What could be worse for President Obama than having a lower approval rating than his predecessor George W. Bush ? It sounds too crazy to be true, but recent polling suggests that embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford actually has a slightly higher job approval rating than Obama.
The New York Daily News makes the comparison between the two political figures, noting that in a new Forum Research Poll , Ford has a 42 percent approval rating from Toronto voters. That gives him a one-point edge over Obama’s 41 percent approval rating in the most recent Gallup poll.
Of course, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that Rob Ford is more popular that President Obama. First of all, the polls were conducting by different agencies, so it’s far from precise to say a head-to-head comparison is by any means scientific.
Secondly, we’re talking two men in different countries, with different jobs. And while Toronto is Canada’s largest city, it’s still only a population of around 2.6 million, compared to more than 300 million people living in the U.S.
Also, Ford is facing calls to step down from his position, with 60 percent of Toronto voters in the Forum Research Poll saying he should resign, even as less than half of the same voters favor a recall.
Nonetheless, the polling comparison is just another example of how much recent events including the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act website has hurt Obama’s standing with the public , as his approval has fallen by an average of six points in the month and a half since the site first went live.
Although at least one polling expert says troubles with implementing the health care law aren’t actually the biggest factor in Obama’s recent stumbles .
"The real damage came in June, when reports about NSA spying and IRS treatment of conservative groups caused an eight-point drop in his approval rating - a far more significant change than what the numbers from October suggest," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.