Poll: How Much Will Obama’s Flagging Approval Rating Affect the Midterms?

US President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 24, 2013. The President renewed his call for Congress to pass sweeping immigration reform.
National Journal
Michael Catalini, Sarah Mimms and Peter Bell
Michael Catalini Sarah Mimms Peter Bell
May 1, 2014, 5 p.m.

How much do you think the pres­id­ent’s flag­ging ap­prov­al rat­ing will af­fect the midterms?

DEMO­CRATS (90 VOTES)

A lot: 40%
Some: 43%
A little: 17%
Not at all: 0%

A lot

“In elec­tions, some things are caus­a­tion, some are cor­rel­a­tion. This is both.”

“It al­ways has a big ef­fect, no mat­ter the pres­id­ent.”

“Demo­crats have yet to find a re­deem­ing midterm voice.”

“The pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al rat­ings al­ways mat­ter in midterms — if he can get them up to high 40s, that helps Dems. If in the low 40s or be­low, will be a very bad year for Dems.”

“Obama needs to be on the up­swing to pre­vent Demo­crats from the down­swing.”

“But it’s not today’s rat­ings; it’s Oc­to­ber’s that will im­pact.”

Some

“The real ques­tion is, how much is Con­gress’s bad rat­ing go­ing to im­pact midterms?”

“It will have an im­pact, but in­di­vidu­al cam­paigns will have dy­nam­ics that define their par­tic­u­lar race.”

“He’s less of a factor than he could be, but he still raises more money than any­one else. Ad­vice to can­did­ates: Cash the checks.”

“They may not be flag­ging by Novem­ber.”

“My ad­vice to GOP: Be care­ful what you wish for. POTUS num­bers will re­bound in fall.”

“He is do­ing worst where it mat­ters most: AK, AR, LA, and NC.”

“Vir­tu­ally no Demo­crat be­ne­fits from close as­so­ci­ation with this White House.”

A little

“Hate Wash­ing­ton, love your mem­ber of Con­gress.”

“De­pends on wheth­er Obama­care works.”

How much do you think the pres­id­ent’s flag­ging ap­prov­al rat­ing will af­fect the midterms?

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (98 VOTES)

A lot: 70%
Some: 26%
A little: 2%
Not at all: 2%

A lot

“Just ima­gine how dif­fer­ent the at­mo­sphere would be if his job ap­prov­al were 65 per­cent.”

“It’s already res­ul­ted in bet­ter re­cruit­ing for the GOP than we’d have ex­pec­ted a year ago.”

“Winter is com­ing for the Demo­crats.”

“Pre­tend­ing oth­er­wise is noth­ing more than wish­ful think­ing on the part of the Demo­crats.”

“For every Demo­crat who wanted to ap­pear with the pres­id­ent and pre­tend they are part of the Double­mint twins, this is a huge prob­lem.”

“Amer­ica is ex­hausted with Barack Obama, and it will cost Demo­crats.”

“Like win­ning, the pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.”

“Obama’s pres­id­ency is like a su­pe­r­hyped new TV show that nev­er quite at­trac­ted view­ers, was well-liked by a hand­ful of crit­ics, and fi­nally got can­celed about three years too late.”

Some

“It’s still just May.”

“I think it will hinge more on a par­tic­u­lar Con­gress mem­ber’s vote on Obama­care than the pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al rat­ings.”

“Prob­ably not to the ex­tent that Re­pub­lic­ans would like it to.”

“It is already baked in the cake. Pry­or, Landrieu, Be­gich, and Hagan are already in trouble.”

Not at all

“Only 923 days re­main­ing.”

… … … … …

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Jill Alp­er, John An­za­lone, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Matt Ben­nett, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brath­waite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Daniel­son, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott De­Fife, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Dav­id Di Mar­tino, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Patrick Dor­ton, Pat Du­jakovich, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Jef­frey For­bes, Vin­cent Fril­lici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Mi­chael Gonza­lez, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Larry Griso­lano, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Lisa Grove, Mar­cia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Har­poot­li­an, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hat­t­away, Mike Henry, Kar­en Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Lisa Koun­toupes, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thor­nell, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Rick Wien­er, James Wil­li­ams, JoDee Win­ter­hof, Bri­an Wolff, Jon Young­dahl, and Jim Zo­gby.

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Bri­an Baker, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Paul Ben­necke, Clark Ben­son, Wayne Ber­man, Bri­an Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Carde­n­as, Danny Car­roll, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lom­bardo, Kev­in Mad­den, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bri­an Mc­Cor­mack, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Lisa Cam­ooso Miller, Tim Mor­ris­on, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Todd Olsen, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Tom Reyn­olds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Kev­in Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Terry Sul­li­van, Dav­id Tamasi, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Stew­art Ver­dery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee West­ine, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud. 

