Early June readings suggest more of the same for this month
PRINCETON, NJ -- After three months of improving job approval ratings for President Barack Obama, his rating held at 44% in May, unchanged from the previous month.
The latest monthly average is based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 15,000 U.S. adults throughout May. Obama's disapproval rating in May was 51%, also identical to April's level.
Until May, Obama had been enjoying a sustained recovery from the sharp decline in approval in 2013. That recovery may have been aided by the administration's recent reported successes in hitting its healthcare enrollment targets under the Affordable Care Act, although the law itself remains unpopular.
Obama's approval rating dipped to 43% in several of Gallup's three-day averages last week, but was 45% in Friday-to-Sunday interviewing, and averaged 44% for the first full week of June.
The end of the monthly increases in Obama's approval rating, at least for the moment, may be encouraging to Republicans hoping to run against a weak president in this fall's midterm elections. Additionally, the leveling off has occurred even as economic confidence, as measured by Gallup, is slightly better than it was earlier this year, which might have been expected to help Obama.
Still, Obama's steady approval rating could be a sign of remarkable resilience, given the scrutiny the administration is under regarding the Veterans Affairs scandal, a decline in U.S. GDP in the first quarter, and now questions about the prisoner swap with the Taliban that enabled the return of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Writing for The Washington Post, Republican strategist Ed Rogers put the challenges facing Obama in even stronger terms, describing the week ending May 30 as "the worst week of the Obama presidency." Thus far, Obama's "worst week" does not appear to have materially affected his overall job approval rating. At least the challenges working against his approval rating may have been offset by improved economic confidence -- something that would normally be expected to help lift presidential approval -- thus keeping him at par.
Explore President Obama's approval ratings in depth and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 1-31, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 15,724 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.