Q-poll puts Obama approval at 42%, 48% disapproval

posted at 9:30 am on March 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

We can officially call the post-New Year bump in Barack Obama’s job approval ratings finished.  A new poll out this morning from Quinnipiac of over 2000 registered voters nationwide puts Obama’s approval level at 42%, the lowest in any Q-poll for Obama, with 48% disapproving.  His re-elect number is actually even lower:

American voters disapprove 48 – 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 – 41 percent he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012, both all-time lows, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 46 – 46 percent job approval rating and a 45 – 47 percent split on the President’s re-election in a March 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama gets 36 percent of the vote to 37 percent for an unnamed Republican challenger.

Democrats approve 80 – 13 percent of the job Obama is doing, but disapproval is 81 – 9 percent among Republicans and 50 – 39 percent among independent voters. Men disapprove 52 – 41 percent while women split 44 – 44 percent.

Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown notes that the post-election bump has entirely dissipated, and puts the blame on Obama’s handling of “the budget deficit, the economy, foreign policy, health care, and energy policy.”  That leaves out the Lily Ledbetter Act, of course, as the White House will surely point out in a press release, but otherwise comprises just about every priority issue voters have. It shows in the crosstabs, where Obama only gets a 39/50 job approval among independents.

Libya certainly didn’t help.  The survey was conducted entirely before Obama’s speech, so he may have a bump coming this week.  Clearly, though, his administration failed to make the case for American action; voters oppose involvement in Libya, 47/41.  By a significant majority of 58/29, respondents say that Obama has not clearly stated American goals for Odyssey Dawn.  Almost three-quarters of voters (74%) are concerned that the action will lead to a long-term engagement, not “days and not weeks” as Obama promised. Most worrisome for Obama is the nature of the support he is getting on Libya; 50% of Republicans support the action, but only 38% of Democrats and independents follow suit.

This isn’t the only poll showing a slide for Obama, either.  A new Gallup poll shows his marks on leadership are still barely in the majority but at a new low:

Americans have grown increasingly less likely to view President Obama as a strong and decisive leader since he took office. Roughly half now believe this aptly describes, him compared with 60% a year ago and 73% in April 2009. …

Altogether, Obama’s ratings on being a strong and decisive leader are down a total of 21 percentage points since taking office, compared with a 15-point decline on understanding Americans’ daily problems and a 9-point decline in sharing their values. Obama’s overall job approval rating declined 16 points over the same time period.

Normally, a military action allows a President an opportunity to demonstrate those leadership qualities.  Obama squandered that opportunity by leaving the country without addressing the nation as he sent the American military into a fresh conflict.  His speech ten days later might undo some of that damage, but if it doesn’t, Obama is in serious political trouble.  Few Presidents win a second term on a 41/50 re-elect number, especially when seem as a weak leader on top of it.


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