Friday, September 23, 2011

Almost Half of Americans Do Not Think President Obama Will be Re-elected

22 Sep 2011 16:43 Africa/Lagos

Almost Half of Americans Do Not Think President Obama Will be Re-elected

Approval ratings unchanged from lows of last month

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2011

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After a spirited speech to Congress and presenting his jobs bill President Obama starts the fall with the same approval ratings he had at the end of the summer. This month, exactly the same as in August, just one-third of Americans (32%) give the president positive ratings on the overall job he is doing while two-thirds (68%) give him negative ratings.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,462 adults surveyed online between September 12 and 19, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the ratings on a partisan level, it's not shocking that almost all Republicans (96%) and nine in ten Conservatives (90%) give the President negative marks, but so do seven in ten Independents (71%) and almost two-thirds of Moderates (64%). While majorities of Democrats (58%) and Liberals (53%) still give the President positive marks, large enough numbers of both groups of the President's traditional supporters (42% of Democrats and 47% of Liberals) give him negative ratings, giving the White House and the re-election team a bit to be concerned about.

While the President's ratings may continue to be at his lowest, one small piece of comfort he has is that he is doing a better job than Congress. Right now, almost all Americans (94%) have a negative view of the overall job Congress is doing and just 6% give them positive ratings. This low rating transcends party lines as only 7% of both Democrats and Republicans and 5% of Independents give Congress positive marks.

What has bounced back just slightly from last month is the number of people who think the country is going in the right direction. This month, 22% think the country is heading in the right direction while 78% think things have gotten off on the wrong track. While still low, this is better than in August when only 16% thought things were going in the right direction and 84% said they were going off on the wrong track.

One reason for all the negativity is the concern over economic issues. When asked what the two most important issues for the government to address are, half of Americans (50%) say it is employment and jobs. Another quarter say the government needs to address the economy (27%), while 17% say healthcare, 13% say the budget deficit, 11% say the budget and government spending and 7% each say taxes and social security.

Looking to next November

Even more disturbing for the White House are the numbers on likelihood of voting for President Obama. If the election for president were to be held today, over half of Americans (53%) say they would be unlikely to vote for Barack Obama while 39% say they would be likely to vote for him. Almost half (47%) say they would be very unlikely to vote for President Obama. Looking at this on a partisan level, nine in ten Republicans (92%) say they are unlikely to vote for President Obama as are three in five Independents (59%). Even among the two groups who are the President's more staunch supporters over one in five of both Liberals (23%) and Democrats (21%) say they are unlikely to vote for the President if the election were to be held today.

What is another concern is something that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just three in ten Americans (30%) think President Obama will be re-elected while almost half (47%) do not think he will be re-elected; one-quarter (23%) are not at all sure. While 51% of Democrats believe President Obama will be re-elected, one-quarter do not (24%) and one-quarter are not at all sure (24%).

So What?

As multiple political commentators have said, the 2012 general re-election campaign began with President Obama's recent address to Congress. Yes, the Republicans still have to pick their candidate, but the President is starting to push forward the agenda he hopes to work his re-election campaign around next year. If he doesn't do something and stays mired in these low approval numbers and negative re-elect numbers, this election may be over before it even starts. The only consolation is that the GOP primary looks like it may be a long one and the eventual Republican candidate may emerge tired and possibly wounded after a blistering primary.

Click here for the full report.

2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

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