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President Obama's Approval Ratings Inch Upwards

For first time, more Americans think he will be re-elected then think he will not be re-elected

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NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Republicans continue to fight for the primary nomination and the biggest benefactor of their squabbles may be President Obama. This month, two in five Americans (40%) give the President positive ratings for the overall job he is doing while three in five (60%) give him negative ratings. This is up from last month when 36% gave the President positive marks and 64% gave him negative ones. This is also the highest the President has been since May of last year.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,056 adults surveyed online between February 6 and 13, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the possible swing states for the general election (Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia) three in five Americans in these nine states (61%) give the President negative ratings while two in five (39%) give him positive marks.

Not surprisingly, just 8% of Republicans and 15% of Conservatives give President Obama positive ratings. Among Independents just over three in five (63%) give him negative ratings but just over half of Moderates (55%) feel the same. Among the President's party, three-quarters of Democrats (74%) give President Obama positive ratings and one-quarter (26%) give him negative ratings. Among liberals, seven in ten (70%) give the President positive marks and 30% give him negative ratings.

Direction of the Country
Another thing that continues to rise is the direction Americans think the country is going. This month over one-third of U.S. adults (34%) say things are going in the right direction while two-thirds (66%) say things are going off on the wrong track. In January, just over one-quarter of Americans (27%) said things in the country were going in the right direction while 73% said things were going off on the wrong track. This is also the highest percentage of people who think the country is going in the right direction since spring of 2011.

President Obama's re-election chances
As President Obama's approval ratings inch up, so do his re-election chances. If the election for president were to be held today, it is close with 45% of Americans likely to vote for him, 48% unlikely to vote for him and 7% who are not at all sure. Last month, over half of U.S. adults (52%) said they would be unlikely to vote to re-elect the President and 41% said they would be likely to do so. Looking at this by party, four in five Republicans (82%) and half of Independents (51%) would be unlikely to vote for him, while four in five Democrats (79%) would be likely to do so.  In the likely 2012 swing states, 51% say they would be unlikely to vote for the President while 43% say they would be likely to vote for him.

When it comes to what Americans think will happen on Election Day, the numbers are moving in the President's direction as well. Last month, in January, over one-third of Americans (36%) thought President Obama would be re-elected while 41% thought he would not be re-elected. This month, 46% of U.S. adults now believe he will be re-elected while 37% say that he will not be.

So What?
What a difference a month makes. There seems to be a sense of optimism among Americans and that feeling is translating into positive news for President Obama. Some good economic news and a stellar few weeks for the stock markets can do wonders for an incumbent president's approval ratings and the White House is probably hoping this news, as well as the Republican primary, continues for the next few months.

               

TABLE 1
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING - TREND
"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?

Base: All adults

 

 

TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2012

February

40

60

 

January

36

64

2011

December

36

64

 

November

34

66

October

33

67

September

32

68

August

32

68

July

38

62

June

38

62

May 19th

45

55

May 9th

46

54

April

38

62

March

39

61

Feb.

42

58

Jan.

44

56

2010

Dec.

36

64

 

Nov.

38

62

Oct.

37

63

Sept.

38

62

Aug.

40

60

June

39

61

May

42

58

April

41

59

March

41

59

Jan.

40

60

2009

Dec.

41

59

 

Nov.

43

57

Oct.

45

55

Sept.

49

51

Aug.

51

49

June

54

46

May

59

41

April

58

42

March

55

45

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

 

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 Ideology

2012 Swing

States

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

8

74

37

15

45

70

39

    Excellent

7

2

15

5

3

7

16

10

    Pretty good

33

6

58

33

12

38

55

29

NEGATIVE

60

92

26

63

85

55

30

61

    Only fair

27

29

20

29

22

31

21

25

    Poor

33

64

6

34

63

24

8

36

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; 2012 Swing States are Colorado,
Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia

                               

TABLE 3
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

%

%

2012

February

34

66

 

January

27

73

2011

December

24

76

 

November

20

80

August

16

84

July

25

75

May

39

61

January

37

63

2010

December

29

71

 

April

39

61

2009

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

 

TABLE 4
VOTING FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA
"If the election for president were to be held today, how likely would you be to vote for the current president, Barack Obama?"

Base: All adults

 

 

 

 

2011

2012

May 9

May 19

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Likely

46

43

41

42

37

39

40

40

42

41

45

   Very likely

33

32

30

30

27

26

26

30

29

30

33

   Somewhat likely

14

11

11

12

10

13

13

10

13

11

12

Unlikely

47

49

52

52

55

53

54

53

51

52

48

  Somewhat unlikely

7

8

7

8

7

7

8

6

8

7

5

  Very unlikely

40

41

45

44

48

47

46

47

43

45

43

Not at all sure

6

8

6

6

7

8

6

7

7

7

7

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

 

TABLE 5
VOTING FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA – BY POLITICAL PARTY
"If the election for president were to be held today, how likely would you be to vote for the current president, Barack Obama?"

Base: All adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

Political Party

Political Ideology

2012
Swing
States

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Likely

45

12

79

42

16

50

76

43

   Very likely

33

7

65

26

10

35

63

34

   Somewhat likely

12

6

14

15

6

15

12

10

Unlikely

48

82

17

51

78

40

20

51

  Somewhat unlikely

5

4

4

7

4

7

4

5

  Very unlikely

43

77

12

45

74

34

15

45

Not at all sure

7

6

4

7

5

9

5

6

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; 2012 Swing States are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia

 

TABLE 6
LIKELIHOOD OF OBAMA'S RE-ELECTION
"If you had to say now, do you think that President Obama will be re-elected, or not?"

Base: All adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

2012

Political Party

 

July

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

 

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

 

I think he will be re-elected.

35

30

30

32

35

36

46

17

74

45

 

I do not think he will be re-elected.

42

47

49

46

44

41

37

64

15

37

 

Not at all sure.

23

23

21

23

20

22

17

19

12

18

 

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

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 6 and 13, 2012 among 2,056 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.

J41216
Q1205, 1210, 1218, 1255

The Harris Poll® #17, February 16, 2012
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 and European 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.com

 

 

 

SOURCE Harris Interactive



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