Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on Jobs, Economy, Healthcare, Education and His Handling of the Unrest in the Middle East

Closer split on handling of environment

Mar 02, 2011, 10:09 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- All presidents have to deal with the same issue – too many things on their desk at once. For President Obama that has been especially true since he took office between the economy, dealing with health care reform, and now the unrest in the Middle East.  In looking at the his handling of some of these issues, the American public is not impressed. In fact, majorities give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of 5 of 6 different issues.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,171 adults surveyed online between February 14 and 21, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

More specifically:

  • Two-thirds of Americans (66%) give the president negative ratings on his handling of jobs while three in ten (29%) give him positive marks on this;
  • Looking at the economy overall, over three in five U.S. adults (62%) give President Obama negative ratings while one-third (33%) give him positive ones. In January, 67% gave the President negative ratings;
  • The President spent a large part of last year pushing forward his health care reform package, yet almost three in five Americans (58%) give him negative ratings on his handling of it while 37% give him positive ratings;
  • As the issue of education, from teachers' unions to reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, takes a more prominent role, half of Americans (52%) give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of this issue and two in five (39%) give him positive marks;
  • The world has watched as the unrest in the Middle East moves from country to country and the situation changes on a daily basis. A majority of Americans (52%) give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of the situation there while 39% give him positive marks; and,
  • There is a closer divide when it comes to the issue of the environment. Just under half of Americans (48%) give President Obama negative ratings while 41% give him positive marks on his handling on this issue.

As a whole, Democrats are much more positive than Republicans on how President Obama is handling each of these six issues. For example, two-thirds of Democrats (66%) give President Obama positive ratings on his handling of health care compared to one in ten Republicans (9%) who do the same.

So What?

Back in 1992, James Carville posted a simple phrase in the Clinton campaign war room – "It's the Economy, Stupid." That sentiment hasn't changed and when just half of Democrats (51%) give President Obama positive marks on his handling of jobs, that is not a good sign as the President starts planning his re-election.


TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB ON VARIOUS ISSUES

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing on each of the following?"

Base: All adults


POSITIVE (NET)

Excellent

Pretty good

NEGATIVE

(NET)

Only fair

Poor

Not at all sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

The environment

41

9

32

48

28

20

11

The unrest in the Middle East

39

11

28

52

25

26

9

Education

39

11

29

52

28

24

8

Healthcare

37

15

22

58

19

39

5

The economy

33

9

24

62

23

39

4

Jobs

29

7

23

66

26

40

5

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



TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB ON VARIOUS ISSUES

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing on each of the following?"

Summary of those saying "Excellent" or "Pretty good"

Base: All adults


Total

Region

Political Party

East

Midwest

South

West

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

The environment

41

51

39

33

46

21

63

37

The unrest in the Middle East

39

53

36

28

46

16

63

36

Education

39

54

40

30

39

17

64

34

Healthcare

37

50

35

28

42

9

66

34

The economy

33

47

32

23

37

7

59

30

Jobs

29

40

29

20

33

9

51

25

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



TABLE 3

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

2011

Jan

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb*

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

31

30

33

33

     Excellent

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

7

9

     Pretty good

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

26

25

26

24

NEGATIVE (NET)

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

69

70

67

62

     Only fair

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

30

34

30

22

     Poor

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

39

36

37

39

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.



Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 14 to 21, 2011 among 3,171 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.

J39370

Q1225

The Harris Poll® #28, March 2, 2011

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.

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SOURCE Harris Interactive



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