- Feb 10, 2006
- Reaction score
- eastern Montana
A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re- election.
The downbeat assessment of the American Jobs Act reflects a growing and broad sense of dissatisfaction with the president. Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12 shows. The disapproval number represents a nine point increase from six months ago.
The president’s job approval rating also stands at the lowest of his presidency -- 45 percent. That rating is driven down in part by a majority of independents, 53 percent, who disapprove of his performance.
“I don’t think he’s done as good a job as I think he could have,” said Paul Kaplan, 58, an unemployed Democrat from Philadelphia. “We were hopeful that things would improve in the economy and they’ve only gotten worse. People in Washington just don’t seem to want to cooperate with each other and work for the people.”
The poll hands Obama new lows in each of the categories that measures his performance on the economy: only 36 percent of respondents approve of his efforts to create jobs, 30 percent approve of how he’s tackled the budget deficit and 39 percent approve of his handling of health care.
Jobs Bill Skepticism
By a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent, Americans doubt the package of tax cuts and spending proposals intended to jumpstart job creation that Obama submitted to Congress this week will bring down the 9.1 percent jobless rate. That sentiment undermines one of the core arguments the president is making on the job act’s behalf in a nationwide campaign to build public support.
Compounding Obama’s challenge is that 56 percent of independents, whom the president won in 2008 and will need to win in 2012, are skeptical it will work.
“I think the jobs bill is a good start, but it’s hard to look at it real positively in light of what’s just happened with the budget,” said Jason Dumas, a 40 year-old independent voter from Charlotte, North Carolina. “The partisanship is still there and it seems like we’re gearing up more for the election.”
In all of the categories gauging Obama’s performance on economic issues, the president’s disapproval rating among independents is above 50 percent.
On the economy, 29 percent of independents approve of the job Obama is doing while 66 percent disapprove. Obama is weakest among independents when it comes to his ability to reduce the deficit -- under a quarter of those respondents approve of his job in that category, while 67 percent disapprove. On job creation, 30 percent of independents approve of Obama’s efforts while 63 percent disapprove. He scored slightly better among independents on health care with 34 percent approving and 57 percent disapproving.
Forty-six percent of independents say they definitely won’t vote to re-elect the president, compared to 21 percent who definitely will support him. In 2008, Obama was backed by 52 percent of independent voters, compared to 44 percent who backed Republican nominee John McCain, an Arizona senator, according to exit polls.
In addition to lost ground with independents, Obama’s 2008 supporters are less enthused in the wake of the summer’s fight to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default, according to the poll of 997 adults conducted by Selzer & Co., based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Core Support Decline
Of the respondents who said they’ve supported Obama at one point since he launched his presidential campaign in 2007, fewer than half say they still support him as fervently. Thirty- seven percent say their support has waned and 19 percent say he lost their backing because they’ve grown disappointed or angry with his leadership.
Almost a third of Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents say they’d like to see Obama face a primary challenge.