Two-Thirds of Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on the Economy

NEWYORK,N.Y. – June 29, 2010 – Since he has taken office, the global economic crisis has been one of the main problems confronting President Obama and his administration. Unfortunately, U.S. adults do not see the president as doing a good job on this issue as two-thirds (68%) give him negative ratings for the overall job he is doing on the economy, while 32% give him positive marks. This is a drop from last month when 36% of Americans gave him positive ratings and 64% gave him negative ones.

Almost all Republicans (95%) and three-quarters of Independents (75%) give the president negative ratings for his handling of the economy. One problem for the White House is that almost two in five Democrats (38%) also give President Obama negative ratings.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010.

Confidence in the White House on the economy

Another challenge for the White House is the steady decline of those who have confidence that the Administration can produce policies to fix the economic crisis. Right after President Obama took office, almost three in five Americans said they were confident the White House could produce policies to solve the economic crisis. By November of 2009, that number had dropped to 44% and in January of this year it was 41%. Now, 39% of U.S. adults say they are confident that the White House and Administration will produce policies to fix the economic crisis and 61% are not confident, including one-third of Americans (34%) who are not at all confident.

There is an education gap over the level of confidence in the White House on this issue. Just one-third of those with a high school education or less (33%) say they are confident compared to over half of those with a post-graduate education (57%).

Trust in political leaders on the economy

While they may not be confident in the White House to produce policies to fix the economic crisis, over half of Americans (52%) trust President Obama to do what is right for the American economy, though this is down from 61% who said this in August of last year. However, the public seems to trust the president more than they do any other political leader. Over half of U.S. adults (58%) say they do not trust the president’s economic advisors to do what is right for the American economy; last August, 54% expressed trust in them.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress fare even worse. Almost three-quarters of Americans (64%) say they do not trust Democrats in Congress to do what is right for the American economy and 70% do not trust Republicans.

So What?

Voters tend to cast their ballots based on wallet issues. This is important for the White House, and more importantly right now, for those in Congress running for re-election this fall. Economic indicators aside, how people feel about the economy always comes down to how impacted they feel. If they are still worried about losing their jobs and making ends meet, this will further determine how they vote in November. And if the White House is having trouble getting their policies through a Democratic Congress, imagine the difficulties this administration would have moving legislation in a Republican one.

 

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

2010

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Nov

Dec

Jan

March

April

May

June

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

47

49

46

43

39

40

34

36

31

32

33

36

32

Excellent

13

13

10

3

9

7

6

6

5

5

6

6

5

Pretty good

34

36

36

34

31

33

27

30

25

27

27

30

27

NEGATIVE (NET)

53

51

54

57

61

60

66

64

69

68

67

64

68

Only fair

30

27

30

27

25

27

30

30

31

30

31

29

32

Poor

23

24

24

30

36

33

37

34

39

37

36

34

37

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

 

TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – BY GENERATION AND POLITICAL PARTY

Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?

Base: All adults

Total

Generation

Political Party

Echo Boomers (18-33)

Gen X (34-45)

Baby Boomers (46-64)

Matures (65+)

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

32

32

26

35

29

5

62

25

Excellent

5

3

4

6

5

1

11

2

Pretty good

27

29

22

29

24

4

51

23

NEGATIVE (NET)

68

68

74

65

71

95

38

75

Only fair

32

41

33

26

25

26

28

37

Poor

37

26

40

39

46

69

10

39

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

 

TABLE 3

CONFIDENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE

How confident are you that the White House and the Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis?

Base: All adults

 

2009

2010

March

April

May

June

Aug.

Oct.

Nov.

Jan

June

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

CONFIDENT (NET)

57

57

55

49

53

44

44

41

39

Very confident

16

17

17

12

16

13

9

10

7

Somewhat confident

41

40

38

37

37

31

35

31

33

NOT CONFIDENT (NET)

43

43

45

51

47

56

56

59

61

Not that confident

23

21

24

25

23

25

25

26

27

Not at all confident

20

22

21

27

25

32

31

33

34

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

 

TABLE 4

CONFIDENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE – BY POLITICAL PARTY AND EDUCATION

How confident are you that the White House and the Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis?

Base: All adults

 

Total

Education

Political Party

H.S. or less

Some College

College Grad

Post Grad

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

CONFIDENT (NET)

39

33

40

42

57

9

72

32

Very confident

7

6

7

5

10

1

15

4

Somewhat confident

33

27

33

37

47

8

57

28

NOT CONFIDENT (NET)

61

67

60

58

43

91

28

68

Not that confident

27

27

26

30

20

27

21

30

Not at all confident

34

40

34

28

23

63

8

37

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

 

TABLE 5

TRUST REGARDING THE ECONOMY

How much trust do you have in each of the following to do what is right for the American economy?

Base: All adults

 

TRUST (NET)

A great deal of trust

Some trust

DO NOT TRUST (NET)

Not that much trust

No trust at all

President Barack Obama

June 2010

%

52

23

29

48

17

30

Aug. 2009

%

61

36

25

39

14

26

The President’s economic advisors

June 2010

%

42

8

34

58

28

30

Aug. 2009

%

54

17

37

46

20

26

The Democrats in Congress

June 2010

%

36

6

30

64

31

33

Aug. 2009

%

45

10

35

55

24

30

The Republicans in Congress

June 2010

%

30

3

27

70

37

33

Aug. 2009

%

33

4

29

67

38

29

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

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, 2010 among 2,227 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.

J38301

Q705, 708, 710

The Harris Poll® #83, June 29, 2010

By Regina Corso, Director The Harris Poll