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Obama's performance in the polls parallels that of Reagan ... so far

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:51 PM
  • 18 Replies

So what do you think? Quantcast

Obama's performance in the polls parallels that of Reagan ... so far

1:34 pm January 18, 2010, by Jay

40.44
I've written before about the parallels between the polling performance of Barack Obama and that of Ronald Reagan, who also took office at a time of economic difficulty. The chart at left (H/t Washington Monthly) lays it out graphically.

Dan Balz, writing in the Washington Post, echoes the point as well:

Around the White House these days, the president's advisers draw analogies with Reagan to paint a hopeful portrait of Obama's weakened standing. Reagan, they note, had approval ratings around 50 percent at the end of his first year in office and ended up winning a landslide reelection victory in 1984. What they don't say so vocally is that Reagan's approval dipped into the 40s in the fall of 1982, and that his party suffered substantial losses in Congress that November

Obama has long shown an interest in Reagan's presidency. During Obama's campaign, he got under the skin of former President Bill Clinton when he characterized Reagan's presidency as one that "changed the trajectory of America" in ways that neither Clinton's nor Richard M. Nixon's had done.

Of course, the fact that Obama's poll numbers have dropped in parallel to Reagan's does not constitute an argument that they will rebound as did Reagan's. But it does reinforce the point that politics - particularly presidential politics - is a game played over the long run. Obama himself seems quite cognizant of that fact, even if others at times do not.

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tericared
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Polls go up and down and some times dont even match up...The guy still has 3 years....I do find it interesting Ragan had the same numbers...

Mandipants
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Of course, the fact that Obama's poll numbers have dropped in parallel to Reagan's does not constitute an argument that they will rebound as did Reagan's. But it does reinforce the point that politics - particularly presidential politics - is a game played over the long run. Obama himself seems quite cognizant of that fact, even if others at times do not.

This has always been my argument (although I probably never said it this concisely) when people point and post numbers of Obama's Presidency (usually while putting their fingers on each side of their head and waggling them and chanting 'I told you so'). Blaming Bush aside, Obama came into a mess and one that will not be easily rectified. But Americans seem to want it NOW (um, housing crisis? Extreme credit debt?) and polls usually reflect that.

I'm interested to research what the political climate was like in Reagan's first year. Then again, he wasn't our first Black President, which colors the way some want to paint Obama (on both sides, but notably with vitriole from the right). It's hard to tell, and I for one am witholding judgment on our President. I think Obama is smart in that he recognizes that this is a long term game, not a short term popularity contest.

Friday
by HRH of MJ on Jan. 18, 2010 at 7:07 PM

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

muslimah
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:32 PM


Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I will be that Gipper worshiper to say that Reagan absolutely did clean up Carters mess and I'll go even further than that and say that Ronald Reagan was the best president this country ever had.

PamR
by Ruby Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:51 PM

I'm old enough to have voted in the Carter-Reagan election (for Carter).  I don't think Reagan was a great president at all, but he was very popular.  It's interesting that his initial poll numbers didn't reflect how popular he would become later.  I don't know if the same will be true of Obama, but everyone who is predicting his imminent doom should take note of this.

Raintree
by Ruby Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:56 PM


Quoting muslimah:


Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I will be that Gipper worshiper to say that Reagan absolutely did clean up Carters mess and I'll go even further than that and say that Ronald Reagan was the best president this country ever had.

Ronald Reagan signed a bill that put my families once successful business out of business in less than a year. Two weeks before my grandparents had to move out of their house- my grandmother died in her sleep. From stress.

Yes, thank you Reagan. Thank God he cleaned up 'Carter's mess'. 

Puhlease. Not for everyone. Not by a long shot.

Malapertinent
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:58 PM


Quoting muslimah:


Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I will be that Gipper worshiper to say that Reagan absolutely did clean up Carters mess and I'll go even further than that and say that Ronald Reagan was the best president this country ever had.


I couldn't agree with you MORE...100%

Thank YOU!

 



Friday
by HRH of MJ on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:11 PM


Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I will be that Gipper worshiper to say that Reagan absolutely did clean up Carters mess and I'll go even further than that and say that Ronald Reagan was the best president this country ever had.

Have fun with that. The more I learn of him the less I like.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:36 PM


Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I have already had someone tell me that.

Mandipants
by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 12:25 AM


Quoting LauraKW:


Quoting Friday:

 Interesting. Hope that is all he has in common with Raygun.

How much you want to bet someone who worships the Gipper will spin it away with saying Reagan was cleaning up Carters mess so it wasn't his fault but Obama caused his own decline. Am I close? How long do you think it will take?

I have already had someone tell me that.

Of course. I would worry about the natural order of things if you hadn't already experienced this argument.

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