This was not just an election about issues, but it was also an election about the President. Barack Obama’s approval ratings have been low for months, and this week is no exception. His approval rating in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll is just 42%, with 49% disapproving.
More than a third of Americans say the President has accomplished less than they expected of him at the start of his Administration. While many of those detractors are his Republican opponents, one in four liberals and 27% of Democrats also express disappointment in what he has done. Only 19% of Americans say he has accomplished more than they expected.
However, the assessment of President Obama is better than it was at the start of this year. In January, just 10% said the President had accomplished more than they expected; 41% said he had done less.
However, expectations for this President’s place in history have declined in the last year. Just 28% now say he will be regarded as an outstanding or above average president, down from 35% in January. 44% say he will be looked on as a below average or a poor President. In January 35% thought that.
Just about as many describe President Obama as a weak leader as say he is a strong one. In January, Americans were also divided on this: 53% said he was a strong leader, 47% called him weak.
And for Republican voters last week, the President was an important reason for their vote. More than half of them say their vote was – at least in part – cast to oppose the President. 22% say that was the principal reason for their vote. Democratic voters also say supporting the President was part of the reason for their vote – and 18% say that was the main reason they supported Democratic candidates.