While President Barack Obama's 43 percent job-approval rating on the poll results Gallup released Tuesday shows an improvement over the 40 percent score he got a few weeks earlier, his shot at winning re-election looks uncertain considering that at this point in his term, even presidential pariah Jimmy Carter did better.
Apart from Carter, the only other presidents who scored an average approval rating lower than Obama's at 49 percent were Gerald Ford and Harry Truman -- and just the latter won a second term.
One group of people who seem to have taken a particularly dim view of Obama are independent voters -- although 40 percent claimed to have been content with his handling of unemployment in January, only 30 percent told Gallup they felt the same way in the last week. Given that conservative Republicans had the most influence on the survey by making up 27 percent of the votes, the fact that just seven percent of them said they were confident about Obama's potential to create jobs offers little encouragement for the President with an election on the horizon.
Assuming the last Americans to leave Obama's support base will be the easiest for him to recapture in the coming months, the most important voters for Obama to target could be those on the center-right, said Gallup analyst Lydia Saad. His approval ratings were not especially high among pure independents and moderate/liberal Republicans to begin with, but as seen in January, they can help to supplement his Democratic base and push him near the electorally important 50 percent approval threshold.