The current level of satisfaction is now similar to what it was in early August 1992 (17%), prior to George H.W. Bush’s re-election defeat. It is significantly lower than what it was in mid-August 1996 (38%) and mid-August 2004 (44%), years in which incumbents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, were re-elected.
The reason for the dissatisfaction is described in a piece by the usually liberal Associated Press which points to the fact that despite the fact the progressives believe Obama’s policies are working; this is “the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression.”
Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.
More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting, too: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation….The AP compared nine economic recoveries since the end of World War II that lasted at least three years. A 10th recovery that ran from 1945 to 1948 was not included because the statistics from that period aren’t comprehensive, although the available data show that hiring was robust. There were two short-lived recoveries — 24 months and 12 months — after the recessions of 1957-58 and 1980.