Barack Obama’s final press conference was framed by his weak poll numbers, “Was 2013 your worse year?”
He is slightly below where President Bush was at the start of his disastrous 2006 midterm election year, and Obama just hit his all-time high disapproval.
Projecting the impact of the President’s low approval today to November 4, 2014 has limitations. Ten months is several lifetimes in politics, and the advantage, as the few weeks between the government shutdown and the Obamacare rollout demonstrated, can shift quickly.
As this website has documented, politics is becoming more volatile in the age of polarization, with an increasing percentage of voters choosing independence and moving quickly between media covered events, foreign and domestic. Also, there has been a downward shift in voters’ opinions toward the federal government. Low regard today is not comparable to low regard in 2006 as President Bush approached his last midterm. For example, the metrics of right direction and wrong track and now the approval of Congress are double-digit lower.
See Sabato’s Crystal Ball: The threatening thirties