President Obama Has Highest Job Ratings in Nearly a Year

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – May 27, 2014 – After months of dreariness, the unofficial arrival of summer brings sunshine and thoughts of better times. And this overall attitude seems to hold true not just for the weather and season, but in regards to the state of the country as well. First, President Obama seems to be making some headway with the American public, as almost two in five (38%) give the overall job he is doing positive ratings while 62% give him negative ratings. Last month, one-third of U.S. adults (33%) gave him positive marks while two-thirds (67%) gave him negative ratings. The last time the President was at ratings level this high was back in July of 2013, when 39% of U.S. adults gave him positive ratings.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll¨ of 2,286 adults surveyed online between May 14 and 19, 2014.

    Feelings on the direction the country is going in are also rising, although not by as much. After three months of the same, with one-third of Americans (34%) saying things in the country are going in the right direction and two-thirds (66%) saying things have gotten off on the wrong track, this month there is a change. Just over one-third (35%) now say things are going in the right direction while just under two-thirds (65%) say things are going off on the wrong track.

    Economic issues

    Overall, general feelings on broad economic issues are also rising. Over one-third of Americans (35%) give President Obama positive ratings on his handling of the economy and just under two-thirds (65%) give him negative ratings. Last month, one-third (32%) gave him positive ratings while 68% gave him negative marks. As with his overall ratings, this is the highest ratings President Obama has had in almost a year; in June, 2013 35% of U.S. adults gave him positive marks on the economy.

    When it comes to overall sentiments regarding the economy, just over one-quarter each say they expect the economy to improve in the coming year (26%) and that they expect it to get worse (27%), while almost half (48%) say it will stay the same. In March, three in ten Americans (31%) said the economy would get worse in the coming year and 24% said it would improve. The theme continues, as this is the lowest number of U.S. adults who said the economy would get worse since last July, when again 27% said it would get worse.

    Taking it a little closer to home, almost one-quarter of Americans (24%) say they expect their household’s financial condition to be better in the coming six months, while over half (52%) say it will remain the same and less than one-quarter (23%) believe it will be worse. In March, one in five (21%) said their household’s financial condition would be better in the next six months while over one-quarter (27%) said it would be worse. Again, the last time the number of people who believed their household’s finances would be better was this high (at 24%) was in July of last year.

    Congress

    The one outlier to this trend of higher ratings and attitudes is the United States Congress. Just like last month, more than nine in ten Americans (93%) give Congress negative ratings and only 7% give them positive marks for the overall job they are doing.

    To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

    Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!


    TABLE 1

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING – TREND

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

    Base: All adults

     

    TREND

    Positive

    Negative

    %

    %

    2014

    May

    38

    62

     

    April

    33

    67

    March

    35

    65

    February

    35

    65

    January

    32

    68

    2013

    December

    34

    66

     

    November

    32

    68

    October

    35

    65

    September

    34

    66

    July

    39

    61

    June

    41

    59

    March

    38

    62

    2012

    December

    45

    55

    September

    41

    59

    April

    41

    59

    March

    40

    60

    January

    36

    64

    2011

    December

    36

    64

     

    November

    34

    66

    October

    33

    67

    September

    32

    68

    July

    38

    62

    May

    46

    54

    April

    38

    62

    March

    39

    61

    Feb.

    42

    58

    Jan.

    44

    56

    2010

    Dec.

    36

    64

     

    Nov.

    38

    62

    Oct.

    37

    63

    Sept.

    38

    62

    Aug.

    40

    60

    June

    39

    61

    May

    42

    58

    April

    41

    59

    March

    41

    59

    Jan.

    40

    60

    2009

    Dec.

    41

    59

     

    Nov.

    43

    57

    Oct.

    45

    55

    Sept.

    49

    51

    Aug.

    51

    49

    June

    54

    46

    May

    59

    41

    April

    58

    42

    March

    55

    45

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


    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 Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE

    38

    9

    69

    32

    13

    40

    67

    Excellent

    7

    1

    13

    5

    2

    6

    15

    Pretty good

    31

    8

    56

    27

    11

    34

    52

    NEGATIVE

    62

    91

    31

    68

    87

    60

    33

    Only fair

    27

    24

    25

    30

    21

    31

    26

    Poor

    35

    67

    6

    38

    66

    29

    7

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

     

    TABLE 3

    CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING

    How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE

    7

    6

    10

    4

    5

    7

    9

    Excellent

    1

    1

    3

    1

    1

    3

    Pretty good

    6

    5

    7

    4

    4

    6

    7

    NEGATIVE

    93

    94

    90

    96

    95

    93

    91

    Only fair

    34

    37

    32

    32

    39

    33

    31

    Poor

    59

    56

    58

    64

    56

    60

    60

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


    TABLE 4

    CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

    How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    TREND

    Positive

    Negative

    %

    %

    2014

    May

    7

    93

     

    April

    7

    93

    March

    8

    92

    February

    8

    92

    January

    6

    94

    2013

    December

    5

    95

     

    November

    7

    93

    October

    4

    96

    September

    7

    93

    July

    9

    91

    June

    9

    91

    March

    6

    94

    2012

    December

    8

    92

    April

    11

    89

    March

    9

    91

    January

    6

    94

    2011

    December

    5

    95

     

    September

    6

    94

    July

    8

    92

    June

    11

    89

    May

    13

    87

    March

    10

    90

    January

    16

    84

    2010

    December

    11

    89

     

    June

    14

    86

    March

    10

    90

    Jan.

