July 23, 2013
7/23: Obama Approval Rating Lowest in Almost Two Years
McClatchy/Marist National Poll
Slightly more than four in ten registered voters nationally — 41% — approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. 48% disapprove, and 11% are unsure. The president’s job approval rating is his lowest since September 2011 when 39% of voters gave him high marks, a majority — 52% — disapproved of his job performance, and 9% were unsure.
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“There’s plenty of bad news to go around for President Obama and Congress” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “The driving force is that, by two to one, Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction, and they see Washington in gridlock.”
Obama’s current approval rating marks a 9 percentage point drop since the last time McClatchy-Marist reported this question. In April, 50% of voters thought well of how the president was doing his job, 46% disapproved, and 4% were unsure.
- Among independent voters, the president’s performance rating has declined 17 percentage points since April. Currently, 30% of independents approve of the job President Obama is doing in office. 59% disapprove, and 10% are unsure. In April, independent voters divided. 47% approved, 47% disapproved, and 6% were unsure.
- The president’s job approval has also dipped among Democrats. 76% give the president high marks, 15% disapprove, and 8% are unsure. In April, 84% of Democrats applauded how President Obama was doing in office. 12% thought he fell short, and 4% were unsure.
- Among Republicans, 76% disapprove of the president’s job performance. 14% approve, and 10% are unsure. This compares with 87% who gave the president low marks in April. 12% of Republicans thought well of Mr. Obama’s performance as president, and 2% were unsure.
When it comes to President Obama’s favorability, voters now divide. 47% have a positive impression of the president while 46% have an unfavorable view. Seven percent are unsure. In McClatchy-Marist’s April survey, a majority — 53% — thought well of the president. 45% had an unfavorable view of him, and 2% were unsure.
Table: President Obama Approval Rating
Table: President Obama Approval Rating (Over Time)
Table: President Obama Favorability
Table: President Obama Favorability (Over Time)
Plurality Disapproves of Obama’s Handling of Foreign Policy… Low Marks Continue on Economy
On the specifics of Mr. Obama’s job performance, 48% of registered voters nationally disapprove of how he is handling foreign policy. This compares with 41% who approve of how he is dealing with foreign affairs, and 10% who are unsure.
Many voters have soured on how the president is dealing with foreign policy. In McClatchy-Marist’s April survey, voters divided. 48% approved of the way Mr. Obama took on foreign policy. 46% disapproved, and 6% were unsure.
A majority of voters still disapprove of how the president is handling the economy. 56% give the president low marks on the economy. 37% approve, and 7% are unsure. In McClatchy-Marist’s April survey, 53% of voters thought the president’s approach toward the economy was lacking. 44% believed it was on target, and 2% were unsure.
Table: Handling Foreign Policy
Table: Handling Foreign Policy (Over Time)
Table: President Obama’s Handling of the Economy
Table: President Obama’s Handling of the Economy (Over Time)
Congressional Approval Ratings Still Scraping Bottom
The Republicans and Democrats in Congress have yet to win over the national electorate. About one-third of voters — 33% — approve of the job performance of Congressional Democrats, 57% disapprove, and 10% are unsure. Three months ago, 32% of registered voters gave the Democrats in Congress high marks. 62% thought they fell short, and 6% were unsure.
The Republicans in Congress fare even worse. 22% of registered voters approve of how they are doing their job. 66% disapprove, and 12% are unsure. There has been little change on this question. In McClatchy-Marist’s April survey, only 24% of voters thought highly of the Congressional GOP’s job performance. 71% thought they fell short, and 6% were unsure.
Table: Congressional Democrats’ Approval Rating
Table: Congressional Democrats’ Approval Rating (Over Time)
Table: Congressional Republicans’ Approval Rating
Table: Congressional Republicans’ Approval Rating (Over Time)
About Two-Thirds of Americans Want Compromise
65% of adults nationally want government officials to compromise to find solutions. 27%, though, think it is more important for those in government to stand on principle even if gridlock occurs. Eight percent are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views.
When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in March, more than seven in ten U.S. residents — 71% — said compromise was more important than standing on principle. 24% thought the opposite to be the case. Five percent were unsure.
Table: Better to Compromise to Find Solutions or Stand on Principle?
Fewer Americans View Nation on the Right Path
Optimism about the direction of the United States has declined. Three in ten Americans — 30% — report the nation is moving in the right direction. 60% think it is traveling in the wrong direction, and 11% are unsure.
The proportion of adults nationally who say the country is on the correct course is at its lowest point since November 2011. At that time, 25% of U.S. residents believed the country was on track. 70% thought the nation needed a new compass, and 4% were unsure.
When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in April, 38% said the country’s trajectory was on the mark. 58% believed the nation needed to be re-directed, and 4% were unsure.
Among registered voters nationally, 62% say the country is moving in the wrong direction. This compares with 28% who believe it is on the proper path. 10% are unsure.
- Among independents, 22% think the country is on the right course. Three months ago, 31% held this view.
- While 55% of Democrats believe the nation is on the right track, more than six in ten — 64% — had this opinion in April.
- Looking at Republicans, only 10% say the nation is moving in the right direction, unchanged from McClatchy-Marist’s previous survey in April.
Table: Right or Wrong Direction of the Country
Table: Right or Wrong Direction of the Country (Over Time)