Debunking the Myth of the Unpopular President Obama

obama-thumbs-upRecently I wrote an article condemning those Democrats who’ve run away from President Obama heading into this election year. It’s just made absolutely no sense to me. This is a president who’s cut our deficits by $1 trillion, presided over the longest period of private sector job growth in our nation’s history, produced record stock levels and passed historic health care reform. Just to name a few things that he’s accomplished during his time in the White House. If he were a Republican, just on his economic numbers alone, they would be hoisting him up high as a GOP legend.

But Democrats are apparently ashamed of Obama’s record. After all, why would a party want to get behind the man who’s created over 10 million jobs and authorized the successful killing of Osama bin Ladin? Anyone could have done that, right George W. Bush? Oh… nevermind.

A lot of this nonsense is driven by our media. All I hear in the news, even on networks like MSNBC and CNN, is how unpopular the president is and how horrible his approval numbers are. And they’re right, his numbers are low. According to Gallup, Obama’s approval rating is about 40 percent. Clearly that’s not ideal, but if you look at his overall trend, his approval rating has gone between 40-50 percent pretty much since about six months after he took office. So it’s not as if his numbers have suddenly shot down to 40 percent. And if people were giving him a 50 percent approval rating about six months into his first term, that’s a clear sign many people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Especially considering the circumstances he faced upon entering the White House.

Either way, should we really be considering these numbers “low”? If he’s unpopular, then what the hell does that say about the rest of our government? When it comes to Congress, their numbers make Obama look like a rock star.

Right now the approval rating for Congress sits at 14 percent. And when you get down to the two most powerful people in Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s favorability rating currently sits at 28 percent while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s is down to 21 percent. Though Reid has an abnormally high “no opinion” response of 34 percent.

In fact, the last time Congress had an approval rating over 20 percent was October 2012 – two years ago.  Congress is less popular than head lice.

It’s not Obama who’s unpopular, it’s our government as a whole. When you get right down to the numbers, even though 40 percent is much lower than is ideal for the president, his approval rating is still much higher than that of Congress or its two most powerful party leaders.

And the worst part is, history tells us that about 90 percent of incumbents usually win re-election.

So, what does this all mean? Well, it shows many Americans clearly don’t understand how our government works. A president can only accomplish as much as Congress will allow him to. When half of that Congress has absolutely no intention of doing anything to work with the president, there’s not a whole lot he can do. Honestly, what can a president do when the controlling faction in the House of Representatives has one goal: to support the opposite of whatever it is the president wants.

Which is exactly what Obama has dealt with since 2010.

The fact that Republicans are set to gain seats this November really shows how too many Americans don’t know a damn thing about our government. The approval rating for Congress went from 40 percent just before Republicans took the House in 2010 all the way down to an all-time low of 9 percent last November following the government shutdown. Republicans are the damn problem.

But they are the party set to make gains tomorrow. It makes absolutely zero sense.

Well, it kind of does make sense. When Democrats cowardly decided to run away from Obama they sealed their own fate. Instead of boasting about the policies they support that have created millions of jobs, brought our unemployment down below 6 percent and gave millions of Americans health insurance – they stuck their head in the sand like a bunch of spineless losers.

I’m sorry if all this sounds harsh, but I’m pissed off.

What is it that Republicans are actually running on? Not running against – we all know they’re against Obama. But what the hell are they running on?

Absolutely nothing.

Their “economic plan” is the same b.s. we saw under George W. Bush. Tell me, how well did that work out for our economy last time? But, by all means, let’s do that again. Social issues? Please. On every major social issue they stand against what the majority of Americans support.

But yes, let’s elect more people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old and science is nothing more than some kind of fancy liberal magic show. People who claim gay marriage is going to cause God to bring down Armageddon and that guns have nothing to do with gun violence. Politicians who believe that money equals free speech. Because we damn sure don’t have enough money in our political process. We need to keep electing politicians who want more of it corrupting our government.

And because Democrats acted like cowards, and liberals feel like being apathetic this election, that’s most likely exactly what we’re going to get more of tomorrow.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Eg Kbbs

    And yet we hear so much about the lih-brawl media distorting the facts to make the President look good. /snark

    As you point out, the President has accomplished so much despite continuous opposition from the repubs. Even to the point that they pulled a hissy-fit and shut down the govt (costing the recovering economy how many dollars ?).

