(CNN) – President Obama is busy trying to convince voters that Democratic incumbents deserve to keep their jobs, but a new poll out Thursday suggests a majority of Americans doesn’t think he deserves to keep his.
According to the survey from Gallup, only 39 percent of Americans say the president deserves to be re-elected while 54 percent think he should join the ill-fated ranks of one-term presidents.
Those numbers may be an ominous sign for the White House, which is expected to step up its re-election efforts shortly after the midterm election season is over.
But similar Gallup polling of past presidents suggests a lot can happen in two years to change public perception. After all, at this point in 2002, 62 percent of Americans said former President George Bush deserved reelection as the country resoundingly unified around the president in the months following the September 11 attacks.
But two years later, amid a war that was growing increasingly unpopular, Bush eked out only a narrow victory over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
And at this time in 1994 – amid a struggling economy and legislative failures - only 38 percent of Americans said former President Bill Clinton deserved a second term. Clinton of course went on to win re-election easily two years later.
Moreover, in 1990, former President George H.W. Bush's reelection seemed all but certain given his high approvals at that time.
The latest Gallup poll surveyed 1,029 adults by telephone from October 14 to 17 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in August found similar numbers for the president when it comes to 2012: against an unnamed Republican candidate, that poll had the president losing by 5 points 50-45 percent.