Quinnipiac poll: Obama’s approval nears 50%, health care best and worst achievement.
Conducted Jan. 4-11 error margin 2.4 points.
FOR RELEASE: JANUARY 13, 2011
OBAMA’S APPROVAL BOUNCES BACK,
QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY NATIONAL POLL FINDS;
HEALTH CARE IS BEST AND WORST THING HE’S DONE
Halfway through his first term, President Barack Obama has a 48 – 44 percent approval rating, rebounding almost to the magic 50 percent threshold for the first time since October of 2009. American voters split 47 – 45 percent on whether his presidency is a success or a failure, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 26 percent of American voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh pe-ack) University survey that health care is the best thing President Obama has done. In a separate open-ended question, 27 percent of voters list health care as the worst thing he has done.
“The president’s job approval has improved, whether in reaction to GOP success in November’s elections, the deals he was able to negotiate with congressional Republicans during the lame duck session or some other reasons,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Whether this is the beginning of a change in public opinion about the president or just a blip we’ll see as events unfold in the coming year.”
Although the president’s overall rating has improved, there is little change in the pattern of his support:
- Women approve 52 – 40 percent;
- Men disapprove 48 – 45 percent;
- Blacks approve 89 – 6 percent;
- Hispanics approve 64 – 19 percent;
- Whites disapprove 53 – 39 percent;
- Democrats approve 85 – 10;
- Republicans disapprove 84 – 12 percent;
- Independent voters disapprove 46 – 41 percent.
Quinnipiac University Poll/January 13, 2010 – page 2
“President Barack Obama’s improvement in the polls – he had a 49 – 44 percent disapproval overall from the country when Quinnipiac University polled on November 17, just after the election and before the lame duck congressional session – comes from the groups one would expect first to come back his way,” said Brown.
President Obama also scores better when asked about comparisons to former President George W. Bush and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain than he had in past polls.
American voters say 46 – 30 percent that Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, a larger margin than in November when they said so 43 – 37 percent. Voters also say 41 – 32 percent that the country would be worse off if McCain had won the 2008 election.
“On balance, the American people are giving him thumbs up halfway through his presidency,” said Brown. “Given the pasting his party took at the polls in November, the president and his supporters can take some heart that things aren’t all that bad politically for Obama’s re-election.”
But voters oppose by a narrow 45 – 42 percent margin the idea being pushed by Obama’s Democratic allies in the U.S. Senate to require 51 votes to break a filibuster and pass legislation rather than the current requirement of 60 votes to break a filibuster.
“There is no groundswell of support for changing the filibuster rule,” said Brown.
Voters approve 47 – 38 percent Obama’s handling of foreign policy, but they disapprove 55 – 30 percent of his handling of illegal immigration.
Obama is honest and trustworthy, voters say 63 – 31 percent; he has strong leadership qualities, voters say 64 – 33 percent, and generally shares their views on issues they care about, voters say 49 – 46 percent.
Given four choices, 44 percent say they like Obama and his policies, while 2 percent don’t like him but like his policies. Another 29 percent like him personally but not his policies and 19 percent dislike both him and his policies.
From January 4 – 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,647 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.