win reelection with a job approval less than 50 percent among the electorate?
Don’t worry if you are having trouble answering. It’s a trick question. Since they’ve been asking the question, the exit polls and the National Election Study have not found such a victor.
It is worth pointing out that the polls in the RealClearPolitics average are mostly polls of adults, which tend to oversample Democrats. This means that Obama’s standing with the actual electorate is probably weaker than these numbers suggest.
Additionally, Obama’s numbers are substantially worse on the three top issues of this campaign. The recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Obama’s overall net job approval at -1, but on the economy he stood at -11. The Fox News poll found him with a net job approval of +5, but his standing on health care was -8. And a Gallup poll from May found that just 39 percent of respondents trusted Obama to handle the deficit better than Mitt Romney.
The story is basically the same in the swing states. In state after state, we see Obama pulling in about 47 percent of the vote, mostly among registered voters, which is in standing with his national job approval rating.