The economy may be getting better, albeit at a slow pace. Americans do not seem to believe the improvement is fast enough or good enough, at least insofar as any role the president might have in the halting recovery. Fortunately for him, he is not up for reelection. After taking the country through the recession of 2008, he gets almost no credit for the transition out of that recession to a time when at least unemployment and the housing market, two major markers of the economy, have improved.
According to a new poll from Gallup:
Despite President Barack Obama's renewed focus on the nation's economy this summer, crisscrossing the country to talk about job creation, he scores worse with Americans on the economy than he did in June. His approval rating on the issue, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points. During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points.
Worse for the president is that the general sentiment about the health of the economy has improved in the past year, but people must believe it would have done so in spite of him, or perhaps would have done better without him.
Gallup hinted that Obama's ratings may be pulled down by a general distaste for Washington and how the federal government may have hindered a stronger recovery:
It may be summer, but Americans are not all smiles and sunshine, at least when it comes to their ratings of Washington leaders. Gallup's August polling finds Americans' scant approval of Congress remaining low at 14% this month, while their satisfaction with the direction of the country slipped six points to 22%, the lowest since March. In this context, it is not surprising that Obama's overall job approval rating is at a low ebb for the year.
However, Obama is the president, and the opinions about him largely stand alone because of that. This dissatisfaction with the president can only be tied so much to those further down the federal government food chain, particularly when people really believe there is someone, some single person, who has to take the blame.