President Obama Ends Year with Lowest Approval Ratings of His Presidency

Just one in ten approve of job Congress is doing

Dec 20, 2010, 06:04 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As President Obama prepares to bid goodbye to 2010, he ends the year with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency. Almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) give him negative ratings for the overall job he is doing while 36% give him positive ratings. This is down from November when 38% of Americans gave President Obama positive ratings and 62% gave him negative ones.

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

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,331 adults surveyed online between December 6 and 13, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at his job ratings by political party, over nine in ten Republicans (92%) give the President negative marks as do over two-thirds of Independents (69%). While two-thirds of Democrats (68%) still give President Obama positive ratings, one-third (32%) give him negative marks as do 36% of Liberals. There is an educational difference. Seven in ten of those with a high school or less education (70%) give President Obama negative ratings as do two-thirds of those with some college (65%). However, this drops to half of college graduates (57%) and those with a post-graduate education (54%) who give the President negative ratings.

Congressional approval ratings

Even after the election, things do not look better for Congress.  Just one in ten Americans (11%) give Congress positive marks while 89% give them negative ratings on the overall job they are doing. Although they may have lost control, Democrats are slightly more positive about the job Congress is doing. Just over one in five Democrats (22%) give Congress positive ratings compared to 8% of Independents and 5% of Republicans who do the same.

Direction of the country

One reason all these numbers may be so negative is that the overall attitude about how the country is going is also negative. Currently, just three in ten Americans (29%) say things in the country are going in the right direction while seven in ten (71%) say they are going off on the wrong track. Last month, one-third of Americans (33%) said things were going in the right direction while two-thirds (67%) said they were going off on the wrong track. This is now the lowest the right direction numbers have been since President Obama took office.

So What?

With the dawn of a new year in a few weeks there is also a new Congress and a new political landscape in Washington, D.C. And, for better or worse, it's also the beginning of a 22 month journey to the next presidential election. How President Obama deals with the new Congress and political reality in the next few months will definitely help shape the journey to November 2012. In reality, that may be a long way away, but in politics, it is just around the corner.

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


Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec


%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

41

41

42

39

40

38

37

38

36

  Excellent

9

9

9

10

6

9

9

8

8

7

  Pretty good

31

32

31

32

33

31

29

29

30

28

NEGATIVE

60

59

59

58

61

60

62

63

62

64

  Only fair

30

28

26

28

29

26

28

30

29

31

  Poor

30

31

33

30

32

34

34

33

33

34




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

36

8

68

31

11

41

64

   Excellent

7

1

16

5

2

7

18

   Pretty good

28

7

53

26

9

34

46

NEGATIVE

64

92

32

69

89

59

36

   Only fair

31

30

24

32

27

35

27

   Poor

34

62

8

37

61

24

9




Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than .5%

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

36

40

33

33

36

30

35

43

46

36

35

   Excellent

7

10

5

7

8

6

7

7

13

9

6

   Pretty good

28

30

28

27

29

24

28

35

33

27

30

NEGATIVE

64

60

67

67

64

70

65

57

54

64

65

   Only fair

31

32

34

29

30

35

28

29

27

26

36

   Poor

34

28

33

38

33

35

37

28

28

38

29




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

11

5

22

8

   Excellent

2

1

4

1

   Pretty good

9

4

18

7

NEGATIVE

89

95

78

92

   Only fair

38

34

42

32

   Poor

51

61

36

60




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**

%

%

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



%

%

2010

December

29

71


November

33

67


October

34

66


September

36

64


August

35

65


June

34

66


April

39

61


March

33

67

2009

December

37

63


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




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

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 6 to 13, 2010 among 2,331 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.

J39118

Q1205, 1210, 1215

The Harris Poll® #154, December 20, 2010

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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