Three Quarters of Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on His Handling of the Economy Almost two thirds call the economic condition in their region of the country "bad"

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite some recent successes abroad, President Obama continues to struggle with how Americans perceive the job he is doing at home, particularly on the economy.  This month over three quarters of U.S. adults give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of the economy (77%) while just under one quarter give him positive ratings (23%).  While these numbers are fairly dismal, they do show a slight improvement from September when 79% gave the President negative marks.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,463 adults surveyed online between October 10 and 17, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Criticism on President Obama's handling of the economy is not confined to the opinions of Republicans (95% give negative ratings) and Conservatives (93% give negative ratings).  Rather, members of all political parties and philosophies currently give the President negative marks, including over half of Democrats (56%), Liberals (57%), three quarters of Moderates (76%) and over eight in ten Independents (83%).  Further, Americans do not seem hopeful that this situation will reverse any time soon—almost three quarters say they are not confident that the White House and Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis (73%).  Additionally, only one in five expects the economy will improve in the coming year (20%); 46% say it will stay the same and a third think it will get worse (34%).

Although negative feelings abound regarding the economy, some regions of the country seem to be in worse shape than others.  While almost two thirds rate the economic condition in their region of the country as bad (64%), virtually unchanged from the 65% who said so last month, there are some variances by area.  Almost three quarters of Westerners call the economic condition of their region of the nation bad (73%) while fewer say the same in the Midwest (64%), South (61%) and East (59%).

The Buffett Tax                                            
Recently some Americans have been protesting as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, communicating displeasure with the extreme wealth disparity in the country, among other economic and political woes.  One piece of legislature, recently proposed by the Senate, could combat some of those issues.  Two thirds of Americans say they support the Buffett Tax, as it's sometimes called, which would impose a surtax on those earning more than $1 million per year (66%).  This potential legislation, which 45% of Americans say they strongly support is supported (either strongly or somewhat) by 85% of Democrats, 64% of Moderates and 48% of Republicans.  Interestingly those with a higher household income support the legislation more with 70% of those earning $100K per year or more supporting it, compared to lesser majorities in lower income brackets.

So What?                                            
Americans are unhappy about the economy and they seem to be demanding change.  And, unfortunately for the current Administration the people seem to have little confidence in its ability to bring that change.  The longer this unhappiness continues, the greater the "uprising" will be, mostly likely at the ballot box next November.  It will be interesting to see how the Obama camp and the Republican nominees cater to these financial concerns as they campaign for the 2012 presidential election.

TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY - TREND

"Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?"

Base: All adults





2009


March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Nov

Dec


%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

47

49

46

43

39

40

34

36

     Excellent

13

13

10

3

9

7

6

6

     Pretty good

34

36

36

34

31

33

27

30

NEGATIVE (NET)

53

51

54

57

61

60

66

64

     Only fair

30

27

30

27

25

27

30

30

     Poor

23

24

24

30

36

33

37

34






2010

Jan

Mar

Apr

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

31

30

     Excellent

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

     Pretty good

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

26

25

NEGATIVE (NET)

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

69

70

     Only fair

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

30

34

     Poor

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

39

36






2011

Jan

Feb*

Mar

May

June

July

Sept.

Oct.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

33

33

33

32

27

26

21

23

     Excellent

7

9

5

7

5

3

2

3

     Pretty good

26

24

28

26

22

23

18

20

NEGATIVE (NET)

67

62

67

68

73

74

79

77

     Only fair

30

22

29

28

30

33

33

36

     Poor

37

39

38

40

43

41

46

41




Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; *In February "Not at all sure" was offered as a response choice and 4% responded in that way.



TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – BY POLITICAL PARTY

"Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?"

