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2/8: Obama Approval Rating Below 50% … Disapproval Among Majority of Independents


2/8: Obama Approval Rating Below 50% … Disapproval Among Majority of Independents

Fewer registered voters nationwide — 44% — currently approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance than disapprove — 47%.  When Marist last asked about the president’s approval rating in December, 46% thought well of Obama’s job performance while 44% gave him low marks.

Barack Obama

Click Here for Complete February 8, 2010 USA Poll Release & Tables

Perhaps, particularly concerning for Mr. Obama is the drop in support among Independents.  For the first time since taking office, a majority of Independents — 57% — disapproves of how he is doing in the role.  29% approve, and 14% are unsure.

Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans are polarized.  81% of Democrats approve of the president’s job performance while a similar proportion of Republicans — 80% — disapproves.

“If attracting Independents and bipartisanship are the aim, then the president clearly has a lot of ground to cover in year two,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Table: Obama Approval Rating

Disappointer in Chief?

47% of registered voters nationwide report President Obama has fallen below their expectations.  42% say he has met their expectations while just 7% think he has exceeded them.  Slightly more members of the electorate currently think the president has let them down compared with Marist’s December survey.  At that time, 42% thought Mr. Obama missed the mark while 44% said he met their expectations.  9% reported Obama surpassed their expectations.

Majorities within both parties walk the partisan line here.  57% of Democrats report the president has met their expectations while 65% of Republicans see him as falling short.  While these proportions are little changed from December, Independents’ impressions of the president have slipped.  53% of Independents report Mr. Obama has not risen to the occasion.  This compares with 43% who thought he had fallen below their expectations in Marist’s December survey.

Table: Obama Meeting Expectations?

On the Promise of Change …

President Obama campaigned on the promise of change, but is the change he has created an improvement?  American voters now divide.  38% think the direction in which Mr. Obama is moving the country is for the worse, and 37% believe he is changing the nation for the better.  22% say there has been no change at all, and 3% are unsure.

In Marist’s last survey, a plurality of the electorate — 44% — thought Obama was changing the country for the better.  35% disagreed and thought he was making things worse.  18% said the president had not brought about any change, and 3% were unsure.

Impressions have shifted across party lines.  Democrats have become less positive and Independents have become more negative.  Looking at Democrats, 69% report the president is improving the nation compared with 76% who thought so two months ago.

Independents who were previously divided have soured toward Mr. Obama.  45% today report the president is changing the country for the worse while 26% think the opposite is true.  In Marist’s previous survey, 36% saw him as making a positive impact on the nation, and the same proportion — 36% — believed he was negatively altering the country.  63% of Republicans view the change Mr. Obama is making as negative.

Table: Direction President is Moving the Country

Obama Still Favorable, BUT…

50% of voters nationwide have a favorable impression of President Obama while 44% have an unfavorable view of him.  6% are unsure.  Although Mr. Obama’s favorability rating is still positive, it has dropped since Marist’s December survey.  Then, 55% thought well of the president, and 41% did not.  4% were unsure.

The president’s favorability rating has moved little among Democrats and Republicans, but it has slipped among Independents.  In fact, a majority — 52% — have an unfavorable view of Mr. Obama compared with 43% two months ago.

Table: Obama Favorability

The Good News?  Economic Conditions Still Viewed as “Inherited”

62% of registered voters still believe today’s current economic conditions are mostly inherited from the Bush Administration while 29% say they are a result of Obama’s own policies.  9% are unsure.  These proportions are relatively unchanged since Marist’s last survey.

“With this part of voters’ mindset, it’s no wonder the White House would like to make 2010 a choice between President Obama and past GOP policies,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.  “Not a referendum on the president.”

Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited

And, In a VERY Hypothetical Matchup …

Looking at a three-way 2012 presidential contest between President Obama, former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Obama receives 44% of the vote, Republican Palin garners 29%, and Independent Bloomberg nets 15%.

A Bloomberg candidacy helps Mr. Obama’s cause.  Although Palin receives majority support — 57% — from the GOP, Bloomberg snatches 20% of the vote within the party.  Among Democrats, Bloomberg only receives 4%.  Democrats are firmly behind Obama with 84% tossing their support to him.  Looking at Independents, 31% back Obama, and 27% support Palin.  24% report they would cast their ballot for Bloomberg.

Table: Hypothetical 2012 Presidential Matchup: Obama/Palin/Bloomberg

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

2/8: Congressional Incumbents, Beware!  Voters Divide Over 2010 Candidates

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  1. Prestiti

    March 12, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    “62% of registered voters still believe today’s current economic conditions are mostly inherited from the Bush Administration” A very good news!

  2. Mr. Mooney

    June 25, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    we def. need someone new I just hope it not herman kain

  3. Thom Noble

    April 28, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    i dont really think it matters who we have in office

  4. Jake

    January 5, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Lets face it. He is not going to be relected next election which is a shame because he has been the best US president by far in my short life time.


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  5. Travis

    September 3, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    his approval rating has collapsed recently, here is a joke I saw about presidential approval ratings,

  6. Al Pippin

    February 10, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    EARTH TO OBAMA – EARTH TO OBAMA – Gee, I guess theres no intelligent life out there.

    That is precisely how I feel about this intellectual midget that we, as Americans, call our President. He (Obama) can’t seem to grasp what is happening right in front of his own face. Amazing! He has fallen further, faster in his poll approval ratings than any other President in modern times – and is continuing to fall. His chances for re-election in 2012 are looking highly unlikely – if not impossible. His Democratic) party is coming apart at the seams and will be slaughtered in the Fall – and most likely well beyond. His supporters are looking and sounding more and more oblivious to reality, if not downright stupid, by the day. Good grief. doesn’t anyone – ANYONE on the left (of center) GET IT??? I guess not!

  7. Vince

    February 9, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    It is not Obama’s fault because of the housing and banking mess that he inherited. The people who ran Fannie and Freddie are to blame. Barnie Frank made this mess and George Bush is at fault because he didn’t stop it.

    Obama is trying hard to fix the economy, but he has never been President before and it is a much harder job than he thought it would be. He also has a lot of work to do with giving us free health care and the Republicans aren’t helping him neither.

    We should want to help Obama because he is trying the Stimulous.

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