Monday, September 24, 2012

Hollande's (Dis)Approval Rating

A president should of course ignore his or her approval rating. The public is fickle, and short-term thinking is a sure recipe for failure. But France2 reported last night that Hollande's approval had fallen 11 points in the month of August, from 54% positive to 43%. His fall from his post-election high of 67% positive is the fastest on record. Sarkozy at this point in his presidency was still above 50, and he did not drop to 43 until after the "casse-toi pauvre con" incident, almost 9 months into his term (after which, to be sure, he never recovered).

Clearly, "normality" is not enough, and not being Sarkozy is not enough. There is a danger to winning an election because the electorate is disenchanted with the incumbent, as first Obama and now Hollande have discovered. There is an expectation of improvement that comes simply from the fact that the thorn has been removed. But when the thorn has caused an infection, positive action needs to be taken, and if it isn't, the hurt only grows worse, and is magnified by disappointment.

1 comment:

the carnage report said...

While I agree that candidates' can run into difficulties when their election win owes more to discontent of the former incumbent than his or hers ideas, Obama was different as voters were ready to make history as much as they were to prepared to see another republican in office. While Hollande approval may slide, he is very important in the context of Europe as he opposes the austerity measures used widely across the continent to battle debt and fiscal management.Hollande may be an unpopular president but can be the crucial factor as Hollande and Obama seek a growth agenda to combat recession in Europe and beyond.