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Obama ranks low compared to recent incumbents

In comparison to recent incumbents running for re-election, President Barack Obama's 46% approval ranks above only Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford -- who both lost their re-election bids -- in November of the year before an election. Most incumbents who were re-elected had an approval rating above 50% a year before the election. But George W. Bush, at 50%, and Richard Nixon, at 49%, also won re-election, and Bush's father George H.W. Bush had a 56% approval rating yet lost to Bill Clinton the following year.