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Press Release

Almost Six in Ten Americans Give President Obama Negative Job Rating

Almost nine in ten give Congress negative ratings

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking ahead, President Obama most likely sees many battles forthcoming. There's the current budget showdown which has the potential to lead to a government shutdown. There is the labor issue and all eyes are watching to see how the White House responds to what is happening in Wisconsin. And then there is his own electoral battle, albeit 20 months from now, but still on the horizon.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO)

Going into these battles, almost three in five Americans (58%) have a negative opinion of the job the President is doing while 42% have a positive opinion of it. This is slightly down from last month when 44% of U.S. adults gave the job the President was doing positive marks and 56% gave it negative ratings.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,171 adults surveyed online between February 14 and 21, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Partisanship definitely exists in looking at President Obama's job approval ratings. Nine in ten Republicans (90%) give the President poor ratings while almost three-quarters (73%) of Democrats give him positive marks and Independents are more negative than positive with 60% giving the President negative marks and 40% positive. What is interesting is the depth of support among Republicans and Democrats. Almost six in ten Republicans (57%) give President Obama a rating of poor, the worst on the scale. Among Democrats, just one in five (22%) give the President a rating of excellent, while half (50%) say he is doing a pretty good job.

There is also a large regional divide. Just three in ten Southerners (31%) give President Obama positive ratings as do 42% of Midwesterners. Westerners are very split as 49% give the President positive ratings while 51% give him negative marks. The President's strongest ratings come from the East where over half (54%) give him positive ratings on the job he is doing.

It is almost two months into the new Congress and yet they are not faring much better than the previous Congress did in terms of their ratings. Over four in five Americans (86%) rate the overall job Congress is doing negatively while just 14% give Congress positive ratings. Last month, 84% of U.S. adults gave them negative marks while 16% positive ratings.

It's not just Congress and the President who are mired in negative ratings, the direction of the country is as well. Almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) say things in the country are going off on the wrong track, almost the same as last month (63%). Over one-third of U.S. adults (36%) say things are going in the right direction; 37% said this last month.

So What?

Americans may be hearing that things are getting better and they can see the stock market has had a nice run, but this hasn't translated into better job ratings for President Obama or for Congress. And, if turmoil in the Middle East continues and impacts gas prices for the summer driving season, expect these numbers to move down, not up. That's something the White House definitely does not want to see one year before the presidential election.

TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING - TREND

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

Base: All adults



2009

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

55

58

59

54

51

49

45

43

41

  Excellent

17

18

17

14

11

11

10

9

7

  Pretty good

38

40

42

39

39

38

35

33

33

NEGATIVE

45

42

41

46

49

51

55

57

59

  Only fair

27

26

25

25

25

25

27

29

30

  Poor

18

15

16

21

24

26

28

29

30






2010

2011

Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

40

41

41

42

39

40

38

37

38

36

44

42

  Excellent

9

9

9

10

6

9

9

8

8

7

10

11

  Pretty good

31

32

31

32

33

31

29

29

30

28

34

32

NEGATIVE

60

59

59

58

61

60

62

63

62

64

56

58

  Only fair

30

28

26

28

29

26

28

30

29

31

28

29

  Poor

30

31

33

30

32

34

34

33

33

34

29

29

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




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 Philosophy

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

42

10

73

40

13

45

75

   Excellent

11

3

22

6

3

8

29

   Pretty good

32

6

50

34

10

37

46

NEGATIVE

58

90

27

60

87

55

25

   Only fair

29

33

21

31

26

35

17

   Poor

29

57

6

30

61

20

7

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




TABLE 3

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING – BY REGION, EDUCATION & GENDER

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

Base: All adults



Total

Region

Education

Gender

East

Midwest

South

West

H.S. or less

Some college

College grad

Post grad

Men

Women

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

42

54

42

31

49

36

43

48

62

42

43

   Excellent

11

19

9

6

12

12

8

10

17

14

8

   Pretty good

32

35

33

25

37

24

35

37

45

28

35

NEGATIVE

58

46

58

69

51

64

57

52

38

58

57

   Only fair

29

28

31

30

25

30

28

30

19

25

31

   Poor

29

18

27

39

27

34

29

22

19

32

26

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



TABLE 4

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING

"How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults



Total

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

14

10

22

9

   Excellent

4

3

8

1

   Pretty good

10

6

14

8

NEGATIVE

86

90

78

91

   Only fair

47

47

48

46

   Poor

39

43

30

45

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




TABLE 5

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

"How would you rate the overall job the Congress is doing?"

Base: All adults



TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2011

February

14

86


January

16

84

2010

December

11

89


November

13

87

October

11

89

September

13

87

August

15

85

June

14

86

May

15

85

April

16

84

March

10

90

Jan.

16

84

2009

Dec.

17

83


Oct.

16

84

Sept.

19

81

Aug.

22

78

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.

Note: Prior to March, 2009, this question was asked by telephone.




TABLE 6

RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK

"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

%

%

2011

February

36

64


January

37

63

2010

December

29

71


November

33

67

October

34

66

September

36

64

April

39

61

March

33

67

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

Note: Prior to March, 2009 this question was asked via telephone




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 14 to 21, 2011 among 3,171 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.

J39370

Q1205, 1210, 1215

The Harris Poll® #26, February 28, 2011

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

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:

Corporate Communications

Harris Interactive

212-539-9600

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive

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