Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

Home » Philosophy » Approval Ratings, One and All.

Approval Ratings, One and All.


Much has recently been made of President Obama’s “low” approval ratings. They are hovering in the 40% area, depending on whom you ask. That means that, out of every 10 people polled, 4 like the job he’s doing, and 6 don’t. The fact that roughly 50% of the country is Conservative Repub, it sounds to me like every Repub thinks he’s sucks at his job (quite predictably) and about 20% of Dems (or 1/5th) agree.

So, if I were to try to spin those statistics the way a Repub would, 4 out of 5 people who would be expected to like Obama…do. That’s about the same as the amount of dentists surveyed who used to recommend Crest toothpaste…but I digress.

Funny though, I remember quite a few presidents with much lower approval ratings, yet not nearly the strum und drang associated with it. Come to think about it, I’m not sure if more than 4 out of every 10 people I know would give me high approval ratings. But, again, I digress…

Obama’s approval ratings have gone from 69% in January of 2009 to 38% in August of 2012. Pretty good on the high and end, as we’ll see, not really so bad on the low end…

George “Rodeo man” Bush peaked at 90% within a week after 9/11 when the country needed someone to rally around, but sunk to 25% in October of 2008, when we realized that it really mattered that he couldn’t pronounce “nuclear”, and that he had promised to bomb Iraq’s harbors (it has virtually none).

Going further, we see Bill Clinton at 73% in December of 1998, right at the heart of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but down around 37% in May 1993. Still not a bad spread compared to Bush’s 65 point swing.

George “Daddy” Bush went from a high of 89% right when he started the first Gulf War, (we do love to rally around those guys when they start killing people) and 29% near the end of his term in 1992. Yup, Poppy was even less loved than Cowboy George.

Then, (drumroll please) going back just one more presidential term, we have Ronald “Kill the Ruskies” Reagan, who went from 68% in 1986, down to 33% in January of 1983! Can you believe it? How stupid were we all not to worship the great dicta..er..President Reagan, who, according to legend, personally vanquished the Soviet Union with his mighty sword, lowered taxes, spent more on the military than every President before him combined, calmed the seas and colonized the moon, all while they assure us that his Alzheimers did not start till waaaaaay after his term ended. (Actually, the Soviets collapsed of their own weight due to a world-wide recession, too much military spending and lagging productivity. Reagan raised taxes and, many of us believe, was suffering from Alzheimers early in his second term. he did bloat the military as charged though.

But, if we read the numbers without benefit of my spin, we will see that every President, Repubs especially, had lower approval ratings than my buddy Barack. Sure, you say, but there’s another two years to go! Yup I say, and I agree that they might go lower. But before all you Repubs spike the ball about how “Romney was right” and all the other tripe I’m hearing bandied about, I wanted to remind you how bad your memories, of your own boys lousy approval ratings, are.

Ok, that’s it. As you were…
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