For the second time this week, a reliable pollster shows President Obama's approval rating falling below 50 percent. On Wednesday, it was Quinnipiac; now, it's Gallup. This new survey will likely prove the more symbolically important of the two, due to Gallup's long history and the weight it's given.
49 percent of respondents in Gallup's poll said they approve of the job Obama's doing, compared to 44 percent who disapprove. According to the pollster, Obama's fall below the 50 percent threshold is the fourth fastest of all the presidents in the post-World War II era. Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton beat him to the mark.
That said, the value of these numbers is mostly symbolic, and if history's any guide, it's likely that he'll be back up over 50 percent soon. But this kind of data has a way of scaring members of Congress who are unsure about whether or not to back the president.