Barack Obama and the No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Year

Generally, it is not awesome when presidents are compared to Richard Nixon:

President Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday.

Obama’s approval rating in the poll stands at 43%. By comparison, President George W. Bush had a 47% approval rating at the end of the fifth year of his presidency. And all other Post-World War II presidents had approval ratings above 50% — with the exception of Nixon, who, amid the Watergate scandal, had a dreadful 29% approval rating.

The brutal numbers underscore what has been something of a lost year for the President. His approval ratings have been plunging recently as a result of the botched implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the Washington Post/ABC poll, only 34% approve of how Obama is handling his signature health law’s implementation.

It gets worse for the president:

Following on the heels of other political groups, President Obama’sliberal base is abandoning him, giving him an even lower level of support from his base than George W. Bush had from conservatives five years into his presidency, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Just 54 percent of liberal Democrats strongly approve of Obama in their new poll. For Bush at this stage of his presidency, 65 percent of conservatives strongly supported the Republican.

Worse for Obama: Younger liberals have lost their thrill for Obama more than older liberals. Of those aged 18-49, just 46 percent strongly approve of the president, 39 percent “not so strongly,” said Pew.

Some 65 percent of older liberals approve of Obama “very strongly,” compared to 20 percent who chose “not so strongly.”

Generally, it is not awesome when presidents are compared unfavorably to George W. Bush.

Still more:

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll asked respondents whether they trust Obama or the Republicans in Congress to do a better job “coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years.” Forty-one percent said they trusted Obama. Forty-one percent said they trusted Republicans in Congress.

A year ago, when pollsters asked the same question, Obama won 50 to 35. That he’s now tied not just with Republicans, but with congressional Republicans two months after they shut down the government, shows how much damage the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act has done to perceptions of his administration’s competence.

Generally, it’s not awesome when anyone is compared unfavorably to congressional Republicans.