Barack Obama began the first week of his presidency with nearly 70 percent of the American public approving of his early job performance. One month later, while Obama’s approval rating has dipped by double-digit margins in many states, Minnesotans are sticking behind the man they elected president on November 4th.

SurveyUSA’s second round of polling across 14 states in late February showed many previously undecided residents quickly making up their mind about Obama’s performance as president since the organization’s first poll conducted in late January – and not in the president’s favor.

The number of respondents who had not yet formed an opinion about Obama’s performance across all states surveyed dropped from 13 percent in January to just 5 percent in February. In between, Obama signed into law the controversial American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – legislation that unified nearly all Republicans on Capitol Hill in opposition to the purported stimulus package.

Approval for Obama declined from 68 percent in January to 59 percent in February across the 14 states polled by SurveyUSA: Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Support dropped by double digits in five of these states, including Wisconsin (-10 points) and the Democratic strongholds of California (-14) and Massachusetts (-12).

In Minnesota, however, approval of Obama’s performance fell by only 2 points during the past month – from 64 to 62 percent – the smallest drop for Obama in any of the 14 states polled by SurveyUSA.

Those respondents expressing disapproval of Obama’s job performance increased from 19 percent to 35 percent overall, and in double-digits in each state surveyed, with the lowest increases occurring in Iowa (+10 points) and Minnesota (+11), where 32 percent of Hawkeye and Gopher State residents do not approve of his work as president.

Minnesota (-13 points) and Iowa (-15) also had the lowest net approval drop for the president – far below the 14-state average of 23.9 points.

Change in Obama Job Approval Rating, January-February 2009

State
January
February
Approval change
Net approval change
Minnesota
64
62
-2
-13
Iowa
68
63
-5
-15
Kentucky
62
57
-5
-17
Washington
69
64
-5
-20
New Mexico
65
59
-6
-18
Oregon
68
61
-7
-21
Virginia
62
54
-8
-27
Kansas
62
54
-8
-21
New York
78
70
-8
-22
Wisconsin
70
60
-10
-29
Alabama
60
48
-12
-33
Massachusetts
78
66
-12
-30
California
77
63
-14
-32
Missouri
65
51
-14
-36
Average
68
59
-8.3
-23.9

Note: SurveyUSA polling data compiled by Smart Politics.