Photo: Obama Poll Numbers
Despite some recent successes abroad, President Obama continues to struggle with how Americans perceive the job he is doing at home, particularly on the economy. This month over three quarters of U.S. adults give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of the economy (77%) while just under one quarter give him positive ratings (23%). While these numbers are fairly dismal, they do show a slight improvement from September when 79% gave the President negative marks.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,463 adults surveyed online between October 10 and 17, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
Criticism on President Obama’s handling of the economy is not confined to the opinions of Republicans (95% give negative ratings) and Conservatives (93% give negative ratings). Rather, members of all political parties and philosophies currently give the President negative marks, including over half of Democrats (56%), Liberals (57%), three quarters of Moderates (76%) and over eight in ten Independents (83%). Further, Americans do not seem hopeful that this situation will reverse any time soon—almost three quarters say they are not confident that the White House and Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis (73%). Additionally, only one in five expects the economy will improve in the coming year (20%); 46% say it will stay the same and a third think it will get worse (34%).
Although negative feelings abound regarding the economy, some regions of the country seem to be in worse shape than others. While almost two thirds rate the economic condition in their region of the country as bad (64%), virtually unchanged from the 65% who said so last month, there are some variances by area. Almost three quarters of Westerners call the economic condition of their region of the nation bad (73%) while fewer say the same in the Midwest (64%), South (61%) and East (59%).
The Buffett Tax
Recently some Americans have been protesting as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, communicating displeasure with the extreme wealth disparity in the country, among other economic and political woes. One piece of legislature, recently proposed by the Senate, could combat some of those issues. Two thirds of Americans say they support the Buffett Tax, as it’s sometimes called, which would impose a surtax on those earning more than $1 million per year (66%). This potential legislation, which 45% of Americans say they strongly support is supported (either strongly or somewhat) by 85% of Democrats, 64% of Moderates and 48% of Republicans. Interestingly those with a higher household income support the legislation more with 70% of those earning $100K per year or more supporting it, compared to lesser majorities in lower income brackets.
Americans are unhappy about the economy and they seem to be demanding change. And, unfortunately for the current Administration the people seem to have little confidence in its ability to bring that change. The longer this unhappiness continues, the greater the “uprising” will be, mostly likely at the ballot box next November. It will be interesting to see how the Obama camp and the Republican nominees cater to these financial concerns as they campaign for the 2012 presidential election.
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