Ronald Reagan used to be called the "Teflon President" because nothing ever stuck to him. But a new analysis by Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport suggests that the Gipper's moniker has been passed to President Obama.
Newport says that Obama's job approval rating has hovered in the mid-40s, higher than the ratings of former Presidents Reagan and Clinton when they faced economic turmoil in their first term. But while it was easy to peg their drop to the mid-30s in job approval polls to the slumping economy, Newport said today that he doesn't know why Obama has stayed so high through similar economic calamities.
"Obama might be over-performing," he says, noting that his approval rates are unusually high when compared to the low satisfaction rating the public has of the economy and state of the nation. Right now, only 16 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the nation.
Newport, who spoke at a newsmaker breakfast, says he's preparing a formal analysis of Obama's luck in the polls, but suggested two reasons for Obama's consistent ratings.
First, he believes that Obama has a "rock hard" coalition that will back him no matter what happens in the economy, something neither Reagan or Clinton had. And he believes that the public genuinely likes him and that is keeping his job approval rating at about 44 percent.