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8/12: Obama Approval Rating 55% … Loses Majority of Independents


8/12: Obama Approval Rating 55% … Loses Majority of Independents

While the Obama Administration is embroiled in a bitter battle to get a health care plan pushed through Congress, President Barack Obama is faring well, overall, in the eyes of a majority of voters.  However, the president’s job performance may have lost a bit of its luster for members of one key voting group for the first time since taking office.

55% of U.S. registered voters approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office while 35% say they disapprove.  The president has held his own in the court of public opinion during the last few months.  In The Marist Poll’s June survey, the president received a similar job approval rating — 56%.  These proportions are consistent with those Mr. Obama received in April.  In Marist’s April 27th and April 8th surveys, the president received kudos from 55% and 56% of voters, respectively.

But, is President Obama on a slippery slope with Independent voters?  Currently, 47% of Independents nationwide say they approve of the job the president is doing while 37% disapprove.  This is the first time Obama has lost a majority of Independents since taking office.  In June, 51% believed Obama was meeting their standards, and in Marist’s April 27th and April 8th surveys, 54% and 53%, respectively, thought this way.

There is also movement in the GOP camp.  Although a similar proportion of Republicans — 20% — currently approve of the president’s job performance compared with those in June — 23% — more members of the GOP disapprove of Mr. Obama now.  71% today say they are not pleased with the way the president is running the country.  61% shared this view in June.

Looking at the president’s own party, it’s not surprising that most Democrats — 90% — report that President Obama’s job performance is meeting their standards.  This proportion is little changed from Marist’s previous survey.

Although a majority of the U.S. electorate approves of President Obama’s job performance, the president fails to receive a majority of voters who believe he is changing the country for the better.  Half believe this to be the case while 31% say Mr. Obama is changing the nation for the worse.  15% of voters say he is not altering the country at all.  There has been little change on this question since Marist last asked it in June.

Table: Obama Approval Rating
Table: Direction President is Moving the Country

52% Approve of Economic Handling…Obama Does Not Own Economic Conditions

A slim majority of voters — 52% — say they approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy while 41% disapprove. Little has changed since The Marist Poll last asked this question in June.  At that time, 53% reported they agreed with the way the president is dealing with the nation’s turbulent economy while 41% did not.

There is a clear partisan divide on this issue.  83% of Democrats say they approve of Mr. Obama’s methods while just 18% of Republicans agree.  Similar proportions of Democrats and Republicans held these views in June.

As was the case with the president’s job approval rating, there has been a dip in support among Independent voters.  Currently, this group divides with 47% approving of the president’s handling of the economy and 45% disapproving.  In June, half of Independents supported President Obama’s economic tactics, and in early April, even more Independents thought well of Obama’s economic management.  At that time, 54% of Independents approved of Obama’s handling of the economy.

And, while many Republicans in Congress would like to place ownership of the economy and a host of other issues on President Obama’s plate, they may have a difficult time doing so when it comes to the nation’s financial situation.  Nearly three quarters of voters nationwide — 74% — think the president inherited today’s economic conditions while 18% say they are a result of the president’s own policies.  Even a majority of Republicans — 55% — currently report the president is not to blame for today’s economic conditions.

Table: Handling of the Economy
Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited

Country Moving In Right Direction, According to Half of U.S Residents

50% of Americans believe the nation is moving in the right direction while 42% think the country is on the wrong course.  These survey results are comparable to those found in Marist’s June survey.

Table: Right Direction or Wrong Direction of the Country?

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

Complete August 12, 2009 USA Release and Tables

Complete June 2009 USA Poll Tables

Obama Approval Rating Trend Table

8/14: Is the Economy Recovering?

The Marist Poll’s Lee Miringoff discusses the latest Obama numbers:

Miringoff discusses Obama’s approval rating when it comes to the economy on the Fox Business Network:

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    August 26, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    I think that the economic crisis we’re currently in has nothing to do with who our new president is. I think that he most certainly inherited this problem and and also too many American people are putting the blame on others when we should be blaming ourselves. Even the previous president , although didnt help much with our economy certainly didnt do it by himeself. I think that the American people need to stop passing the buck and take ownership of what we have created. So until we the American people face fact that this is now the world we have helped create. Living the cheapest and most affordable way in life right now is the best thing you can do.

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