No Bounce for President Obama on Economic Job Ratings

NEW YORK , N.Y. – May 24, 2011 – While his overall job rating may have gone up after the death of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama’s economic job rating has not seen the same bounce. Just one-third of Americans (32%) give him positive ratings on the overall job he is doing on the economy while almost seven in ten (68%) give him negative ratings. This is only a slight change from March when 33% gave the President positive marks on the economy and 67% gave him negative ratings.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,184 adults surveyed online between May 9 and 16, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Much of the reason behind these negative numbers is the overall sense the economy is bad. Three in five Americans (59%) say the economic conditions in their region of the country are bad, one-quarter (23%) say they are neither good nor bad and fewer than one in five (18%) say they are good. While this isn’t good, it is better from the height of the consumer crisis, when in January 2009 almost three-quarters of Americans (72%) said the economic conditions of their region of the country were bad. In terms of the different regions, the Midwest seems to be the worst as almost two-thirds (64%) say the conditions in their region are bad.

Jobs

The one thing that everyone is watching closely with this economic recovery is when the job market will also start to rebound. While Americans may still rate the job market as overall bad, this is the best the feelings towards employment have been since 2008. Currently, three in five U.S. adults (61%) say the current job market in their region of the nation is bad, while almost one-quarter (23%) say it is neither good nor bad and 16% say it is good. In March, almost two-thirds of Americans (65%) said the job market was bad and 13% said it was good.

Looking ahead for the job market, three in ten U.S. adults (30%) expect the job market to be better over the next six months while one in five (21%) say it will be worse and half (49%) believe it will remain the same. In March, one third of Americans (32%) thought the job market would be better in the next six months and 16% believed it would be worse.

So What?

Jobs and the economy remain to be top concerns for Americans and until these turn around in their mind, nothing else will be able to rise to the top. Attitudes on this issue have been holding steady for a while now but they have been holding steady in a negative light. The hope for the White House is that the economy and job market turns around and they, and President Obama, get the credit for that turnaround in time for next November’s election.

 

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

May

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

31

30

33

33

33

32

Excellent

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

7

9

5

7

Pretty good

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

26

25

26

24

28

26

NEGATIVE (NET)

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

69

70

67

62

67

68

Only fair

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

30

34

30

22

29

28

Poor

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

39

36

37

39

38

40

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

RATING OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN REGION – TREND

How would you rate the economic condition of your region of the nation?

Base: All adults

2008

2009

2011

November

January

May

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

10

18

Very good

1

1

4

Somewhat good

9

9

14

Neither good nor bad

16

17

23

BAD (NET)

74

72

59

Somewhat bad

45

46

36

Very bad

28

26

23

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

 

TABLE 3

RATING OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN REGION – BY REGION

How would you rate the economic condition of your region of the nation?

Base: All adults

Total

Region

East

Midwest

South

West

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

18

14

14

20

20

Very good

4

4

2

2

7

Somewhat good

14

10

13

19

13

Neither good nor bad

23

31

22

20

23

BAD (NET)

59

55

64

59

57

Somewhat bad

36

34

40

36

33

Very bad

23

21

24

24

24

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

 

TABLE 4

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

May

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

8

10

12

10

12

10

13

11

13

13

15

13

16

Neither good nor bad

20

18

21

20

25

22

21

21

23

24

22

24

22

23

BAD (NET)

70

73

70

68

66

66

69

66

66

63

65

61

65

61

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

 

TABLE 5

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)

16

12

12

19

16

Very good

3

4

3

2

5

Somewhat good

12

8

9

18

11

Neither good nor bad

23

28

24

21

22

BAD (NET)

61

59

64

60

62

Somewhat bad

33

36

35

31

31

Very bad

28

23

29

28

31

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

 

TABLE 6

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

Aug

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

May

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

15

23

21

28

26

23

21

23

30

25

31

31

32

30

Will be much better

1

3

2

2

1

2

2

3

2

2

4

4

2

4

Will be somewhat better

14

20

19

26

25

21

19

20

28

23

26

27

30

26

Will remain the same

36

42

47

47

53

49

53

53

50

54

51

51

52

49

WORSE (NET)

49

36

32

25

21

27

26

24

21

22

18

18

16

21

Will be somewhat worse

36

29

24

19

15

22

20

18

15

16

13

13

11

14

Will be much worse

14

7

8

6

6

5

6

6

6

6

6

5

6

7

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

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 9 to 16, 2011 among 2,184 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.

J40013

Q705, 710, 722, 725, 728

The Harris Poll ® #62, May 24, 2011

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