by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday.
Obama’s approval rating in the poll stands at 43%. By comparison, President George W. Bush had a 47% approval rating at the end of the fifth year of his presidency. And all other Post-World War II presidents had approval ratings above 50% — with the exception of Nixon, who, amid the Watergate scandal, had a dreadful 29% approval rating.
The brutal numbers underscore what has been something of a lost year for the President. His approval ratings have been plunging recently as a result of the botched implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the Washington Post/ABC poll, only 34% approve of how Obama is handling his signature health law’s implementation.
Obama has also been hit by the damage of Washington’s recent fiscal battles, including the 16-day federal government shutdown. His administration also experienced a number of setbacks throughout the year — the controversy over some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices, the debate over military intervention in Syria, the controversy over the IRS’ targeting of certain organizations for more scrutiny, and more.
Earlier this month, Obama’s average approval rating, according to Real Clear Politics, slipped below 40% for the first time in his presidency.