    And after the repubs last year promising that the first thing on their agenda this year would be immigration reform, then avoiding it all together, pushing it aside to hold votes on pointless legislation, one of their talking points for this election is (drum roll, please…….) Immigration,

  • Brian

    Generally it takes about two or three decades of incompetent fence sitters during a recession for a strong, moderate progressive to be put into office.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Simple Question:
      “Do YOU take action when observing a crime”

      • Stephen Barlow

        Do you grab a rapist? Yank him OFF someone’s daughter?

        Do you give a description of WHAT you saw?

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Do you petition the Government for a redress of Grievances, when you see the Executive Branch amassing ‘Powers not enumerated’ unchallenged by your elected representatives?
        Don’t be foolish enough to thing that Our Dear Leader has a benevolent core of beliefs and principals that have your best interests at heart. Obama is a ‘Puppet’ for the wealthy Progressives and you’re not a member of that club, no matter how hard you promote yourself as such. You and I are exactly the same to him and his ‘Handlers’. We are but a means to an end. Any response to my post by you will just serve as a graphic display of just how hard you reject your own inevitable destiny.

      • forpeace

        Stephen Barlow, if you see this message go to the article about “Ben Stein” because some troll has stolen your username, and it is posting nonsense at your expense.

        You can even report him to the Disqus.

  • Shane Patrick Irvine

    It doesn’t matter how much Obama has accomplished, he’s still black. Some people, including many democrats, just cannot and will not accept that his presidency has been a success in spite of all of the obstacles thrown in his path. It’s just not vogue to openly praise Obama – you’d be labeled as one of those bleeding heart liberals. Oh the shame…

    • Charles Vincent

      A success? Hahaha the only thing he has succeeded at is driving us into debt so massive we we can barely pay the interest on the balance and an even more dysfunctional healthcare ponzu scheme than the previous one, and the erosion of even more civil rights. And it has nothing to do with his skin color you brainless twit.

      • JerryS57

        Your ignorance shows through, as does your lack of solid information. The initial accumulated under the President was a result of the tanking of the economy that started before he took office. Since then the deficit has been reduced every year, from 9.2% of GDP to just over 4% of GDP, in spite of the Bush era tax cuts. But then again, you likely know this.

      • Stephen Barlow

        TY. What BOTH of us understand is HOW the cycle pedals itself.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Debt was a NOSEDIVE MISSILE piloted by BUSH and Designed by Reagan from Jan, 2009.

        Humn? 14% V 4%????

        WHICH civil right(s) has THE PRESIDENT denied YOU?

        NOW!!!!! HOW many CIVIL RIGHTS were violated …

        Sorry, I disrespect your mother too much to continue!

      • Shane Patrick Irvine

        “he has succeeded at is driving us into debt?” “ponzu scheme?” “has nothing to do with his skin color?” And you’re calling me a brainless twit. LOL! No gun for you, son.

      • strayaway

        Shane, Under President Obama, our federal debt has increased by $7.8T. That amounts to $24,840 debt per individual, $64,087 per average household of 2.58 people. or $63,934 per taxpayer form filed. Make the case to the average household or taxpayer that the debt President Obama handed them is something they should be grateful for; so grateful that they will want to vote Democratic tomorrow.

      • Stephen Barlow

        BLAH VLAH BLA…

        Straight up.

        Slammin a Benjamin in the hand of the next person you see….

        WHAT do think they’ll do with it?

      • Jillz

        Do you understand the difference between “debt” and “deficit” (rhetorical – I know you know the difference).

        In order to reduce the debt, you have to try to reduce the “deficit” between income and expenses. It is not feasible, or even logical to suggest that the debt must be addressed first as it is the deficit between income and expense that triggers further debt.

        The debt was inherited from Bush. To address the debt, Obama has been consistently and successfully reducing the deficit. What’s so hard to understand about that?

      • strayaway

        Yes, Democrats always like to make their little talking point that by raising government revenue, deficits are reduced. One problem is that by creating new spending programs, the gap never gets closed. For instance, President Obama just signed an executive order allowing an additional 100,000 Haitians into the US without provision for funding their social needs and additional subsequent unemployment costs among unskilled US workers who already have high unemployment rates. Never mind that only Congress is permitted to legislate and has to approve money.

        Obama has already accumulated $7.8T in debt, or as you like to phrase it, in additional annual deficits. No other President has come near that. After 42 presidents the debt stood at $5T. Even Bush wasn’t that bad. About 3 weeks ago, Obama signed a bill to give anti-Assad rebels more money for weapons. Yesterday, I read that Obama’s rebels are suspected of selling some of those weapons to IS. This has happened before. Is he that stupid or is he some Commander in Chief version of Custer? ‘Dum’ as Bush was, he never did anything that stupid.

