Since Obama took office in January, his approval rating in Gallup tracking has averaged 63%, and most of his three-day ratings have registered above 60%. Approval of Obama did fall to 59% in individual readings in February, March, April, and early June; however, in each case, the rating lasted only a day before rebounding to at least 60%.
The latest decline in Obama's approval score, to 58%, results from a drop in approval among political independents as well as among Republicans. Democrats remain as highly supportive of the president as ever.
Obama's approval rating was 60% from June 13-15, at which time 88% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 25% of Republicans approved of the job he was doing. In the June 16-18 polling, Democrats' approval of him stands at 92% -- up slightly -- whereas approval is down among both independents (by seven points) and Republicans (by four points).
Since February, Obama's weekly approval ratings from Republicans have consistently averaged close to 30% and from independents, close to 60%. With Republican approval now down to 21% and independent approval down to 53%, Obama's overall job approval has dipped to a new low for his presidency.
It is not clear what's behind the decline, but two issues have received considerable play in the news this week, and could be contributing factors. On Monday, the president received bad news on healthcare reform from the Congressional Budget Office, whose estimate of the cost of one reform plan caused sticker shock on Capitol Hill. This may be feeding into public concerns about the administration's deficit spending. At the same time, the disputed Iranian presidential election has been front-page news. Obama's cautious response has sparked sharp criticism from Republican Sen. John McCain and many on the political right who are eager for him to declare the election a "fraud," and to show more solidarity with the Iranian protestors.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,504 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 16-18, 2009, as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Original at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/121028/Obama-Job-Approval-Slips-58-First-Time.aspx