An overwhelming majority of American voters agree on at least one thing -- the Founding Fathers would be unhappy with the way things are going in Washington these days. So says a whopping 84 percent of voters, including a large majorities of Democrats (77 percent), Republicans (92 percent) and independents (81 percent).
In addition, a Fox News poll released Thursday shows 46 percent of voters approve of the job President Obama is doing and 47 percent disapprove. Only once before has the president’s approval rating been this low. In November, 46 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved. Last month 50 percent approved and 42 percent disapproved (12-13 January 2010).
Obama receives slightly higher ratings on a personal level, as 51 percent say they have a favorable opinion of him and 43 percent unfavorable.
The president also receives mixed reviews on connecting with the public. About half of voters (49 percent) think he is doing a good job listening to the American people, while a large minority (41 percent) says President Obama is doing a bad job listening.
Moreover, voters want the president not only to listen, but also to take those views into consideration when governing. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64 percent) say the president should try to follow the views of Americans when making decisions. About one in four (23 percent) think the president should do what he thinks is the right thing to do, regardless of what the public thinks.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from February 2 to February 3. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Both Parties to Blame for Gridlock
Both parties receive blame for the political gridlock. Just over a third of Americans (36 percent) think Democrats “really do” want to find a way to work with Republicans, while a 55 percent majority disagrees. An even larger 62 percent majority thinks Republicans don’t really want to work with Democrats and President Obama. Some 28 percent think they do.
Nearly half of voters (46 percent) believe Republicans have offered alternatives to Democratic proposals this year. The remaining 40 percent agree with labeling the GOP as the party of “no,” and say Republicans have not offered their own ideas.
What about the president? Forty-four percent think Obama is trying to reach out to Republicans, while almost as many -- 41 percent -- think he is more concerned with pushing Democratic policies.
More than seven in 10 voters (71 percent) think the American public is more frustrated by the gridlock in Washington, while 12 percent think President Obama is the one more annoyed.
Almost half of voters (45 percent) think President Obama blames the Bush administration “too much” for the country’s current situation. About a third (35 percent) thinks Obama blames Bush “about the right amount” -- that’s about twice as many as think he doesn’t blame the former administration enough (17 percent).
Despite being president for over a year and serving in Washington as a U.S. senator for about four years before that, voters are more likely to describe Barack Obama as a Washington outsider (48 percent) than as a Washington insider (37 percent).