President Obama’s approval/disapproval index is back to where it was in 2010-11. In the “RealClearPolitics” average, Obama’s current net of -4.8% is lower then it has been since December 2011, 19 months ago. In the July 2010 to December 2011 period, Obama mostly had net negative approval ratings, as the economy struggled with no real signs of a turnaround. Unproductive battles with Congress kept legislative branch ratings in the basement--as they are now--but didn’t help Obama.
Obama’s ratings were up twice in the 2010-11 period (see chart), first when he showed national leadership in January 2011 after a mentally-unstable person nearly killed former congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), and again in May 2011 after U.S. forces killed al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden. But both times, ratings fell back into negative territory.
As the Republican primary campaign involving Mitt Romney picked up steam in January 2012, a development that helped draw Democrats “home,” Obama’s ratings started upward, peaking after the election at +12.4% last December 21. There has been a steady decline since. Yet Obama is still well above his all-time low of - 10.2%, hit on August 29, 2011.