December 11, 2014

Are We Writing Off Obama Too Soon?

By Andrew Kohut

With two years to go, Barack Obama is widely seen as a failed president, responsible for his party’s losses in the mid-term Congressional elections. He still faces strong headwinds on both domestic policy and foreign affairs. The notion that the president can make a comeback with the American public may seem very unlikely. Yet a close look at attitudes about him and recent presidential history suggests such a rebound is not out of the question. In fact, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Barack Obama’s political death may have been greatly exaggerated.

Indeed views of Obama are not any worse than were attitudes toward Ronald Reagan at about this time in his second term.

Understanding the arc of a presidential popularity rating, especially one as varied as Obama’s, requires a longer perspective than a single midterm snapshot.

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