President Obama’s ride on a post-reelection wave may be over with a new poll showing that his approval rating has dipped to 50%. That’s a 5-point fall from January, when he was sworn in for a second term in office.
A lot has happened in the past few months since the less-than-stellar numbers were revealed in the Washington Post/ABC News poll, which came out on Wednesday. For one, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts have gone into effect (Americans disapprove of it 53% to 39%) after Congress failed to hammer out a deal.
And now Republicans and Democrats are grappling with a new budget battle because the government is only funded through March 17. Not agreeing on a deal could mean a government shutdown.
In December, Obama's popularity reached a high-point, with 54% of the public trusting him to deal with the economy. That confidence contrasted in the public's trust in Republicans, which polled at 36% over the same time period. Now Obama’s advantage is just 4 points, 44% to 40%, according to the poll.
The approval rating for Dems as a whole has dipped five percentage points to 34% in the new survey. The approval rating for Republicans stayed the same at a meager 24%.
It isn’t entirely bad news, however. More Americans—47% blame the GOP for the sequester, compared to 33% who blame the president.
And the economy has been picking up steam. The latest job report, which came out last week, showed the unemployment rate hit a 4-year low of 7.7% and that businesses added 236,000 jobs—easily beating economists’ expectations.
It’s left some analysts asking—where’s Obama’s credit?
TheGrio.com’s Joy Reid recently told Hardball that there’s an “incentive structure within the Republican Party” which is now “so weighted on the side of constantly being against Barack Obama.” She pointed out that the GOP agreed to the thorny decision of raising taxes in January. “They don’t want to admit that in a slightly higher tax environment, jobs are being created,” she said.
For more on the budget battle, turn into Hardball tonight at 5 and 7 p.m. ET. We'll have Republican political strategist and msnbc analyst Steve Schmidt and Democratic strategist and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on to weigh in.