Washington: Despite his declining approval ratings at the end of his first year in the office, President Barack Obama is likely to bounce back through Wednesday’s State of the Union Address, a political scientist has predicted.
UIndy’s Carrie Cihasky, a political science instructor at the University of Indianapolis, expects Obama to mount a strong defence of his policies through Wednesday’s address.
“Obama has an opportunity on Wednesday to play to his strengths and get his agenda back on track. I think we’ll hear a major push for healthcare reform,” Newswise quoted Cihasky, as saying.
She added that a president’s numbers typically decline over time not only during the first year, but also, throughout his time in office.
In Obama’s case, according to Gallup, overall job approval has dropped from 68 percent to 50 percent in the past year.
However, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton after the first year were at 50 and 49 percent, respectively, and they went on to win second terms, she pointed out
Obama, whose approval rating on economic matters has dropped below 40 percent, may see the same lift as his term continues. Interestingly, his job approval on terrorism and foreign affairs has risen to 49 percent, even after the nearly successful Christmas Day bomb plot.
Perhaps the greatest concern for Obama, Cihasky says, is the 37 percent approval of his efforts to reform health care, a signature issue of his campaign.
But Obama should use the State of the Union to “go public,” she says, taking his agenda directly to citizens in order to shift public opinion and sway Congress.
“A major strength for Obama is his ability to relate to people on a personal level. In today’s media age, style matters as much as substance. The President should use that to his advantage,” she says.