Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – March 21, 2011 – While President Obama’s overall approval rating has seen some ups and downs over the past few months, the ratings on how he is handling the economy have stayed steady since the beginning of the year. As was the case in January and in February, currently one-third of Americans (33%) give President Obama positive ratings on his handling of the economy. In February, one in ten U.S. adults (9%) said the President was doing an excellent job while one-quarter (24%) said he was doing a pretty good job. This month, almost three in ten (28%) say he is doing a pretty good job while just 5% say he is doing an excellent job on his handling of the economy.

    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.

    One area where there is a bit of optimism is in when the economy will improve. One in five Americans (21%) say the economy has already started to grow while 7% say it will start to grow in the next six months and 15% say it will be in the next 6-12 months. Two in five Americans (39%) however say the economy will not grow for another year or longer while 19% say they are not at all sure. In June, just 14% said the economy was already growing and 43% said it would not happen for another year or longer.

    The Job Market

    Looking at the job market, it is hard to see much optimism. Two-thirds of Americans (65%) say the job market in their region of the country is bad, 22% say it is neither good nor bad and 13% say it is good. In February, three in five U.S. adults (61%) said the job market in their region was bad and 15% said it was good. By region, just 7% of Westerners say the job market is good while 71% say it is bad, Southerners have a better outlook as 17% of them say the job market in their region is good while 63% say it is bad.

    Looking ahead six months, half of Americans (52%) say the job market in their region will be same while one-third (32%) say it will be better and 16% think it will be worse. In February, half of U.S adults (51%) said the job market would be the same in six months, 31% said it would be better and 18% believed it would be worse.

    So What?

    Thoughts on the economy seem to be holding steady. But, as the President struggles to turn his own polling numbers around, holding steady is not a good thing as attitudes remain poor. Americans do not think things in the U.S. are going in the right direction and the longer the economy and job market are seen as bad, these other feelings will not change. Add in a new military action, and Americans could become even more disillusioned than they are now.

     

     

     

     

     

    TABLE 1

    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

    March

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    31

    32

    33

    36

    32

    32

    29

    27

    31

    30

    33

    33

    33

    Excellent

    5

    5

    6

    6

    5

    6

    5

    5

    5

    5

    7

    9

    5

    Pretty good

    25

    27

    27

    30

    27

    26

    24

    22

    26

    25

    26

    24

    28

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    69

    68

    67

    64

    68

    68

    71

    73

    69

    70

    67

    62

    67

    Only fair

    31

    30

    31

    29

    32

    29

    31

    33

    30

    34

    30

    22

    29

    Poor

    39

    37

    36

    34

    37

    39

    40

    39

    39

    36

    37

    39

    38

    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.

     

     

    TABLE 2

    WHEN ECONOMY WILL GROW AGAIN – TREND

    When do you believe the economy will start growing again?

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    2011

    June

    Dec

    Jan

    Mar

    April

    June

    March

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Already has started growing

    7

    13

    14

    12

    17

    14

    21

    WITHIN NEXT SIX MONTHS (NET)

    12

    13

    12

    11

    9

    7

    7

    Between now and 3 months from now

    4

    3

    4

    4

    3

    2

    2

    Between 3 and 6 months from now

    8

    10

    8

    7

    6

    5

    5

    Between 6 and 12 months from now

    28

    21

    22

    19

    17

    18

    15

    Not for another year or longer

    41

    38

    39

    43

    39

    43

    39

    Not at all sure

    13

    15

    14

    17

    18

    18

    19

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    TABLE 3

    RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET – TREND

    How would you rate the current job market of your region of the nation?

    Base: All adults

    2008

    2009

    June

    July

    Jan

    April

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    28

    30

    6

    12

    9

    8

    10

    10

    8

    9

    Neither good nor bad

    18

    19

    18

    20

    19

    21

    22

    20

    18

    19

    BAD (NET)

    53

    51

    76

    68

    72

    71

    68

    70

    73

    72

    2010

    2011

    Jan

    Mar.

    April

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    March

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    10

    8

    10

    12

    10

    12

    10

    13

    11

    13

    13

    15

    13

    Neither good nor bad

    20

    18

    21

    20

    25

    22

    21

    21

    23

    24

    22

    24

    22

    BAD (NET)

    70

    73

    70

    68

    66

    66

    69

    66

    66

    63

    65

    61

    65

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

     

     

     

    TABLE 4

    RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION – BY REGION

    How would you rate the current job market of your region of the nation?

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Region

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    13

    15

    11

    17

    7

    Very good

    2

    3

    2

    2

     

    Somewhat good

    11

    12

    9

    15

    7

    Neither good nor bad

    22

    26

    23

    20

    21

    BAD (NET)

    65

    60

    66

    63

    71

    Somewhat bad

    37

    36

    40

    36

    34

    Very bad

    28

    24

    26

    27

    37

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    TABLE 5

    EXPECTATIONS FOR JOB MARKET IN SIX MONTHS – TREND

    How do you think that the job market in your region of the nation will change over the next 6 months?

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    2011

    Jan

    April

    June

    August

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    March

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    15

    23

    21

    28

    26

    23

    21

    23

    30

    25

    31

    31

    32

    Will be much better

    1

    3

    2

    2

    1

    2

    2

    3

    2

    2

    4

    4

    2

    Will be somewhat better

    14

    20

    19

    26

    25

    21

    19

    20

    28

    23

    26

    27

    30

    Will remain the same

    36

    42

    47

    47

    53

    49

    53

    53

    50

    54

    51

    51

    52

    WORSE (NET)

    49

    36

    32

    25

    21

    27

    26

    24

    21

    22

    18

    18

    16

    Will be somewhat worse

    36

    29

    24

    19

    15

    22

    20

    18

    15

    16

    13

    13

    11

    Will be much worse

    14

    7

    8

    6

    6

    5

    6

    6

    6

    6

    6

    5

    6

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

     

    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

    Q705, 715, 720, 725

     

     

    The Harris Poll ® #38, March 21, 2011

    By Regina Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

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