Does Obama want Reagan/Clinton popularity levels? Probably not.

Upon hearing that Obama’s approval rating had dropped below 50 in nearly every major poll, I’ve read many Democrats deflect the plummeting rating by highlighting that Reagan went below even faster than Obama. Rich Galen does his part to make sure those same Democrats have something else to think about:

The Gallup folks announced that Obama’s approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in his Presidency (49-44). The track which was available last night measured the three-day period between November 17-19. From the Gallup website:

“Among post-World War II presidents, only Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan dropped below the symbolic majority approval level faster than Obama.”

Putting aside President Ford, let us remember what happened in the first mid-term elections of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

In 1982 – two years after Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter – Republicans lost 26 seats in the house (starting from a relatively weak minority, much as they have now). In 1994 – two years after Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush – the Democrats lost 52 seats and control of the House.

Clinton forced Democrats off the plank for a health care bill. Reagan oversaw unemployment numbers which touched 10.7 percent before it started back down.

Obama’s Democrats are facing both.

So, when Gallup points out that Obama is in about the same political position as Reagan and Clinton, don’t think 2012. Think 2010.