3rd World America: Is middle class abandoning Obama?


If the middle class has been abandoned, and Obama is partly to blame, is the middle class abandoning him? Politicians on the left and right are abandoning the middle class and betraying the American Dream says Arianna Huffington in “Third World America.” All week we’ve been discussing her warning that America could be on the path to third-world status. (Scroll down on the right to see earlier posts from this week.)

The middle class is ailing and getting squeezed, as I discussed yesterday. Many do feel abandoned and betrayed, and the current administration is an easy and visible target. Is the middle class abandoning Obama? One way to answer is by looking at trends in presidential job approval. Gallup has been surveying Americans about this since Harry Truman.

I took a look at their facts and figures for Obama, focusing on one indicator of class—household income. Just about everyone loved Obama in January 2009, according to Gallup: 73% of Americans in the lowest income group ($24,000 a year or less) approved, as did 66% of those in the highest group ($90,000 or more). 

We all know the trend has been generally downward since. But it has not fallen as fast for all income groups.  Job approval ratings for those with the lowest incomes fell by 20%, with the majority still giving approval of his job performance. The biggest drop was the highest income group—a 24% decline. Job approval ratings by Americans between the highest and lowest income groups fell by 20%.

Who else still loves Obama? According to Gallup, Democrats, liberals and moderates, racial minorities, Easterners, the young, and those who don’t regularly attend religious services love him more; Republicans, conservatives, Southerners, whites, and those who regular attend church love him less.

What’s your take on these facts and figures?

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