When asked to choose the worst president in the history of America, a familiar name comes to mind. Even Democrats will remember the years of gas lines, energy shortages, inflation, unemployment, and hostages. I’m talking about the 39th president of the United States: Jimmy Carter. But now, a new report by Gallup reveals that Barack Obama has journeyed into Carter-like territory. In the history of their polling, no one has had a lower approval rating at this point in a presidential term than Obama.

As noted in the U.S. News blog Washington Whispers, “President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.” Here’s how Obama compares with other presidents:

— Obama: 43 percent.

— Harry S. Truman: 54 percent.

— Dwight Eisenhower: 78 percent.

— Lyndon B. Johnson: 44 percent.

— Richard M. Nixon: 50 percent.

— Ronald Reagan: 54 percent.

— George H.W. Bush: 52 percent.

— Bill Clinton: 51 percent.

— George W. Bush: 55 percent.

So how do things stand for our current president? According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, confidence in short-term economic growth remains at a record low.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of U.S. adults shows that just 27% believe the economy will be stronger in one year, showing no change from September and the lowest finding in regular tracking since early 2009. Prior to September, the number of adults expecting a stronger economy in a year’s time ranged from 31% to 45%.

Forty-eight percent (48%) expect the U.S. economy to be weaker a year from now, down slightly from September’s high of 52%. This finding remained in the 30s throughout 2009 and rose to the low 40s for much of 2010. Just 16% expect the economy to be about the same in a year’s time, while 10% more aren’t sure.

Remember the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid!”? Well… it IS the economy. And Obama has failed at it. In another Rasmussen Reports poll, 84% of likely voters “regard economic issues as Very Important.”

The number of voters who feel this way about the economy has remained fairly consistent since January 2008. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty percent (80%) say it’s not a good time to sell a home in their area. That’s a new high. This comes on top of data showing that only 16% of homeowners believe the value of their home will go up this year. Additionally, barely more than half believe their home is worth more than their mortgage.

As another sign of how people view the job Obama is doing, a generic Republican presidential candidate leads Obama in the race for the White House — 48% to 42%.

There is a lot of time between now and Election Day, but the economy is going no where fast. The key will be if voters actually think about what’s going on or simply react to some “hope and change” sound bite. Obama certainly does not deserve a second term. But will he get it?

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