        China has a surplus it uses to buy natural resources for its next generation. Obama instead gives our kids the bills for trying to up his personal numbers.

      • Jillz

        The point I was trying to make is that the deficit can’t be reduced if spending is greater than revenue. So (for the purposes of this discussion) it doesn’t matter what amount is being spent – as long as it doesn’t exceed revenue, the deficit in spending will come down.

        Eventually, if revenue continues to exceed spending, the deficit would (in theory) be eliminated.

        Since the numbers show that the deficit has been reduced under this President, it means that revenue has been exceeding spending. If the trend continues, (deficit continuing to be reduced) eventually the debt will also start to come down.

        What am I missing? Isn’t this basic economics?

      • Charles Vincent

        What your missing is I was talking about debt not deficit in my OP to which both strayaway and Shane were replying. Presumable strayway is talking about debt as well. Another thing to note is that the only what deficit is going to go away is like you said don’t spend more that the revenue you receive, unfortunately that isnt happening and although the deficit is less that previous years the CBO who did the analysis of Obamas budget show this and they predicted that 2015 and 2016 the deficits would expand again. And by the end of his presidency he will have added a total of ~10 trillion dollars to our debt.This is more than all other presidents combined The CBO confirmed that our debt when Obama took over was ~9.8 trillion and when Obama leave office they predict it to be ~20 trillion.

      • Jillz

        But debt and the deficit are connected so don’t you think it’s a little disingenuous to assert that somehow the increase in debt does not impact the deficit?

        Further, is it not also a little disingenuous to suggest that Obama can be solely blamed for the increase of debt (even though spending is not at his sole discretion) while at the same time ignoring the fact that under his watch the deficit has been reduced?

        And since debt repayment is presumably included in the category of “spending”, isn’t it fair to state that the best way to pay down the debt is to reduce the deficit?

      • Charles Vincent

        “But debt and the deficit are connected so don’t you think it’s a little disingenuous to assert that somehow the increase in debt does not impact the deficit?”

        I never claimed they weren’t. Actually the increase or decrease in deficit only impacts debt its a one way correlation, debt rises or falls in relation to deficit or lack thereof.

        “Further, is it not also a little disingenuous to suggest that Obama can be solely blamed for the increase of debt (even though spending is not at his sole discretion) while at the same time ignoring the fact that under his watch the deficit has been reduced?”

        How is it disingenuous to call it the same thing the CBO calls it? You guys just love blaming Bush as the Sole reason for the debt and many other things but all of a sudden its unfair to blame Obama in the same manner…. that’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think. Yes, he reduced the deficit which also was predicted by the CBO, they however also predict that the deficit will start rising again in the next two years.Furthermore he only reduced the deficit he didn’t eliminate it, which means we are still accruing debt.

        The CBO lists debt in mandatory spending but this is wholly irrelevant to the issue since it is still growing because we are still running a deficit which makes the debt grow and in turn this causes the interest on the debt to grow.

        “And since debt repayment is presumably included in the category of “spending”, isn’t it fair to state that the best way to pay down the debt is to reduce the deficit?”

        NO the best way to pay down the debt isn’t to reduce deficits its to eliminate them entirely, and if at all possible run a surplus which would be used to pay back the IOU’s in the SS and Medicare accounts and pay down the debt and interest on the debt with the surplus.

      • Jillz

        It’s not reasonable to expect the deficit to be magically “eliminated”, especially when one of the political parties has done everything to ensure that tax payers and “citizens” (corporations) with the highest incomes don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes, thereby cutting revenue that could otherwise be put toward paying down the debt (and eliminating the deficit). You said yourself that the increase/decrease in deficit does have an impact on the debt, so how can it be a bad thing at least to reduce it gradually (the deficit) until it CAN be eliminated?

        I wasn’t blaming Bush in that statement – just wondering why Obama continues to be blamed and slammed not just for his own shortcomings (whether real or created by his opponents) but for the entire mess he inherited as well.

        Also, calling something by a different name is not disingenuous (imo); my comment referred specifically to statements that implied that the debt and the deficit were not related/connected.

      • Charles Vincent

        “It’s not reasonable to expect the deficit to be magically “eliminated””
        Exaggeration hurts any argument you might try making, I never said that and you should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to perpetrate that sort of sophistry. Further more deficit and debt can be eliminated and have in this country and no it wasn’t Clinton either.

