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President Obama's Approval Ratings Almost Unchanged Post-Election

posted 23 Nov 2010, 08:08 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 23 Nov 2010, 08:11 ]

Just one-third of Americans believe country going in right direction

NEW YORKNov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Congressional elections in his rear view mirror, President Obama looks ahead to working with a Republican House of Representatives with a positive job approval rating of 38% and a negative rating of 62%. This is not much different than where his ratings stood right before the election when 37% of Americans gave him positive ratings and 63% gave him negative marks for overall job he was doing.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,151 adults surveyed online between November 8 and 15, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

It is not surprising that over nine in ten Republicans (93%) and 88% of Conservatives give the President negative ratings. But one-third of Democrats (33%) and three in ten Liberals (30%) also give him negative marks for his job performance. Among Independents, almost two-thirds (64%) give President Obama negative ratings as do six in ten (59%) Moderates.

Education and region show some differences in the President's approval rating. Those in the East are more likely than those in the South to give President Obama positive ratings (44% vs. 33%). Also, those with higher education are more likely to give the President positive marks on the overall job he is doing.  Just three in ten Americans with a high school degree or less (30%) give the President positive marks, but that rises to 40% of those with some college education, 45% of those with a college degree and 56% of those with a post graduate degree.

Congress' approval ratings

While there may have been a change in control of Congress, there has not been much of a change in attitude towards them.  Just over one in ten Americans (13%) give Congress positive marks for the overall job they are doing while 87% give them negative marks. Before the election, 11% gave them positive marks while 89% gave them negative ratings.

Direction of country and most important issue

When it comes to how things in the country are going, one-third of Americans (33%) say things are going in the right direction while two-thirds (67%) say they are going off on the wrong track. Again, this is not much changed from last month when 34% of U.S. adults said things were going in the right direction and 66% said they were going off on the wrong track.

One reason for the negativity may be that the same two items again top the list of the two most important issues for the government to address. Over one-third of Americans (36%) say government should address employment/jobs while one-third (33%) say they should address the economy. Three in ten (30%) say the most important issue is healthcare, while 10% say it is budget and government spending. Just under one in ten say the government needs to address immigration (8%) and the deficit/national debt (8%).

So What?

The 2010 Congressional elections proved to be historic and game changing. In January, a new Congress will be sworn in with record numbers of freshmen. But, for the American public this is still the same old, same old. This new Congress comes in with a mandate of sorts, and the voters will be watching closely to make sure attention is paid to the issues of importance to them – the economy and jobs. Until those two issues are seen as moving in a positive direction, the angry voters will continue to be angry.

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

Nov

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

41

41

42

39

40

38

37

38

  Excellent

9

9

9

10

6

9

9

8

8

  Pretty good

31

32

31

32

33

31

29

29

30

NEGATIVE

60

59

59

58

61

60

62

63

62

  Only fair

30

28

26

28

29

26

28

30

29

  Poor

30

31

33

30

32

34

34

33

33

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



TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING – BY PARTY & IDEOLOGY

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

Base: All adults


Total

Political party

Political Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

38

7

67

36

12

41

70

  Excellent

8

1

19

3

3

8

17

  Pretty good

30

6

48

32

9

33

53

NEGATIVE

62

93

33

64

88

59

30

  Only fair

29

25

27

32

21

37

22

  Poor

33

68

6

32

67

22

7

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

38

44

39

33

39

30

40

45

56

35

41

  Excellent

8

9

7

8

9

7

5

11

19

8

9

  Pretty good

30

35

32

25

30

23

35

33

37

28

32

NEGATIVE

62

56

61

67

61

70

60

55

44

65

59

  Only fair

29

30

28

27

31

35

25

24

22

27

31

  Poor

33

26

33

40

29

35

35

31

22

38

28

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

13

5

23

8

  Excellent

1

*

3

*

  Pretty good

12

4

21

8

NEGATIVE

87

95

77

92

  Only fair

39

27

49

39

  Poor

48

69

28

53

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * Indicates less than .05%



TABLE 5

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

"How would you rate the overal l job the Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults


TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2010

November

13

87


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

November

33

67


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

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



TABLE 7

MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE

"What do you think are the two most important issues

for the government to address?"

