8/24: Voters Divide Over President’s Performance Rating

Registered voters nationally divide about their overall assessment of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.  However, the president actually receives his highest approval rating, 47%, since April of 2013.  At that time, just half of the electorate, 50%, approved of how Obama was doing in office.  President Obama’s negative rating has also inched down.

On the specifics, Mr. Obama’s approval ratings on the economy, foreign policy, and his handling of ISIS remain upside down.  What does this all mean for President Obama’s legacy?  Mr. Obama receives mixed reviews.

Turning to the job performances of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress, fewer than one in five registered voters nationally, 19%, approves of how the Republicans in Congress are doing their job.  This is the lowest job approval rating the congressional GOP has received since the McClatchy-Marist Poll has been tracking this question, and it is a drop from 33% measured in the last McClatchy-Marist Poll in March.  The decreased level of satisfaction is due, in large part, to Republicans.  There has been a 24 point drop in the proportion of the GOP faithful who approve of how the congressional Republicans are doing their job.

While the Democrats in Congress fare better, their job approval rating is nothing to write home about.  Only 28% of voters give them high marks, little changed from their previous approval rating of 30% measured in March.

Taking a closer look at the nation’s involvement in the fight against ISIS, a majority of Americans support putting boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria to combat the Islamic State.  And on the question of sending ground troops to engage in the fight, 59% of residents, down from 65% in March, favor sending, at least, some ground troops.

And, do Americans want to increase the minimum wage?  The consensus is that a raise is warranted?

But, Americans’ attitudes about President Obama, Congress, the fight against ISIS, and pay rates play out against a backdrop of persistent dissatisfaction with the direction of the nation.

Complete August 24, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Measuring Americans Attitudes about President Barack Obama

Poll points:

  • President Obama’s, overall, approval rating is at 47% among registered voters, the highest score the president has received in more than two years.  The same proportion, 47%, disapproves.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in March, the president’s approval rating was upside down, 46% to 50% (Trend).
  • 47% of voters have a favorable impression of President Obama while 48% have an unfavorable one.  Earlier this year, a majority, 52%, had a negative view of the president (Trend).
  • 50% of voters nationally disapprove of how President Obama is handling the economy while 45% approve.  In March, the same proportions of voters had these views (Trend).
  • A majority of voters, 54%, little changed from March, disapprove of how President Obama is handling foreign policy (Trend).
  • A majority of voters, 54%, are also dissatisfied with how the president is dealing with ISIS.  This is little changed from March when 56% had this opinion.
  • When it comes to President Obama’s legacy, many Americans do not think his legacy will be overly positive.  While 32% of Americans believe Mr. Obama will be considered either one of the best presidents, 10%, or an above average one, 22%, 28% say he will be thought of as “about average.”  Nearly four in ten residents, 38%, report his presidency will be either below average, 17%, or will be remembered as one of the nation’s worst, 21%.

Views of the GOP in Congress Hit Rock Bottom

The job approval rating of the Republicans in Congress is at an all-time low.  In fact, nearly seven in ten registered voters nationally disapprove of how they are doing their job.  The Democrats in Congress do not receive positive marks either, but they are rated higher than their Republican counterparts.

  • Less than one in five voters, 19%, approves of how the Republicans in Congress are doing their job.  68% disapprove.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in March, 33% thought well of them (Trend).  The congressional GOP has lost favor in the eyes of its own party.  36% of Republicans, down from 60% earlier this year, rate the job performance of the Republicans in Congress positively.  There has also been a drop in their approval rating among independents from 28% in March to 19% now.
  • 28% of voters, little changed from 30% previously, approve of the job performance of the Democrats in Congress (Trend).

Majority of Americans Supports Increased U.S. Involvement in the Fight against ISIS

51% of Americans favor sending more U.S. troops to Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS.  Nearly six in ten support the inclusion of at least some ground troops in the fight.

Poll points:

Increase the Minimum Wage?

Close to seven in ten Americans, 68%, either strongly favor, 30%, or favor, 38%, raising the minimum wage.

Poll points:

  • Most Democrats, 92%, and nearly two-thirds of independents, 65%, favor increasing the minimum wage.  Even 37% of Republicans agree.

Cloud of Pessimism Shrouds the Direction of the Country

Many Americans continue to have a downbeat attitude about the direction of the nation.

Poll points:

  • 60% of residents nationally think the nation is moving in the wrong direction.  A similar proportion, 59%, had this view in March (Trend).

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables