If President Obama Wants to Feel Some Love, He Should Probably Go to San Francisco or Boston

For Congress, at least 87% in each of the top ten metro areas give them negative ratings

Oct 03, 2013, 10:43 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The government shutdown continues with no end in sight, and the White House and members of both houses and both parties in Congress continue to point fingers at each other in the game of "who's to blame." Nationally, neither President Obama nor Congress is getting rave reviews for the jobs they are doing – with 34% and 7% positive ratings, respectively – but are there cities in the country where they can go to get some "love"? According to a study utilizing Harris Interactive's new Harris Poll® Major Market Query (MMQ) omnibus platform, the answer is yes for President Obama and not really for Congress.

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According to the study, President Obama should stick to the coasts – almost three in five San Franciscans (57%) give him positive ratings for the job he is doing, as do half (51%) of Bostonians. Next is his current home town of Washington, D.C. (45%), followed by LA (44%) and NYC (43%). Not surprisingly, he probably wants to avoid Texas, as just three in ten in both Dallas (31%) and Houston (31%) give the President positive ratings; 69% in both cities give him negative marks.

These are among the findings of a Harris Poll of 2,045 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older and living in the top 10 American markets by population (roughly 200 per market), surveyed online between September 25 and October 1, 2013 by Harris Interactive. The study utilized the MMQ platform, an omnibus survey offering a sample of the 10 top major metropolitan areas of the United States. Please note that this survey was in the field in the days leading up to the government shutdown. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here).

Congress, on the other hand, should just stay home. But, if they did want to get out of Washington, D.C. where just 10% give them positive ratings – Members should probably head to Chicago (13% positive ratings) or San Francisco (12% positive). Like the President, they probably want to avoid Dallas (6% positive), but also Boston (6% positive) and Philadelphia (7% positive).

Direction of the Country
San Francisco may be at the bottom of the list of America's happiest cities, but its residents are definitely the most positive about the way the country is going. Compared to just three in ten nationally (29%), almost half of San Franciscans (45%) say the country is going in the right direction while 55% say things have seriously gotten off on the wrong track. Bostonians show similar levels of optimism, with more than two in five (42%) saying the country is going in the right direction and more than one-third of New Yorkers (36%), Washingtonians (35%) and Chicagoans (35%) say the same. On the flip side, three-quarters of those in Dallas (75%) and Philadelphia (74%) say the country has seriously gotten off on the wrong track, as do two-thirds of Atlantans (67%) and Los Angelenos (67%).

The President's Handling of the Economy
When it comes to the overall job the President is doing on the economy, nine of the ten metropolitan areas give him better marks than the nation as a whole, where just 29% give him positive ratings. Once again, Dallas is not President Obama's biggest fan, as just 28% of its residents give him positive marks on his handling of the economy while 72% give him negative ones. Just three in then adults in Houston (30%), Los Angeles (30%) and New York (31%) give the president positive ratings on his handling of the economy. The three metro areas where he gets the best marks for how he is handling the economy are Boston (46% positive), Washington, DC (40%) and San Francisco (38%).

For more information regarding Harris Poll MMQ, please contact info@harrisinteractive.com.

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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 24 and October 1, 2013 among 2,045 adults (aged 18 and over) in the top 10 U.S. markets (207 in the NYC Metro area, NY; 205 in Los Angeles, CA; 205 in Chicago, IL; 207 in Philadelphia, PA; 204 in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; 202 in San Francisco, CA; 205 in Boston, MA; 205 in Washington, D.C.; 202 in Atlanta, GA and 203 in Houston, TX). 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. Where appropriate, these data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online 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.

The Harris Poll® #70, October 3, 2013
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading 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 proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, 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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