        “especially when one of the political parties has done everything to ensure that tax payers and “citizens” (corporations) with the highest incomes don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes, thereby cutting revenue that could otherwise be put toward paying down the debt”

        What was that you were saying about blaming others? Because I can point you to some key democrats that played a substantial role in the 2008 collapse.

        ” just wondering why Obama continues to be blamed”
        Uh because he has played a role in creating the problems we have.

      • Jillz

        LOL I wasn’t exaggerating – you guys are trying to say that Obama has blown the debt sky high (all by himself, of course) and further it seems that you are both saying that his consistent reducing of the deficit is irrelevant as only the elimination of the deficit can help with ensuring the reduction of the debt. Obviously the deficit can’t be magically eliminated, so why is Obama such a tyrant when he is doing what he can (under Republican obstruction) to gradually reduce the deficit? I’m wondering why you can’t admit it and give the guy credit for at least chipping away at the deficit?

        How is it “blaming” to point out the fact that Republican policy favors corporations and wealthy private citizens to pay less than their fair share of taxes? We aren’t talking about the 2008 collapse, we are talking about the present. Democrats aren’t the ones fighting for buildings to have the same rights as people. That would be Republicans. They don’t mind the middle class being taxed to death, and American citizens living in poverty, just stay away from those corporations!!!

        “Uh because he has played a role in creating the problems we have.”

        OMG. He’s played a ‘role’ in creating the problems that you have.

        If he’s played a role in CREATING the problems you have it was a very tiny one b/c he inherited most of the problems you have. Others have played starring roles, yet somehow, this President who DID have a starring role in preventing an economic collapse in your country along with countless other accomplishments, DESPITE the blatant obstruction, lies and downright seditious behaviour of many Republicans, is blamed.

        All I can say is let the fun continue and God bless President Obama.

      • Charles Vincent

        Lets compare deficits then shall we.

        The debt when bush took office was ~5 trillion

        Bush deficits 2002-2009

        2002 – 157.8 billion

        2003 – 377.6 billion

        2004 – 412.7 billion

        2005 – 318.3 billion

        2006 – 248.2 billion

        2007 – 160.7 billion

        2008 – 458.6 billion

        2009 – 1.412 trillion

        The debt when Obama took office was ~9.75 Trillion

        Obama deficits 2010 – present

        2010 – 1.293 trillion

        2011 – 1.299 trillion

        2012 – 1.1 trillion and end of first term

        2013 – 680 billion

        2014 – ~500 billion

        Obama has added ~7.7 trillion in debt

        The current debt now sets at close to 18 trillion dollars

        By the end of Obama’s presidency the CBO projects he will have added 10
        trillion to the national debt.

      • strayaway

        “Eventually, if revenue continues to exceed spending, the deficit would (in theory) be eliminated.”

        -No, If revenue exceeds spending, there would be no deficit.

        “Since the numbers show that the deficit has been reduced under this President, it means that revenue has been exceeding spending.”

        -No, it means that spending has decreased and/or revenue has increased. The President did allow half of Bush’s tax cuts expire although he wrote the other half of Bush’s tax cuts into law.

      • Jillz

        “No, If revenue exceeds spending, there would be no deficit”

        Right. So it is logical to state that if the deficit continues to be reduced, the day will come when it [the deficit] will be eliminated.

        “No, it means that spending has decreased and/or revenue has increased”

        I get what you mean, and I see the very subtle difference between the way I said it and the way you said it. My point still stands though: whether it’s due to a decrease in spending or an increase in revenue, the deficit is still coming down. If that trend continues, it will eventually have a more noticeable impact on debt repayment. Right?

        I’m not being facetious – I understand the difference between debt and budget deficit; what I don’t get is how President Obama can be BLAMED for the debt (which is not at his sole discretion) while at the same time not being given any credit for the deficit reduction that has happened under his watch.

      • strayaway

        “If that trend continues, it will eventually have a more noticeable impact on debt repayment.”

        So what will it be, more taxes or Obama slashing spending? Ain’t gonna happen. He was for sequestration before he was opposed to sequestration. Anyway, since (national debt=accumulated annual deficits) and Dear President has already on track to accumulate $10T of accumulated annual deficits, he will be have accumulated more debt (accumulated deficits) than the other 43 presidents. That’s why he’s blamed. But yeah its great that he won’t have $11T of accumulated deficits instead.

      • Jillz

        “national debt=accumulated annual deficits”

        Thank you, I get what you’re saying now and that ^^ makes sense to me.

        Still doesn’t change the fact though that if the deficit is getting smaller it means that the discrepancy between revenue and spending is getting smaller, which in turn leads to less debt (at least less debt created by a budget deficit)

      • Charles Vincent

        Says the idiot that cant spell ponzi correctly.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Show ME tha MATH!

