The Upshot

Obama loses more ground with independents

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Just last week, we told you about a Gallup poll that found President Obama’s approval rating among so-called independent voters at a historic low. Well, it has dropped again, hitting, yes, another historic low.

According to Gallup, just 38 percent of independent voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president. That’s the first time Obama’s rating among independents has dropped below 40 percent. Last week, he was at 42 percent approval. (By comparison: Obama was at 56 percent approval a year ago.)

Why is this a big deal? As we’ve written before, Obama owes his 2008 victory largely to swing independents. Over the last year, his ratings with the group have steadily dropped, along with the ratings of Democrats generally.

The good news for Obama is that he still has time to win them back before his 2012 election. That’s not the case for other Democrats, with surveys showing voters steadily swinging toward Republicans in advance of the November midterms.

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