Spontaneous, unprompted replies

Base: All adults


'97

'98

'99

'00

'01

'02

'03

'04

'05

'06

07

08

09

09

10

10

10

10

10

May

Jan

Feb

Aug

Dec

Dec

June

Oct

Aug

June

Oct

Oct

Mar

Nov

Jan

Apr

June

Sept

Nov

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Employment/jobs

5

3

4

4

7

8

8

10

3

7

5

5

21

24

31

34

28

37

36

The economy (non-specific)

8

9

7

5

32

34

25

28

19

14

13

64

50

34

32

27

28

34

33

Healthcare (not Medicare)

10

11

12

15

5

10

14

18

11

12

25

22

25

47

45

34

23

24

30

Budget/Government spending

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

5

6

2

6

11

7

9

10

11

10

Immigration

2

1

*

1

1

1

2

2

3

20

12

3

4

5

5

7

12

10

8

Budget deficit/National debt

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

3

X

X

8

8

6

8

Taxes

14

16

12

13

6

5

11

8

5

4

3

6

4

4

4

7

4

7

7

Education

15

14

21

25

12

11

13

7

8

7

6

6

5

5

5

6

6

6

6

Social security

6

6

24

16

3

2

4

4

10

5

3

3

1

2

1

2

2

2

4

(The) war

X

X

X

X

12

18

8

35

41

27

24

14

9

9

2

6

6

4

4

Environment

3

2

3

3

1

3

2

1

3

3

3

2

3

4

3

3

7

3

2

(Programs for) the poor/ poverty

3

2

2

3

1

2

3

*

4

4

4

*

1

2

2

1

1

2

2

Downsizing government

X

X

X

1

*

X

X

1

*

1

1

*

1

2

2

3

2

2

2

Terrorism

X

X

X

X

22

17

11

7

7

4

4

3

4

3

6

2

3

2

2

Foreign policy (non-specific)

3

5

4

3

2

4

2

3

2

2

4

2

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

Medicare

4

5

5

6

1

1

4

3

2

1

3

2

*

*

*

*

*

*

2

Housing

X

X

X

X

X

1

1

*

*

1

2

2

6

1

1

1

1

2

1

Regulating banking/financial services

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

*

8

1

3

4

2

2

1

Ethics in government

*

*

*

*

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

National security

X

X

2

2

6

3

6

5

2

2

2

5

2

1

4

3

2

2

1

Business accountability/bailouts

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

1

Energy

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

1

4

4

1

4

3

1

1

2

5

1

1

Obama/president

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

*

*

1

1

1

1

1

1

Welfare

14

8

4

2

1

1

3

*

3

1

2

*

*

1

*

1

1

1

1

Military/defense

2

2

2

4

4

1

5

3

1

4

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Human/civil/women's rights

2

1

*

1

1

1

*

1

1

1

2

*

*

1

1

*

1

1

1

Religion (decline of)

*

1

*

1

2

1

1

1

*

1

1

*

*

*

*

1

1

1

1

Homeland/domestic security/public safety

X

X

X

X

8

9

3

6

2

2

2

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Gas and oil prices

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

1

10

8

2

1

1

1

*

1

*

1

1

Same sex rights

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

1

2

*

*

1

1

1

1

*

*

1

Iraq

*

*

1

X

X

11

3

9

6

8

14

7

2

4

2

2

2

*

1

Inflation

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

2

3

*

1

1

*

*

*

*

1

Crime/violence

19

13

8

10

1

2

3

1

3

2

2

1

*

1

1

1

*

1

*

Afghanistan

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

*

Judicial/Legal Issues

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

*

2

1

1

*

1

1

1

1

1

*

*

Homelessness

4

4

3

3

2

2

1

*

1

1

3

*

*

1

1

*

*

1