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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Link between Presidential Approval and Midterm Election Results

Public Opinion Strategies has begun a series a briefs exploring the link between presidential approval and party performance in midterm elections. The findings thus far pretty interesting. According to the first report: "If the President’s approval rating was 60% or higher, the President’s party picked up an average of 1 seat. If the approval rating was between 50 and 59%, the average loss was 12 seats. Finally, if the President’s approval rating was below 50%, the average loss was 41 seats (one seat more than the 40 seats GOPers need to win back control of the House)."

The most recent approval rating average from Real Clear Politics places President Obama in a real danger zone - 47.6% - and the overal trend is clear. Three of the most recent five polls have Obama at 46% or 45% and he scores no better than 51% in the other two.  The question for observers of the 2010 election is whether the President's approval rating can recover. Democrats need the president to get back above 50% or better, Republican prospects hinge on his approval rating staying where it is.