Obama in trouble in a key swing state

The president's approval rating drops below 50 percent in Ohio

By Alex Koppelman
Published July 7, 2009 9:25PM (EDT)

Bad news for President Obama, and for Ohio Democrats: The president's approval rating in that pivotal swing state has fallen to 49 percent, according to a Quinnipiac survey released Tuesday.

Obviously, Obama's approval rating this far out from the next presidential election, and even the 2010 midterms, isn't a great predictor of anything. But it does appear to be a sign of how the nation's economic woes are beginning to affect him politically, and the hit he and other Democrats could take if the economy doesn't start to show real improvement soon.

So far, the White House is dismissing the poll as an outlier, saying more data is needed. That's a fair point, obviously, but there's more support for this result than the Obama team wants to admit. This is part of a trend in Quinnipiac's polling of Ohio -- Obama's approval rating has been dropping fast in their surveys in that state -- and at the end of last month, Public Policy Polling had the president's approval at 51 percent.

Nationally, Obama's still doing well, with Real Clear Politics' average of his approval rating as measured by various pollsters holding at 58 percent. But the states individually matter much more than any national polling.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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