According to latest returns, Obama captured 50.4% of the popular
vote. His job approval rating going into Election Day, according to
the Clarus Average, was 50%.

Obama's approval rating held steady at 50% between Oct. 30 and Nov.
6, not varying one point. Polls taken during the entire month of
 October -- with its campaign ups and downs, attention-getting debates
 and a massive natural disaster -- showed the president's job approval 
rating at about 50%, never dipping below 49%.

Even when Clarus poll averages reported Romney a couple of points
 ahead of the incumbent in mid-October, with the GOP challenger
 working his way out of a slump and gathering new momentum, Obama's
 job rating stood stubbornly at 50%.

In the end, no matter what either campaign did, this race was a
 referendum on Obama's job performance. Ironically, that's what 
Republicans always wanted and Democrats always feared. 

Now we know.

Faucheux is president of Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan polling company, and he teaches at George Washington University.