So it's a bad thing that Obama's popularity mirrors Ronald Reagan's?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

More nonsense from the British press, although this is a narrative the Beltway Village is also fond of.

Breathless headline? Check:

Barack Obama sees worst poll rating drop in 50 years

Breathless lede? Check [emphasis added]:

Gallup recorded an average daily approval rating of 53 per cent for Mr Obama for the third quarter of the year, a sharp drop from the 62 per cent he recorded from April. His current approval rating – hovering just above the level that would make re-election an uphill struggle – is close to the bottom for newly-elected president. Mr Obama entered the White House with a soaring 78 per cent approval rating.

Complete absence of context? Check.

Not that anyone cares, but in October 1981, Ronald Reagan's job approval rating stood at almost the exact same point as Obama's today. And this was after Reagan enjoyed a huge spike in popularity following an assassin's attempt on the president's life.

In fact, in May of 1981, Reagan's job approval rating stood at very robust 68 percent. Then by October, it was down to 55 percent, according to Gallup. Obama? In May his job approval rating stood at a very robust 66 percent, now it's around 53 percent.

In other words, Obama is on the exact job approval path as Ronald Reagan, whom most Republicans and journalists claim to be among the most successful, and popular, presidents of the last half-century. The only twist is that for Obama, this is all very bad news. The press harps on the dip in Obama's job approval rating since the spring, but remains silent on the fact that Reagan's polling looked exactly the same.

And yes, there's a deep irony in watching former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan take shots at Obama's "falling poll numbers," while remaining mum about the fact that Obama's poll numbers precisely mirror the ones her GOP hero posted.

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