Published July 20, 2011
American voters are divided on Barack Obama’s overall performance as president, and by double-digit margins they not only think the economy is getting worse, but also that it’s the Obama administration’s fault.
Some 45 percent of voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 46 percent disapprove, making this his lowest approval for the year so far. Previously, the president’s job rating was split evenly 46-46 (June 26-28, 2011).
A year ago, 43 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved of the president’s performance (13-14 July 2010).
These are just some of the findings from a Fox News poll released Wednesday.
Approval of the president among Democrats currently stands at 76 percent, which is just one percentage-point higher than his record low 75 percent approval among the party faithful (December 2010).
Among independents, 44 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance.
Voters are more than twice as likely to say the economy is getting worse than to say it is getting better. The new poll found 58 percent of voters think the economy is getting worse. That’s up from 52 percent who felt that way last year and 42 percent in 2009.
On the flip side, 26 percent think things are getting better economically -- down from 35 percent who thought things were improving last summer, and 40 percent in 2009.
Likewise, by a 15 percentage-point margin, more voters say the Obama administration has made the economy worse (49 percent) rather than better (34 percent).
While over half of Democrats think the Obama administration is helping, about one in six says it is making things worse (17 percent). Independents are 20 points more likely to think the White House is doing damage to the economy.
Current views are mostly unchanged from last summer when 47 percent of voters said the administration was making the economy worse, 36 percent said better and 12 percent said no difference (September 2010).
Meanwhile, a 58-percent majority thinks it is unfair for President Obama to continue to blame former President George W. Bush for the country’s economic problems. Thirty-six percent think it is still fair -- including 6 percent of Republicans. A majority of independents (61 percent) and 28 percent of Democrats think it is unfair for Obama to keep blaming Bush.
Moving from domestic policy to international affairs, by a slim margin more voters think Obama has improved America’s reputation around the world (43 percent) than think he has damaged it (38 percent). Another 13 percent say it hasn’t changed.
Most Democrats (72 percent) think Obama has improved the country’s image, while the same number of Republicans holds the opposite view (72 percent). Among independents, views are split: 39 percent say improved and 37 percent say damaged.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 904 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw Company Research (R) from July 17 to July 19. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.