    16

    84

    2009

    Dec.

    17

    83

     

    Oct.

    16

    84

    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.


    TABLE 5

    RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK – TREND

    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

    %

    %

    2014

    May

    35

    65

     

    April

    34

    66

    March

    34

    66

    February

    34

    66

    January

    31

    69

    2013

    December

    33

    67

     

    November

    30

    70

    October

    20

    80

    September

    29

    71

    July

    34

    66

    May

    39

    61

    2012

    March

    34

    66

     

    January

    27

    73

    2011

    August

    16

    84

     

    May

    39

    61

    2010

    December

    29

    71

     

    April

    39

    61

    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

     

    TABLE 6

    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

    2010

    March

    April

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Mar

    Apr

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    47

    49

    46

    43

    39

    40

    34

    36

    31

    32

    33

    36

    32

    32

    29

    Excellent

    13

    13

    10

    3

    9

    7

    6

    6

    5

    5

    6

    6

    5

    6

    5

    Pretty good

    34

    36

    36

    34

    31

    33

    27

    30

    25

    27

    27

    30

    27

    26

    24

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    53

    51

    54

    57

    61

    60

    66

    64

    69

    68

    67

    64

    68

    68

    71

    Only fair

    30

    27

    30

    27

    25

    27

    30

    30

    31

    30

    31

    29

    32

    29

    31

    Poor

    23

    24

    24

    30

    36

    33

    37

    34

    39

    37

    36

    34

    37

    39

    40

    2010

    2011

    2012

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    27

    31

    30

    33

    33

    33

    32

    27

    26

    21

    23

    22

    25

    25

    32

    32

    Excellent

    5

    5

    5

    7

    9

    5

    7

    5

    3

    2

    3

    3

    4

    2

    3

    5

    Pretty good

    22

    26

    25

    26

    24

    28

    26

    22

    23

    18

    20

    20

    22

    22

    29

    27

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    73

    69

    70

    67

    62

    67

    68

    73

    74

    79

    77

    78

    75

    75

    68

    68

    Only fair

    33

    30

    34

    30

    22

    29

    28

    30

    33

    33

    36

    32

    34

    34

    30

    29

    Poor

    39

    39

    36

    37

    39

    38

    40

    43

    41

    46

    41

    46

    41

    41

    38

    39

    2013

    2014

    Feb

    Mar

    April

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    Apr

    May

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    36

    33

    39

    35

    33

    29

    30

    30

    29

    28

    31

    31

    32

    35

    Excellent

    4

    6

    6

    5

    5

    4

    5

    6

    4

    5

    4

    5

    5

    5

    Pretty good

    32

    27

    32

    31

    28

    28

    25

    24

    25

    23

    27

    26

    27

    29

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    64

    67

    61

    65

    67

    71

    70

    70

    71

    72

    69

    69

    68

    65

    Only fair

    26

    26

    26

    29

    29

    31

    28

    29

    30

    30

    29

    27

    29

    26

    Poor

    38

    41

    35

    36

    38

    40

    42

    41

    41

    42

    40

    42

    39

    39

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; In February 2012 Not at all sure was offered as a response choice and 4% responded in that way.

     

    TABLE 7

    EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR – TREND

    In the coming year, do you expect the economy toÉ?

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    April

    May

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    39

    38

    46

    40

    34

    38

    30

    29

    28

    30

    34

    29

    Stay the same

    35

    35

    32

    36

    37

    34

    42

    39

    40

    40

    41

    45

    Get worse

    26

    27

    22

    24

    29

    28

    28

    32

    32

    30

    25

    26

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Feb

    June

    July

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    34

    26

    23

    21

    20

    23

    36

    33

    32

    30

    29

    32

    Stay the same

    42

    41

    41

    45

    46

    47

    40

    31

    40

    37

    41

    42

    Get worse

    25

    33

    37

    34

    34

    29

    24

    36

    28

    33

    29

    25

    2013

    2014

    June

    July

    Aug.

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Nov.

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    32

    29

    27

    22

    22

    25

    27

    26

    26

    24

    26

    Stay the same

    41

    44

    42

    46

    37

    44

    42

    44

    43

    45

    48

    Get worse

    27

    27

    31

    32

    41

    32

    32

    30

    32

    31

    27

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

     

    TABLE 8

    EXPECTATIONS FOR HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL CONDITION IN NEXT SIX MONTHS

    Thinking about your household’s financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?

    Base: All adults

    2013

    2014

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    23

    21

    22

    26

    24

    24

    19

    18

    20

    23

    22

    21

    24

    Much better

    3

    3

    4

    5

    4

    5

    4

    3

    4

    4

    4

    4

    5

    Somewhat better

    20

    17

    18

    20

    20

    19

    15

    15

    16

    18

    19

    17

    20

    Will remain the same

    50

    49

    49

    50

    53

    49

    52

    48

    50

    49

    52

    52

    52

    WORSE (NET)

    27

    30

    28

    24

    23

    26

    29

    34

    30

    29

    26

    27

    23

    Somewhat worse

    20

    21

    20

    18

    17

    18

    21

    24

    19

    19

    18

    19

    17

    Much worse

    7

    9

    8

    6

    6

    9

    8

    11

    11

    10

    8

    8

    7

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


    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 14 and 19, 2014 among 2,286 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, The Harris Poll 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 Poll 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 our 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 The Harris Poll.

    The Harris Poll¨ #50, May 27, 2014

    By Regina A. Corso, VP, The Harris Poll and Public Relations Research

    About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

    On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.