August 12, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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: