June 8, 2009
6/8: Majority Lauds Obama’s Overall Job Performance
56% of registered U.S. voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance. The president’s approval rating has remained consistent during the past two months. When The Marist Poll asked this question in its April 27th and April 8th surveys, Mr. Obama received 55% and 56% approval ratings, respectively. However, fervor among younger voters has died down. In those previous polls, 18 to 29 year olds tipped the scales toward the president’s positive approval ratings with his rating among this group in the seventies. The current proportion of voters within this age group who approve of President Obama’s performance — 61% — is just slightly higher than registered voters in general.
While a majority of the electorate approves of President Obama’s overall job performance, there may be a crack in his presidential armor. Just less than half of registered voters describe the direction in which the president is moving the country as change for the better. This is a slight drop from Marist’s April 8th survey when 54% of voters described the president’s course this way.
Table: Direction President Obama is Moving the Country
Support for Sotomayor
As Judge Sonia Sotomayor makes the rounds on Capitol Hill, a majority of registered voters nationwide approves of President Barack Obama’s nomination of her as U.S. Supreme Court Justice. 54% hold this view compared with 28% of voters who disapprove of the nomination. A notable proportion of voters — 18% — are unsure.
However, partisan politics do come into play. 81% of Democrats approve of Sotomayor’s nomination while just 25% of Republicans do. 54% of Independents agree.
Table: Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor
Economic Crisis in Good Hands, Says Majority of Voters
53% of registered voters nationwide approve of the way in which President Barack Obama is handling the country’s economic crisis. 39% disapprove, and 8% are unsure. These findings are consistent with Marist’s previous polls. In its April 27th survey, The Marist Poll found that 55% of the national electorate approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economic crisis. Earlier that month, 57% shared this view.
The perception of how President Obama is managing the economic crisis mirrors the electorate’s overall view of how the president is handling the economy. The same proportion — 53% — approve of his policy while 41% disapprove. This is comparable to Marist’s finding two months ago when 54% of voters agreed with Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy.
Voters also continue to view the nation’s current economic conditions as something President Obama inherited. 74% believe this to be the case compared with 18% who think today’s economic conditions are mostly the result of the president’s policies.
Table: Handling of the Economic Crisis
Table: Handling of the Economy
Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited
Majority Approve of Foreign Policy…Drop in Support Among Independent Voters
Looking at the overall electorate, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy initiatives receive majority support; 54% approve of his agenda. However, while a similar proportion of voters — 55%– shared this view two months ago, more voters currently disapprove of the president’s policy than before. In Marist’s April 8th poll, 24% said they disapprove, and 21% were unsure. Voters, today, are more decisive on the issue, but President Obama has not swayed the support of a third of those previously unsure voters. Marist’s current survey findings show 32% of the electorate disapprove of the president’s foreign policy objectives while 14% are unsure.
And, fewer Independent voters think the president is on track with U.S. foreign policy. 49% of Independents report they approve of the president’s actions while 36% disapprove. Back in early April, 60% of this important voting block agreed with Mr. Obama’s foreign policy agenda while 24% disapproved.
Breaking down some specific Obama foreign policy objectives, a majority of voters agree with his handling of the war in Afghanistan. Currently, 57% approve of his plan while 24% disapprove. In Marist’s April 8th survey, the exact same proportion supported his war plan. That figure edged slightly to 63% at the end of April before returning to the current level.
However, on the overall war on terrorism, the president has maintained a slim, majority support. 51% of the electorate approve of his management while 32% disapprove. President Obama received a similar rating two months ago.
Table: Handling Foreign Policy
Table: Handling the War in Afghanistan
Table: Handling the War on Terrorism
Moving Right Along, Says Half of Americans
50% of Americans, and the same proportion of registered voters, report that, in general, the country is moving in the right direction. This compares with 44% of Americans, including 44% of registered voters, who shared that view in late April.
Table: Right Direction or Wrong Direction of the Country?
Lee Miringoff discusses the latest Obama poll, wondering how much Obama’s positive approval rating depends on the perception that he’s inherited problems from the Bush administration: