Approval ratings… what are they good for?


The most recent Gallup poll reported that President Obama’s approval rating sits at 49 percent as of January 26th; 43 percent disapprove of his job as commander in chief and the remaining 8 percent had no opinion. This comes on the heels of President Obama’s annual State of The Union Address.   

Though numbers don’t lie, the media and political analysis tend to place emphasis on the poll results and not enough on the subject at hand.

The approval ratings serve only as a subjective cover during a certain point in a president’s term. This alone is not a thorough measurement of the president’s accomplishments or failures with the given circumstances. If you want a fair judgment of the president, look to his policies, the economic status and the legislation he has passed. These are more reliable figures that show the overall picture rather than a one sided view.  

These polls have been used ever since the late 1930’s when the idea was introduced by George Gallup. They are merely assessment tools representing public opinion. We should take a closer look at what’s behind the numbers for a better understanding. Of those Americans that approve, 88 percent of Democrats were in favor, compared to a mere 23 percent of Republicans. Demographics are heavily involved when it comes to individual choice.

 Well here is my opinion: whether or not you choose to believe it, President Obama and his cabinet have made great gains since his inauguration in 2009. With the recession, high unemployment rates and a monumental national debt of $14 trillion, this country has certainly weathered the storm. It is quite impossible for any president to be met with complete satisfaction from the American people.

Regardless of the predicaments, President Obama already achieved many of the promises he made during his campaign. The passage of the Health Care Bill by legislation was his promise to ensure national health coverage; the repeal of the “Don’t ask don’t tell” military policy was proof that he stood by his word; a Student Loan Reform as well as the Stimulus Recovery and Reinvestment Act were many other major accomplishments.

                Despite achievements, the president and his staff have much work to do. Therefore, presidential approval ratings really don’t matter when it comes to making sound judgments regarding the president’s ability to govern and his role as commander-in-chief. It is our duty as Americans to educate ourselves on our local, state, and national governments. Be informed of the political landscape that shapes our society. Americans are far too dynamic to just rely on polls, and should asses the president’s job in its entirety.