16 September 2010

Obamas Popularity, Polls Roundup of American Opinion - 16 Sept 2010

Check out this week's polling of Americans from the President's approval rating, tax cuts, anti-Muslim feelings to frustration with our politicians.

From Denny: Prez Obama is not faring well with this week's polling for his popularity due to slow economic progress. Only 45 percent say they approve compared to 47 percent who disapprove of his performance after almost two years in office.

And this is why I keep pressing this President to develop a serious sense of urgency for enacting and pushing strong economic measures. Yet he and his team continue at much too slow a pace to bring relief to millions of hurting Americans.

Interestingly enough the disapproval in this poll is not based upon disgust, dislike or disappointment but rather how this President did not meet their expectations of what they thought he would do in office.

Most Americans view the economy as the most pressing issue facing the country and this is where President Obama received the most wide ranging criticism. Traditionally, Democrats are usually much more attentive and fire in the belly when it comes to tending the home fires of the economy. People are surprised this sense of urgency does not exist with this White House. For that perception, right or wrong, the President is ranked at only a 41 percent approval rating. The disapproval camp weighs in at 51 percent.

Sixty percent of Americans view the President as not having made any real progress at fixing the economy. A majority of 53 percent complain he still does not have a clear plan for creating jobs.

As to the blame game for who screwed up the economy, it's President George W. Bush who still receives the majority of those "accolades," along with Wall Street. Bush is blamed for 37 percent of the problem, Wall Street gets 21 percent and Congress gets its share at 11 percent. Only five percent blame Obama.

The general feeling is unhappiness with the direction of the country and most especially the economy. Yet 63 percent have decided that Obama's time in the White House is about what they had expected. I'm amazed this country is still standing considering the mess the Republicans left the country through neglect or bad policies.

As to the country's pessimists? A little over one in four complain the President's performance is worse than expected - that included 17 percent of Democrats. Of course, those who are the loudest complainers are Republicans. No surprises there. The sad thing is that only a handful say that Obama has exceeded their expectations. Ouch.

When polling those who voted for Obama in 2008 the numbers broke down to the majority of 67 percent figured his performance is as was expected. Those who thought his performance as worse came to 19 percent. Those who thought his performance was better than expected came to 12 percent.

Not enough progress on the economy

39 percent thinks Obama has a clear plan
57 percent think he does not

What about Republicans and their plan for the economy?

72 percent say the Republicans don't have a plan. Read that as the Republicans are viewed as clueless and useless.

So how did the President fare this week (15 Sept) with his popularity among his Democratic base?

76 percent of Democrats approve

Where are the pivotal Independents on Obama's job rating?

49 percent of Independents disapprove
42 percent who approve of his job

What's on the mind of Americans when it comes to the economy?

60 percent say it is the most important problem facing the country
8 in 10 think the economy is somewhat bad
1 in 5 thinks the economy is getting better
6 in 10 voters are somewhat concerned that someone in their household will lose their job in the next 12 months

Democrats vs. Republicans on Obama's fixing of the economy

87 percent of Republicans claim Obama has made no progress
54 percent of Democrats claim Obama has made some progress

It breaks down to 6 in 10 say the President has made no progress on fixing the economy. Yet twice as many Americans also view Obama as making more effort to work on fixing the economy than Republicans in Congress.

The jury still seems to be out on how much effect on the economy the 2009 stimulus package has had.

30 percent thinks the economy is better
20 percent thinks the economy is now worse
46 percent thinks the stimulus really hasn't had any real impact

Read those opinions as comparing the economy as to when a person is severely ill, well, he didn't die - yet. Definitely another Ouch factor on this question.

What were the opinions on the stimulus package?

34 percent thought it was too large
27 percent thought it was not large enough
28 percent thought it was about right

How did the opinion on the controversial health care reform fare?

49 percent disapprove
37 percent approve

That broke down along party lines with most Democrats in the approval category. Independents and Republicans strongly disapprove.

Congress and the President need to sit down with the health care law and tinker with it. Why? Because health care premiums continue to rise, especially for small business. A friend told us last week that his small company health care insurance premiums just rose another 17 percent. For now he is going to "eat" the rise but he doesn't know how long he can hold out before he is forced to pass it along to his employees given the current state of the economy.

Of the those disapproving of the health care law, 82 percent say they want it repealed. However, that number drops sharply to only 48 percent if insurance companies are no longer required to cover people with existing medical conditions or prior illnesses. Funny thing how self-preservation trumps Republican rhetoric.

So how is President Obama doing when it comes to the Afghan War?

Looks like everyone is united on this disapproval in the Democrat, Republican and Independent camps: 55 percent think it is going badly.

Where the parties do split on opinion:

51 percent of Republicans think America is doing the right thing fighting there
Most Democrats and Independents think America should not be involved

For the past year the overall opinion of remaining in Afghanistan as the right thing to do has slipped down to only 38 percent approval when it was a slight majority just last year in October.

What is the opinion of the Iraq War?

Only 23 percent think the war was worth the loss of American life and other high costs - even after pulling out the combat troops

Overwhelmingly, both Democrats and Independents say the war simply was not worth it. Republicans are divided on that question.

Poll: Obama Approval Rating Mixed, but Most See No Economic Progress

Poll: Most Want New Blood in Congress

"Fifty-five percent, by contrast, say it's time to give someone new a chance. That's up from 47 percent in 2006 and 27 percent in 2004.

"Asked about most members of Congress, voters are even harsher: just 12 percent say they deserve reelection, while 78 percent want someone new. Those figures are similar to findings in 2006, when Democrats took control of Congress, as well as 1994, when Republicans took over."

Poll: Most Americans Want Tax Cuts for the Rich to Expire

"Fifty-three percent of Americans agree with Mr. Obama that the tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire, while 38 percent do not, according to the poll, conducted Sept. 10-14.

"Two of three Democrats think it is a good idea, and most independents (55 percent) agree. Most Republicans (57 percent) think it is a bad idea."

Poll: Most Know Those With Anti-Muslim Feeling

"Fifty-five percent say they know someone who has negative feelings toward Muslims tied to the September 11th attacks, while roughly one in five say they themselves have such feelings. Forty percent say they don't know anyone with such feelings, and three in four say they don't personally harbor them.

"Seventy-one percent, meanwhile, say that it is at least somewhat likely that Arab Americans, Muslims, and immigrants from the Middle East are being discriminated against in America."

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