Obama's Ratings Slip a Little as Those Who Think Country Is on the Wrong Track Increase by 8 Points

The ratings of Congress drop to equal its all time low

Mar 18, 2011, 06:04 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest Harris Poll finds that President Obama's positive job rating has slipped for the second month running.  In January he recorded his best rating (44%) since 2009, but it edged downwards to 42% in February and 39% now. The public's rating of Congress has also slumped, with fully 90% of all adults now giving it a negative rating, compared to 86% in February and 84% in January.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO)

Another indication of the public's sour mood is that those who think the country is on the wrong track have increased by 8 points from 64% in February to 72% now.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,379 adults surveyed online between March 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Trends in approval

The president's current job rating (39% positive) is only slightly better than the lowest ratings of his presidency which occurred during the last three months of last year, at 37%, 38% and 36%. His rating is still strongly correlated with education, with only 29% of people who never went to college giving him positive marks compared to 54% of people with post graduate education and 47% of those with a college degree.

The ratings of Congress have, in recent years, only once been as bad as they are now.  In March 2010 Congress also had a negative 90% job rating.

The last time that the proportion of the public who think the country is on the wrong track was higher than it is now was in 2008, before President Obama was elected and the country was reeling from the crisis on Wall Street.

So What?

While some Republicans, with their eyes on the 2012 elections, may be pleased to see the President's rating slip, there are no winners in this poll.  Rather, the poll underlines the poor opinions that most people have of Washington and especially of Congress, where the Republicans are in control of the House. This is not totally a partisan divide, but rather where all Americans have negative views.

TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING - TREND

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?"

Base: All adults


2009

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

55

58

59

54

51

49

45

43

41

  Excellent

17

18

17

14

11

11

10

9

7

  Pretty good

38

40

42

39

39

38

35

33

33

NEGATIVE

45

42

41

46

49

51

55

57

59

  Only fair

27

26

25

25

25

25

27

29

30

  Poor

18

15

16

21

24

26

28

29

30






2010

2011

Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

41

41

42

39

40

38

37

38

36

44

42

39

  Excellent

9

9

9

10

6

9

9

8

8

7

10

11

8

  Pretty good

31

32

31

32

33

31

29

29

30

28

34

32

31

NEGATIVE

60

59

59

58

61

60

62

63

62

64

56

58

61

  Only fair

30

28

26

28

29

26

28

30

29

31

28

29

29

  Poor

30

31

33

30

32

34

34

33

33

34

29

29

32

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



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 Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

39

11

69

33

12

43

72

   Excellent

8

1

16

5

2

7

18

   Pretty good

31

10

53

28

10

36

53

NEGATIVE

61

89

31

67

88

57

28

   Only fair

29

29

24

33

25

34

21

   Poor

32

60

7

34

62

23

7

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



TABLE 3

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING – BY REGION, EDUCATION & GENDER

"How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama

is doing?"

Base: All adults


Total

Region

Education

Gender

East

Midwest

South

West

H.S. or less

Some college

College grad

Post grad

Men

Women

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

39

45

36

34

41

29

42

47

54

36

41

   Excellent

8

6

5

11

7

5

10

6

14

7

8

   Pretty good

31

39

31

23

34

23

32

41

40

28

33

NEGATIVE

61

55

64

66

59

71

58

53

46

64

59

   Only fair

29

30

29

27

30

33

29

23

26

30

28

   Poor

32

25

34

38

29

38

29

30

21

35

30

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



TABLE 4

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING

"How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults


Total

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

10

9

14

5

   Excellent

1

1

1

*

   Pretty good

9

8

13

5

NEGATIVE

90

91

86

95

   Only fair

45

45

51

38

   Poor

45

46

35

57

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



TABLE 5

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

"How would you rate the overall job the Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults


TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2011

March

10

90


February

14

86

January

16

84

2010

December

11

89


November

13

87

October

11

89

September

13

87

August

15

85

June

14

86

May

15

85

April

16

84

March

10

90

Jan.

16

84

2009

Dec.

17

83


Oct.

16

84

Sept.

19

81

Aug.

22

78

June

25

75

March

29

71

2008

October

10

86


August

18

77

June

13

83

February

20

76

2007

December

17

79


October

20

77

April

27

69

February

33

62

2006

September

24

73


May

18

80

February

25

71

January

25

72

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

Note: Prior to March, 2009, this question was asked by telephone.




TABLE 6

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

%

%

2011

March

28

72


February

36

64

January

37

63

2010

December

29

71


November

33

67

October

34

66

September

36

64

April

39

61

March

33

67

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




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 7 to 14, 2011 among 2,379 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.

J39773

Q1205, 1210, 1215

The Harris Poll® #37, March 18, 2011

By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll

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.

Press Contact:

Corporate Communications

Harris Interactive

212-539-9600

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive



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