Base: All adults





Total

Political Party

Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

23

5

44

17

7

24

43

     Excellent

3

*

7

1

2

2

6

     Pretty good

20

5

38

16

5

22

37

NEGATIVE (NET)

77

95

56

83

93

76

57

     Only fair

36

21

44

40

22

41

45

     Poor

41

74

12

43

71

35

11




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



TABLE 3

RATING OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN REGION - TREND

"How would you rate the economic condition of your region of the nation?"

Base:  All adults





2008

2009

2011

2011

2011

Nov.

Jan.

May

Sept.

Oct.

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

10

18

12

11

 Very good

1

1

4

2

1

 Somewhat good

9

9

14

11

10

Neither good nor bad

16

17

23

22

25

BAD (NET)

74

72

59

65

64

 Somewhat bad

45

46

36

39

40

 Very bad

28

26

23

26

24




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



TABLE 4

RATING OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN REGION – BY REGION

"How would you rate the economic condition of your region of the nation?"

Base:  All adults





Total

Region

East

Midwest

South

West

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

11

14

8

12

11

 Very good

1

3

*

*

1

 Somewhat good

10

11

8

12

10

Neither good nor bad

25

28

28

26

17

BAD (NET)

64

59

64

61

73

 Somewhat bad

40

37

41

37

45

 Very bad

24

22

22

25

28




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



TABLE 5

EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR - TREND

"In the coming year, do you expect the economy to…?"

Base: All adults





2009

2010

2011

April

May

Aug

Sept

Oct

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Feb

June

July

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

39

38

46

40

34

38

30

29

28

30

34

29

34

26

23

21

20

Stay the same

35

35

32

36

37

34

42

39

40

40

41

45

42

41

41

45

46

Get worse

26

27

22

24

29

28

28

32

32

30

25

26

25

33

37

34

34




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



TABLE 6

CONFIDENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE

"How confident are you that the White House and the Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis?"

Base: All adults





2009

2010

2011

March

April

May

June

Aug.

Oct.

Nov.

Jan

June

June

Oct.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

CONFIDENT (NET)

57

57

55

49

53

44

44

41

39

33

27

 Very confident

16

17

17

12

16

13

9

10

7

8

4

 Somewhat confident

41

40

38

37

37

31

35

31

33

24

23

NOT CONFIDENT (NET)

43

43

45

51

47

56

56

59

61

67

73

 Not that confident

23

21

24

25

23

25

25

26

27

31

36

 Not at all confident

20

22

21

27

25

32

31

33

34

36

37




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



TABLE 7

CONFIDENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE – BY POLITICAL PARTY AND PHILOSOPHY

"How confident are you that the White House and the Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis?"

Base: All adults





Total

Political Party

Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

CONFIDENT (NET)

27

7

52

19

11

29

47

 Very confident

4

*

10

2

1

5

9

 Somewhat confident

23

7

42

17

10

24

38

NOT CONFIDENT (NET)

73

93

48

81

89

71

53

 Not that confident

36

38

35

35

31

40

34

 Not at all confident

37

55

13

46

58

31

19




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



TABLE 8

BUFFETT TAX OR SURTAX

"Do you support or oppose a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million per year, as has been proposed by the Senate?"

Base: All adults





Total

Political Party

Income

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

$34.9K or less

$35K-$49.9K

$50K-$74.9K

$75K-$99.9K

$100K+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support (NET)

66

48

85

64

67

59

64

66

70

    Strongly support

45

21

68

43

46

41

45

44

45

    Somewhat support

21

27

18

21

21

19

19

22

25

Oppose (NET)

23

43

8

24

16

27

26

27

22

    Somewhat oppose

8

17

3

8

7

12

8

11

7

    Strongly oppose

14

27

4

17

10

15

17

16

15

Not at all sure

11

9

7

12

17

14

10

7

8




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



Methodology                              
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 10 and 17, 2011 among 2,463 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.

J40806                              
Q705, 710, 715, 718, 725

The Harris Poll® #112, October 25, 2011                              
By Samantha Braverman, Sr. Project Researcher, 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.

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SOURCE Harris Interactive



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