Friday, January 27, 2012

Over Half of Americans Still Not Likely to Vote for President Obama This Fall


President Barack Obama and American voters.

Over Half of Americans Still Not Likely to Vote for President Obama This Fall


People thinking the country is moving in the right direction continues to inch up


HARRIS POLL LOGO Harris Poll Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Harris Interactive) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the calendar moved into a new year, it also moved into an election year and President Obama is starting this year exactly as he ended the last one in terms of his approval ratings. This month, just like in December, just over one-third of Americans (36%) give the President positive ratings for the overall job he is doing and slightly less than two-thirds (64%) give him negative marks. Looking at the possible swing states for the general election (Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia) two-thirds of Americans in these nine states (65%) give the President negative ratings while one-third (35%) give him positive marks. One thing to note is that this survey was conducted prior to the President giving his State of the Union address.

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

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,016 adults surveyed online between January 16 and 23, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Not surprisingly, just 6% of Republicans and 12% of Conservatives give President Obama positive ratings. Among Independents almost seven in ten (69%) give him negative ratings as do 58% of Moderates. Among the President's party, while two-thirds of Democrats (66%) give President Obama positive ratings, one-third (34%) give him negative ratings. Among liberals there is a wider gap as 60% give the President positive marks and 40% give him negative ratings.

Vice President Joe Biden fares a little worse. Just one in five Americans (22%) give the Vice President positive ratings for the job he is doing while almost half (45%) give him negative ratings. But, one-third (33%) say they are not familiar enough with him to rate his job performance.


Direction of the Country and Most Important Issue

One thing that continued to rise over the past few months is the direction Americans think the country is going. This month over one-quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say things are going in the right direction while just under three-quarters (73%) say things are going off on the wrong track. In December, one-quarter of Americans (24%) said things in the country were going in the right direction while three-quarters (76%) said things were going off on the wrong track.

One thing that probably won't change for a while is what Americans think is the most important issue for the government to address. More than two in five U.S. adults (42%) say the government should address employment/jobs while three in ten (31%) say one of the two most important issues for the government to address is the economy. One in five (21%) say the government should address healthcare, not Medicare while 12% say they should address the budget and government spending and 10% say taxes.


President Obama's re-election chances

The focus for the past few months has been on the Republicans as they decide which of the four remaining candidates will challenge President Obama this fall. But, looking at the President's re-election chances, if the election for president were to be held today, over half of Americans (52%) would be unlikely to vote to re-elect President Obama, two in five (41%) would be likely to vote for him and 7% are not at all sure. This is very similar to last month when 51% said they would be unlikely to vote to re-elect the President and 42% said they would be likely to do so. Looking at this by party, nine in ten Republicans (91%) and over half of Independents (52%) would be unlikely to vote for him as would 20% of Democrats. Also, in the likely 2012 swing states, 53% say they would be unlikely to vote for the President while 40% say they would be likely to vote for him.

When it comes to what Americans think will happen on Election Day, over one-third (36%) think President Obama will be re-elected while 41% think he will not be re-elected; one in five (22%) are not at all sure. Last month, 44% did not think he would be re-elected while just over one-third (35%) thought he would be re-elected.

So What?
Jobs and the economy are still the main issues that Americans want to see addressed. In his State of the Union address, the President definitely offered up his plans for help to grow the economy and to get more people back to work. But, two questions that remain are if they will actually work and will people believe in them. If so, this should give President Obama's re-election the shot it desperately needs right now. If it doesn't, this will be a long election year.

TABLE 1
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING - TREND

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



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