      • Brian Simpson

        Charles didn’t read the article. Or maybe just didn’t comprehend it.

      • Charles Vincent

        He is unpopular because he is an idiot and the reason I listed is just one of them.

      • WanderingTattler

        You are beyond ignorant. And the fact that you are, yet call others ignorant, speaks volumes.

        Notice how the debt accelerated during Bush’s last two budget years. Obama’s debt is a continuation of that trend and neither Bush nor Obama are directly responsible for that acceleration. It happened because of the recession. (Bush was responsible for the turn-around from surplus to deficit soon after he took office, but not for the impact of the recession on the budget.) Nonetheless, Bush set the all-time record by increasing the debt by $1.1 trillion in 100 days between July 30 and Nov 9, 2008—but that had little to do with his choices.

        Recessions cut tax revenues—in this case, dramatically. That accounts for nearly half of the deficit. So blaming Obama for the full deficit is like blaming him for not raising the tax rate to keep tax revenues up. Most of the increased spending is automatic increases in unemployment benefits, food stamps, and social security payments for early retirement. Very little of it is from stimulus spending, and that’s over.

        Now we see that the economy is growing almost as fast as the debt, so in the last year, the debt has not outstripped economic growth by much. Economic growth is the main way that the WWII debt was brought down relative to GDP.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Who has been bullied? Intimidated? Put Down for winning or being ‘BETTER”?

      More basic than that.

      Simple rules of high School.

      Jocks Beat nerds, Band Is Nerdy cool, Stoners like band but can’t count. BAND makes jocx….

      Rock, paper, Scissors…

      But “Ni**er” slashes across all that like a knife!

      NOW!!!! REVERSE IT. The black NERD, rises up, takes control and the JOCKASSES
      shudder like sheep on a cold dark night!

      BE CAUSE: The band and stoners and all the splinter groups…


      • Shane Patrick Irvine


      • Stephen Barlow


    • Stephen Barlow

      RED agenda is ‘TAR HIM’!

  • Stephen Barlow

    Just remember ONE thing…
    Jackie ROBINSON was literally “Public enemy #1” and when the dust cleared… He stood taller than the ENTIRE WHITE Major League.

  • Stephen Barlow

    youtube . com/watch ? v=Sp4TxEKddsY


  • youmustgo

    Uh dems in red states having to go up against these incumbents who have a base of brainwashed older people (thanks to Fox & church infiltrations still inundated with Southern Strategy bullshit,) challengers feel they have no choice but to distance themselves from Obama. This on the off chance that people might listen to the truth vs. Rhetoric and hate.

  • Jim Bean

    A more apt title would be “Debunking the Reality of an Unpopular President.” (Debunking reality is the number one rated pastime of the Left.)

    The number of people who still like Obama is now in the low one hundreds at best and that bunch will still love him tomorrow even if tonight proves that he has buried his own political party with his hijinks.

  • Mary Beth Hamilton

    Excellent article- I absolutely believe that the democrats lost because they ran away from the President & his record instead of touting it. In my state (Connecticut) the governor did not do that- he actually had both Pres Obama & the First Lady in on more than one occasion. Gov Malloy was re-elected, by a larger margin than his 1st run, against the same opponent. In my opinion, the candidates distancing themselves from a twice-elected president was a fatal error.

  • Alan N. Sussman

    This is about a biased article as I’ve ever seen. All the author does is cherry pick facts. Unemployment may be lower but underemployment is way up. Stock market increases have not translated into more jobs. The private sector may have grown but the public sector has dipped even more so it’s a net loss of jobs. What about foreign affairs where he is by far the worst president I have ever seen. He makes nice to virtually all of the terrorist regimes, makes excuses for them including the butchering of their own people. stabs our allies, particularly Israel, in the back and we are probably looking at a sweetheart deal for Iran on the nuclear issue. He has made the world unsafe for democracy. It’s got nothing to do with racism. I personally don’t care what the president’s race or religion is. Even though I abhor his policies, when I heard a friend at a gathering call him the n–word I immediately pounced on him and told him there was no place for using that kind of language to refer to anyone much less the president of the U.S. Get a grip, he is an abject failure. Remember, blacks make up something like 12% of the population so an awful lot on nonblacks had to vote for him to get him into office. Plus, being half Muslim, especially so soon after 9-11 also didn’t prevent him from getting elected. I’d say that’s a pretty good indication that racism in the U.S. is at a very low level.