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Monday, November 29, 2021
HomePollsPoll: Obama’s Job Approval Plummets to 41%, But Congress, especially GOP, Very Unpopular

Poll: Obama’s Job Approval Plummets to 41%, But Congress, especially GOP, Very Unpopular

Obama’s job approval has plummeted to the lowest level – 41% – in two years, according to the latest McClatchy-Marist. The sinking numbers – albeit still higher than those of Congress – appear just after weeks of rising gasoline prices, revelations about domestic spying and turmoil in the Middle East.

The disappointing results come as the White House this week clearly is attempting to turn the national discussion back to the economy, which is a reversal from the presidential campaign, when the White House tried to run from the issue. Obama will deliver the first of a series of speeches this Wednesday when he will offer his vision for boosting economic growth, even as the new poll found that just 37% of the respondents approved of his handling of the economy, while a full 56 percent disapproved.

Overall, the poll found Obama’s job approval at 41% last week, a sharp decline from the 50% the poll found in April, and his worst showing in the McClatchy-Marist poll since 39% in September 2011. Forty-eight percent disapproved in the latest poll, up from April’s 46 percent.

Obama won re-election in November with just 51% of the popular vote. Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the poll

Clearly six months into his second term there’s been falloff across the board. It’s not like one group bailed on him.

About his only solace is that the approval rating of congressional Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, sank to 22%, but one-third of registered voters approved of congressional Democrats’ performance.

The all-around poor review of Washington reflects “the ongoing, cumulative effect of those issues which have not been resolved” and no solution is in sight, Miringoff said. Lawmakers remain at odds over how to trim federal deficits or write a federal budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, and Congress plans to leave Aug. 2 for a five-week recess.

Adding to the feeling of political inertia has been the distractions of other issues.

“When (Obama) gets away from talking about the economy, numbers have a tendency to slide,” Miringoff said.

Obama’s Job Approval Polling Data Average

Poll Date Sample Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 7/12 – 7/22 45.8 48.2 -2.4
ABC News/Wash Post 7/18 – 7/21 1002 A 49 44 +5
McClatchy/Marist 7/15 – 7/18 980 RV 41 48 -7
Rasmussen Reports 7/20 – 7/22 1500 LV 48 51 -3
Gallup 7/19 – 7/21 1500 A 48 44 +4
The Economist/YouGov 7/13 – 7/15 712 RV 46 53 -7
Reuters/Ipsos 7/12 – 7/16 1745 A 43 49 -6

The president has been weathering a succession of spring and summer political storms. In May, news broke that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted for special scrutiny tea party groups seeking tax exemptions. In June, the administration was rocked by revelations about secret government programs that collect data from U.S. phone records and the Internet.

Foreign policy is also taking a political toll. This month, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was ousted, and Syria remained a bloody battleground. By a 48-41 percent margin, people disapproved of how the president is handling foreign policy. In April, approvals slightly outnumbered disapprovals.

What constituents want is comity and compromise. Nearly two-thirds said it’s more important for government officials to find common ground, while slightly more than a quarter said it’s more crucial to stand on principle even if it means gridlock.

And though the nation has technically been in an economic recovery for four years, most Americans aren’t feeling it. Fifty-four percent said they thought the U.S. remains in a recession, and 60 percent saw the country going in the wrong direction.

Twenty-nine percent said they expected their personal family finances to get better in the coming year, while 19 percent thought they’d worsen. Just over half saw their fortunes staying about the same.

While the numbers reflect some improvement, they continue to reflect uneasiness. Miringoff said:

In their day-to-day lives, people are struggling to make ends meet.

One sign: GasBuddy.com reported the average price of a gallon of gasoline Monday was $3.67.7 a gallon, up 18 cents from a year ago and nine cents from a month ago.

Obama is aiming to regain the economic initiative again this week. Wednesday, he plans to speak at Knox College in Illinois, site of his 2005 speech that detailed his economic philosophy. This time he plans to discuss how the economy does best when the middle class prospers and offer his vision for making that happen.

“Economic growth has been steady, but it has not been strong enough, as far as the president is concerned,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Obama, however, remains somewhat popular personally – the poll showed a nearly even split as to whether people had a favorable or unfavorable impression of him – but the favorable number, 47 percent, was down from April’s 53 percent.

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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