Worse than 2010? For the president, it is

November 02, 2014, 11:39 PM GMT+0

Americans are more negative about Obama's presidency on a number of measures when compared to the time of the last midterm elections

President Obama, whose approval rating is just 40% in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, may be of little help for Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections. He fares even worse on some characteristics than he did at the time of the 2010 midterms, in which the Democrats suffered a massive loss of seats in the House of Representatives. This year, the President’s unpopularity could lose the Senate.

In a November 2010 Economist/YouGov Poll, 45% of Americans expected Barack Obama would go down in history as a below average or a poor President. Today, just over half do, twice the percentage who think he would be seen as above average or outstanding.

Half of Democrats continue to be hopeful that the President will be seen by history as above average or outstanding, about the same percentage who felt that way in 2010.

However, Democrats are a little disappointed in the Obama Presidency. A third say Barack Obama has accomplished less than they expected he would when he was first inaugurated, more than the percentage of Democrats who said that in 2010. As the public overall is even more disappointed. 49% say he has accomplished less than they expected, 10 points more than thought that in 2010.

There has been little change since 2010 on how Americans think the President has managed the economy and changed America’s image in the world. Six in ten say the President has made little or no progress on improving America’s image in the world and on improving the economy (and more today think even now that the economy is getting worse, not better). Although majorities of Democrats see at least some progress on the economy and in the country’s image abroad, they also see the President as moving farther away from his long-ago promise to change the partisan tone in Washington.

At the start of 2011, half the public thought that Barack Obama had made no progress in keeping that promise. That number seeing no progress has now increased 11 points. Half of Democrats agree the President has made no progress achieving this goal.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been making campaign appearances in place of her husband, scores better than he does with the public, though not by much. In her case the balance of favorable and unfavorable ratings are nearly equal, while the President is seen negatively.

48% of independents and 80% of Republicans view Michelle Obama unfavorably.

The low points of Barack Obama’s Presidency -- at least when it came to his approval rating -- came after the 2010 election, during the first year of the GOP-controlled House. This week, assessment of the President’s job performance is even worse than it was at the time of the 2010 election. Today 56% disapprove, compared with 49% four years ago.

Might his rating go even lower if Republicans win the Senate?

Full results can be found here.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.