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“Ten incumbent presidents have sought re-election since World War II, and none has won a second term with final pre-election job approval ratings below 48 percent,” Gallup reminded us.

The last two presidents who lost their bids for a second term - Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 - had job-approval scores in the 30 percent range in the fall of the election year. “Thus, Obama’s challenge is not only to move his rating back above 40 percent, but also to push it close to or above 50 percent,” Gallup said.

“If the president is not able to turn around the negative momentum in his ratings during the fall months, it may be more and more difficult for him to do so as the presidential campaign begins in earnest next year,” Gallup added.

In his dispatch Monday on Mr. Obama’s Iowa visit, Washington Post reporter Zachary A. Goldfarb pointed out that “Obama’s bus tour is taking him to relatively prosperous areas of the region” where the jobless rate is less than the 9.1 percent national average.

The president may think he can avoid running into jobless workers in his campaign appearances, but they will find him on Election Day at the top of the ballot.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.