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November 2013 is likely to be remembered as the worst month of Barack Obama's presidency, that is, if he's lucky enough to stop the bleeding over the course of the next few weeks. Republicans, fresh off of what was perceived at the time as a historic misstep in shutting down the federal government to defund the Affordable Care Act, were handed a life-line with the disastrous healthcare.gov rollout, followed by nationwide cancellations of millions of people's health insurance.
What came next was predictable. The President's numbers remained steadily negative up until late last month, when they turned steeply southward.
The last non-daily tracking poll to find the President in single-digit negative territory was a GWU/Battleground poll from one month ago. No less than 6 separate surveys taken this month have shown his approval rating in the 30% range. And a recent CBS/NYT poll gave Obama the worst job approval rating of his presidency, in *any* poll.
Making things more difficult for the White House, a flurry of state polls indicate negative impressions of the President's job performance have filtered down to the states.
Consider the chart below of every state-based survey to test Obama's job rating since November 1, 2013 (approximately the period at which Obama's *national* ratings began to drop):
With relatively few exceptions, the President's numbers are quite poor, especially when compared to his performance against Mitt Romney in last year's general election. And when considering JUST the numbers taken over about the last two weeks, the picture gets even more grim, especially with respect to five swing-states with high profile Senate or Gubernatorial races in 2014: Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.
What does a term-limited President's job approval rating have to do with Democrat's chances in 2014? Sean Trend of Real Clear Politics recently concluded that, at least from an aggregate, national perspective, it matters a lot. But what kind of correlation, if any, is there between a President's state-based job approval rating, and that particular state's Senate or Gubernatorial midterm result? On the more micro level, the relationship between presidential approval and his or her party's midterm result gets murkier.