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Pro-con: Should Obama be concerned about poll numbers?

Having come into office with an ambitious agenda to remake America, President Obama is discovering that time is not his friend. According to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, Obama's approval rating has dropped by 9 percentage points from where it was when he first entered the White House six months ago, down to 55 percent. On its own, a 9-point drop over that period of time does not seem like a cause for much concern, especially when a majority of the country continues to approve of the job he is doing. But there are plenty of warning signs within the data, on its own and measured against other presidencies. A 55 percent approval rating at this point in his term puts him in 10th place overall among presidents who have served since Gallup began tracking presidential approval and disapproval in the 1940s. He is less popular than both Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were at the same period — and they both lost their bids for a second term. — Peter Roff, U.S. News & World Report

The latest U.S. opinion poll indicates President Obama's popularity has slipped. For the first time it is below 60 percent. This is neither surprising nor unexpected. Honeymoons inevitably end. Euphoria wears off and complacency sets in. No leader of any nation can be popular all the time. Not that the drop is a big deal. Obama's popularity is still such that if there were an election today he would win. The Obama administration does not want to get the unenviable reputation that the British government led by former Prime Minister Tony Blair eventually had — all packaging but no content. And beyond American shores, the rest of the world continues to have confidence in Obama's promise of change, both in U.S. policy and attitude. — Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, editorial