How much do you think the president's flagging approval rating will affect the midterms?

DEMO­CRATS (90 VOTES)

A lot: 40%
Some: 43%
A little: 17%
Not at all: 0%

A lot

“In elec­tions, some things are caus­a­tion, some are cor­rel­a­tion. This is both.”

“It al­ways has a big ef­fect, no mat­ter the pres­id­ent.”

“Demo­crats have yet to find a re­deem­ing midterm voice.”

“The pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al rat­ings al­ways mat­ter in midterms — if he can get them up to high 40s, that helps Dems. If in the low 40s or be­low, will be a very bad year for Dems.”

“Obama needs to be on the up­swing to pre­vent Demo­crats from the down­swing.”

“But it’s not today’s rat­ings; it’s Oc­to­ber’s that will im­pact.”

Some

“The real ques­tion is, how much is Con­gress’s bad rat­ing go­ing to im­pact midterms?”

“It will have an im­pact, but in­di­vidu­al cam­paigns will have dy­nam­ics that define their par­tic­u­lar race.”

“He’s less of a factor than he could be, but he still raises more money than any­one else. Ad­vice to can­did­ates: Cash the checks.”

“They may not be flag­ging by Novem­ber.”

“My ad­vice to GOP: Be care­ful what you wish for. POTUS num­bers will re­bound in fall.”

“He is do­ing worst where it mat­ters most: AK, AR, LA, and NC.”

“Vir­tu­ally no Demo­crat be­ne­fits from close as­so­ci­ation with this White House.”

A little

“Hate Wash­ing­ton, love your mem­ber of Con­gress.”

“De­pends on wheth­er Obama­care works.”

How much do you think the president's flagging approval rating will affect the midterms?

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (98 VOTES)

A lot: 70%
Some: 26%
A little: 2%
Not at all: 2%

A lot

“Just ima­gine how dif­fer­ent the at­mo­sphere would be if his job ap­prov­al were 65 per­cent.”

“It’s already res­ul­ted in bet­ter re­cruit­ing for the GOP than we’d have ex­pec­ted a year ago.”

“Winter is com­ing for the Demo­crats.”

“Pre­tend­ing oth­er­wise is noth­ing more than wish­ful think­ing on the part of the Demo­crats.”

“For every Demo­crat who wanted to ap­pear with the pres­id­ent and pre­tend they are part of the Double­mint twins, this is a huge prob­lem.”

“Amer­ica is ex­hausted with Barack Obama, and it will cost Demo­crats.”

“Like win­ning, the pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.”

“Obama’s pres­id­ency is like a su­pe­r­hyped new TV show that nev­er quite at­trac­ted view­ers, was well-liked by a hand­ful of crit­ics, and fi­nally got can­celed about three years too late.”

Some

“It’s still just May.”

“I think it will hinge more on a par­tic­u­lar Con­gress mem­ber’s vote on Obama­care than the pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al rat­ings.”

“Prob­ably not to the ex­tent that Re­pub­lic­ans would like it to.”

“It is already baked in the cake. Pry­or, Landrieu, Be­gich, and Hagan are already in trouble.”

Not at all

“Only 923 days re­main­ing.”

… … … … …

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Jill Alp­er, John An­za­lone, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Matt Ben­nett, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brath­waite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Daniel­son, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott De­Fife, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Dav­id Di Mar­tino, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Patrick Dor­ton, Pat Du­jakovich, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Jef­frey For­bes, Vin­cent Fril­lici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Mi­chael Gonza­lez, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Larry Griso­lano, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Lisa Grove, Mar­cia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Har­poot­li­an, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hat­t­away, Mike Henry, Kar­en Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Lisa Koun­toupes, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thor­nell, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Rick Wien­er, James Wil­li­ams, JoDee Win­ter­hof, Bri­an Wolff, Jon Young­dahl, and Jim Zo­gby.

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Bri­an Baker, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Paul Ben­necke, Clark Ben­son, Wayne Ber­man, Bri­an Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Carde­n­as, Danny Car­roll, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lom­bardo, Kev­in Mad­den, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bri­an Mc­Cor­mack, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Lisa Cam­ooso Miller, Tim Mor­ris­on, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Todd Olsen, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Tom Reyn­olds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Kev­in Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Terry Sul­li­van, Dav­id Tamasi, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Stew­art Ver­dery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee West­ine, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud. 

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