Three-Quarters of Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on His Handling of Jobs

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – June 29, 2011 – President Obama has seen his overall job rating drop this month as well as his rating on how he is handling the economy . And, when looking at some other specific issues, the downward trend continues. In February of this year, just three in ten Americans (29%) gave President Obama positive ratings on his handling of jobs. Now one-quarter do (24%) while almost half (46%) give the President a rating of poor, The Harris Poll’s lowest rating.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,163 adults surveyed online between June 13 and 20, 2011.

    Three in five Americans give the President negative ratings on his handling of education (61%) and healthcare (63%) while just 34% give him positive ratings on both areas. In February, just under two in five U.S. adults gave the President positive marks on education (39%) and healthcare (37%). On the environment, over half (56%) give President Obama negative ratings while 37% give him positive ratings and on his handling of the unrest in the Middle East, 57% give him negative marks and 38% give him positive ratings. In February, two in five Americans gave the President positive ratings on his handling of both the unrest in the Middle East (39%) and the environment (41%).

    Partisan support

    Among Republicans, the President’s best numbers are on his handling of the environment where 13% give him positive ratings. For Democrats, three in five or more give him positive ratings on his handling of the unrest in the Middle East (65%), the environment (63%), healthcare (63%), and education (60%). But only two in five Democrats (42%) give the President positive ratings on how he is handling the issue of jobs.

    Independents, who typically decide elections, are not happy with the President’s handling of these issues. Only one-third (34%) give him positive ratings on how he has handled the unrest in the Middle East while three in ten give him positive ratings in his handling of the environment (31%), healthcare (31%) and education (30%). The lowest rating is on his handling of jobs where just 19% of Independents give President Obama positive marks.

    So What?

    Foreign policy wins are nice for a president as are winning on big domestic issues such as healthcare or the environment. But these are not things Americans typically vote on come Election Day. Come November, what people tend to think about is how they feel, compared to the same time 4 years previously. As Ronald Reagan once asked, Are you better than you were four years ago? President Obama has a little over a year before the answer to that question really matters but if it were asked now, based on how they see his handling of a key issue such as jobs, Americans may say no and vote accordingly.

     

    TABLE 1

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB ON VARIOUS ISSUES

    How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing on each of the following?

    Base: All adults

     

    POSITIVE (NET)

    Excellent

    Pretty good

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    Only fair

    Poor

    Not at all sure

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    The unrest in the Middle East

    38

    11

    27

    57

    25

    32

    5

    The environment

    37

    7

    30

    56

    30

    26

    7

    Healthcare

    34

    15

    19

    63

    18

    45

    3

    Education

    34

    9

    25

    61

    31

    30

    5

    Jobs

    24

    6

    17

    74

    27

    46

    3

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

     

    TABLE 2A

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB ON VARIOUS ISSUES – TREND AND DETAIL

    How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing on each of the following?

    Summary of those saying Excellent or Pretty good

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Region

    Political Party

    Political Philosophy

    Feb 2011

    June 2011

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    The unrest in the Middle East

    39

    38

    36

    45

    31

    45

    11

    65

    34

    15

    43

    61

    The environment

    41

    37

    38

    42

    34

    38

    13

    63

    31

    18

    40

    59

    Healthcare

    37

    34

    31

    35

    30

    44

    6

    63

    31

    10

    37

    64

    Education

    39

    34

    35

    40

    29

    36

    9

    60

    30

    13

    37

    60

    Jobs

    29

    24

    21

    28

    20

    29

    6

    42

    19

    8

    24

    46

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

     

    TABLE 2B

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB ON VARIOUS ISSUES – EDUCATION AND INCOME

    How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing on each of the following?

    Summary of those saying Excellent or Pretty good

    Base: All adults

     

    June 2011

    Education

    Household Income

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad

    Post grad

    $34.9K or less

    $35K-$49.9K

    $50K-$74.9K

    $75K-$99.9K

    $100K+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    The unrest in the Middle East

    38

    31

    36

    46

    54

    35

    40

    40

    36

    41

    The environment

    37

    30

    37

    43

    53

    36

    35

    38

    42

    41

    Healthcare

    34

    25

    32

    44

    54

    32

    33

    36

    33

    38

    Education

    34

    27

    36

    41

    43

    32

    36

    36

    34

    37

    Jobs

    24

    17

    23

    32

    34

    24

    24

    25

    23

    24

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

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 13 to 20, 2011 among 2,163 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.

    J40315

    Q1220, 705

    The Harris Poll® #79, June 29, 2011

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