'Voter satisfaction' number in Carter territory
The percentage of Americans who are satisfied with the direction the country is headed is at it's lowest point since the presidency of George H.W. Bush.
Just 22% of the people express satisfaction with the way things are going.
It's February, nine months before a presidential election, and only 22 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going. Voters haven't been this unhappy with the country since George H.W. Bush's presidency, when only 21 percent of Americans reported being happy with the country's direction. And before that, the lowest was 19 percent during Jimmy Carter's first term.
What do the two presidencies have in common? Neither of them won re-election. And, if the trends holds true, Obama looks to be in an equally precarious situation. [Read about the 10 Worst Presidents.]
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research released its 2012 campaign outlook, and it's clear Obama's sitting in the same position George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were in during the February before their election losses--voters don't feel good about the country.
On the flip side, Presidents Clinton, Reagan, and George W. Bush all had at least 41% of Americans optimistic about the direction of the country.
How hard is it to turn that number around? Harder than it might seem. It isn't just a reflection of the poor economy, which won't improve drastically anyway. This is a statement of well being - a personal judgment that directly relates to their feelings about the guy in charge.
That number may go up a bit with a falling unemployment rate and slightly better economic growth and individual's economic circumstances improve. But there are so many other factors contributing to this low number that it's hard to see how Obama can improve it.