Barack Obama's second year as president is ending on a low note in the eyes of American voters, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.
The president continues to suffer from upside-down job ratings, and the number who thinks he will be re-elected is down significantly. A slim majority now says the country would be better off with someone else as president. Even so, more voters would still rather have Obama as president right now than George W. Bush.
These are just some of the findings from the latest Fox News national poll of registered voters.
Expectations for Obama's presidency have declined: 29 percent of voters expect Obama to rate as either “one of the country’s greatest” or as a “good” president. That’s down from 43 percent who felt that way a year ago -- and down dramatically from 62 percent who had similarly high expectations soon after he was elected (December 2008).
In addition, the number of Democrats who think Obama will be “one of the country’s greatest presidents” stands at 9 percent -- down from a high of 30 percent in 2008.
The new poll shows 33 percent think Obama’s presidency will rate as “average,” 19 percent say “below average,” and 15 percent say he will be seen as “one of the country’s worst” presidents.
About a third of voters (35 percent) think Obama deserves to be re-elected. A slim 53 percent majority says the country would be better off with someone else.
Democrats are alone in thinking Obama deserves another term (67 percent). Most Republicans (84 percent) and half of independents (50 percent) disagree. And one in five Democrats (20 percent) think the country would be better off with someone else as president.
Looking ahead to 2012, some 29 percent of voters predict Obama will be re-elected, down from 44 percent who thought so a year ago. Sixty-four percent now don’t think Obama will win another term, up from 46 percent in December 2009.
Still, by a 48-40 percent margin, more voters would prefer Obama over former President George W. Bush as president right now.
Overall, 40 percent of voters approve and 51 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing. While that is close to his previous rating of 41 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval in late October, the new ratings are his lowest to date.
Obama’s approval rating among Democrats stands at 75 percent, and 70 percent among self-identified liberals -- both are record lows.
The Fox News Poll was conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 randomly chosen registered voters from December 15 - December 16. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for the total sample.
Optimism for 2011
Nearly half of voters -- 48 percent -- feel this was a “bad” year for their family. Four in 10 say 2010 was a “good” year (40 percent), compared to 34 percent who felt that way about 2009.
Most are optimistic about the upcoming year: 69 percent expect 2011 will be better than 2010, while just 13 percent think it will be worse. Another 14 percent think things will be the same.
Among those who felt 2010 was a bad year, 63 percent expect 2011 to be better.
Finally, 6 in 10 voters (60 percent) say they are “happy” about the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections. That’s more than twice as many as the 27 percent who are unhappy.