Poll: Obama Approval Shows Post-Election Decline

President Barack Obama's approval rating has declined since reelection, bringing him close to President George W. Bush's performance early in his second term, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday.

Just 47 percent of Americans said they approved of Obama, down 4 points from last month and 8 points since December.

There's plenty of precedent for such a decline: The last three presidents have all seen their approval ratings bounce higher after reelection before settling back to earth. Obama's fall fits the pattern, although his numbers have dropped more steeply than those of his predecessors.

Approval of Obama has declined by more than 10 points since December among both Democrats and independents. A majority of independents now disapprove, while three-quarters of Democrats still give him the thumbs up. Republicans, who overwhelmingly disapproved of the president even at the height of his popularity, showed no significant shift in opinion.

The percentage of Americans identifying as Republicans in the Pew Research poll also rose slightly in the last month, while the percentage calling themselves independent fell to its lowest level since the election.

Other polling has also found Obama's approval rating dropping since his second inauguration.

The Pew poll surveyed 1,501 adults using live telephone interviews between March 13 and 17.



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