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President Obama Heads into Midterms at Lowest Approval Rating of Presidency

posted 25 Oct 2010, 11:32 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Oct 2010, 11:35 ]


Two-thirds of Americans believe country going off on the wrong track

NEW YORKOct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- President Obama is spending the next week crisscrossing the country in support of Democratic candidates before this year's midterm elections. While the president may do a great job of energizing the base, he may not be able to convert any Independents who have yet to decide for whom they will vote. Currently, two-thirds of Americans (67%) have a negative opinion of the job President Obama is doing while just over one-third (37%) have a positive opinion. This continues the president's downward trend and he is now at the lowest job approval rating of his presidency.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

It's perhaps not surprising that nine in ten Republicans (90%) and Conservatives (89%) give the job the president is doing negative ratings. What may be surprising is that one-third of Democrats (34%) and Liberals (33%) also give him negative ratings, as do seven in ten Independents (70%) and six in ten Moderates (60%).

Americans who give the president the highest positive ratings are those with a post-graduate education (48%), a college education (47%), and those living in the West (42%). On the other end of the spectrum, almost three-quarters of those with a high school education or less (72%) and two thirds of Midwesterners (66%) and Southerners (66%) give the President negative marks on his overall job.

While the president is at a low point, there is a political body with ratings much lower than his. Just one in ten Americans (11%) give Congress positive ratings on the job they are doing while nine in ten (89%) give them negative marks. While Congress may be under Democratic control, even four in five Democrats (81%) give them negative ratings.

Part of this negativity may have to do with the way Americans believe the country as a whole is going. Just one-third of U.S. adults (34%) say the country is going in the right direction while two-thirds (66%) say it is going off on the wrong track. While not close to the low it was before the 2008 election (11% said things were going in the right direction), this is one of the lower points of this year.

So What?

How this unhappiness with Congress, President Obama and the way things in the country are going translates into voting behavior on November 2nd is still slightly unknown. Momentum seems to be in the Republicans' favor for Congress (at least for the House of Representatives) but what still remains to be seen is if it is just an anti-Democrat year or an anti-incumbent year.

TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING - TREND

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?"

Base: All adults



2009

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

55

58

59

54

51

49

45

43

41

  Excellent

17

18

17

14

11

11

10

9

7

  Pretty good

38

40

42

39

39

38

35

33

33

NEGATIVE

45

42

41

46

49

51

55

57

59

  Only fair

27

26

25

25

25

25

27

29

30

  Poor

18

15

16

21

24

26

28

29

30






2010

Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

41

41

42

39

40

38

37

  Excellent

9

9

9

10

6

9

9

8

  Pretty good

31

32

31

32

33

31

29

29

NEGATIVE

60

59

59

58

61

60

62

63

  Only fair

30

28

26

28

29

26

28

30

  Poor

30

31

33

30

32

34

34

33


Note: Pe rcentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING – BY PARTY & IDEOLOGY

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?"

Base: All adults



Total

Political party

Political Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

37

10

66

30

11

40

67

   Excellent

8

5

14

5

2

8

15

   Pretty good

29

5

52

25

9

32

52

NEGATIVE

63

90

34

70

89

60

33

   Only fair

30

24

27

34

23

36

25

   Poor

33

66

7

36

65

24

8


Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than .5%




TABLE 3

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING – BY REGION, EDUCATION & GENDER

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is 
doing?"

Base: All adults



Total

Region

Education

Gender

East

Midwest

South

West

H.S. or less

Some college

College grad

Post grad

Men

Women

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

37

39

34

34

42

28

40

47

48

35

39

   Excellent

8

5

6

8

9

6

8

12

8

10

5

   Pretty good

29

34

28

25

32

22

32

35

40

25

34

NEGATIVE

63

61

66

66

58

72

60

53

52

65

61

   Only fair

30

30

36

28

28

36

28

25

22

28

32

   Poor

33

31

30

39

30

36

32

28

30

37

29


Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding




TABLE 4

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING

"How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults



Total

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

11

7

19

6

   Excellent

2

3

2

*

   Pretty good

10

4

17

6

NEGATIVE

89

93

81

94

   Only fair

38

23

51

35

   Poor

50

70

30

59


Note: P ercentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding




TABLE 5

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

"How would you rate the overall job the Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults



TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2010

October

11

89


September

13

87

August

15

85

June

14

86

May

15

85

April

16

84

March

10

90

Jan.

16

84

2009

Dec.

17

83


Oct.

16

84

Sept.

19

81

Aug.

22

78

June

25

75

March

29

71

2008

October

10

86


August

18

77

June

13

83

February

20

76

2007

December

17

79


October

20

77

April

27

69

February

33

62

2006

September

24

73


May

18

80

February

25

71

January

25

72


*Positive = excellent or pretty good.  **Negative = only fair or poor.

Note: Prior to March, 2009, this question was asked by telephone.




TABLE 6

RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK

"Generally speaking, would you say things in the country are going in the right direction or have they pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?"

Base: All adults



TREND

Right Direction

Wrong Track

%

%

2010

October

34

66


September

36

64

August

35

65

June

34

66

April

39

61

March

33

67

2009

December

37

63


August

46

54

March

32

68

January

19

72

2008

October

11

83


February

23

69

2007

December

18

74


February

29

62

2006

May

24

69


February

32

59

2005

November

27

68


January

46

48

2004

September

38

57


June

35

59

2003

December

35

57


June

44

51

2002

December

36

57


June

46

48

2001

December

65

32


June

43

52

2000

October

50

41


June

40

51

1999

June

37

55


March

47

45

1998

December

43

51


June

48

44

1997

December

39

56


April

36

55

1996

December

38

50


June

29

64

1995

December

26

62


June

24

65

1994

December

29

63


June

28

65

1993

June

21

70


March

39

50

1992

June

12

81


January

20

75

1991

December

17

75


January

58

32


Note: Prior to March, 2009 this question was asked via telephone




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 11 to 18, 2010 among 3,084 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38848

Q1205, 1210, 1215

The Harris Poll ® #127, October 25, 2010

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:

Corporate Communications

Harris Interactive

212-539-9600

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive

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