And today I noticed this...
Yes, at this point in their presidencies, Obama and Reagan are running very similar poll numbers. And if I remember right, there was a lot of talk about Reagan's failed presidency and about him being a one term-er at this point in his first term. (George H. W., on the other hand, looked unbeatable at this point.)
Of course, the democrats helped Reagan out quite a bit by nominating Mondale, but the Republicans will surely not pull the Democrats' favorite trick and run a weak candidate against a beatable incumbent in 2012, will they? Oh...
One interestng thing about these numbers is that almost every president starts strong and crashes out, approval-wise, by the end of their final term in office. There are many reasons for this, of course, and that is not what I find interesting.
What is interesting is that there is one president here who clearly shattered this trend. Bill Clinton.
I think we all miss Bill at this point. At least, I really miss the state of the economy under his watch.
Yeah, I know the arguments about the presidency and the economy... But there is still a lot to be said for the influence of the guy in the White House contributing to the positive or negative mood of the country, which does effect the economy in a fairly substantial way.
This is a very cool interactive chart USA Today has put together. It is worth a look
The Gallup organization first started asking Americans how they approved of the job the president was doing in the 1940s. See how each president since then has fared in the approval poll, look at some news events that influenced public opinion and compare how approval ratings evolved for each president.