The honeymoon is over for President Obama, as a Gallup poll released this morning shows that his approval rating fell in all 50 states over his second year in office when compared to the first one. Yet a closer look at the results reveals that Obama isn't really in such a dire position as that statistic alone makes it seem.
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Yes, Obama's average approval rating was lower in every state last year than it was the year before. But that mainly reflects his approval rating having leveled off after the post-inaugural highs he enjoyed at the start of 2009.
At the time of his inauguration, Obama boasted a sparkling 66% approval rating nationwide, according to Gallup. Almost without exception, Gallup has found presidential approval ratings dipping after an inauguration, as presidents moved from campaigning to governing. Soon after his inauguration, Ronald Reagan's approval shot up to nearly 70%; at the end of year two, it was hovering around 40%.