FILE: The White House, south lawn, WashingtonAP
Thursday, June 7, 2012: President Barack Obama talks about college affordability at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas.AP
While American voters consider the Obama administration successful on national security, majorities say it has mostly failed at stimulating the economy and improving health care -- two areas the White House cites as major legislative accomplishments.
A Fox News poll released Thursday shows 55 percent of voters think the Obama administration has mostly succeeded on making the country safer.
More than half of voters think the administration has mostly failed at creating new jobs (56 percent), stimulating the economy (54 percent) and improving health care (52 percent).
Roughly a quarter of Democrats agree that the administration has failed on creating jobs (28 percent), boosting the economy (24 percent) and improving health care (22 percent).
Click here for the poll results.
Most voters think the economy is hurting, including 41 percent who say the country is currently in a recession. This is an improvement from two years ago when 55 percent thought so. Forty-two percent say the country is in an economic downturn, but not a recession and 15 percent think the economy is doing okay.
Despite majority belief that the administration has made the country safer, views are about evenly divided on improving America’s image around the world: 48 percent say the Obama administration mostly succeeded and 44 percent say the opposite.
On U.S. drone attacks targeting terrorists for assassination, 49 percent of voters think the president should be personally involved in those decisions, while 39 percent disagree and 12 percent are unsure.
More generally, 37 percent voters think the United States is less respected around the world today than it was four years ago, 29 percent say more respected and 32 percent say it’s unchanged.
Overall, President Obama’s job approval rating holds steady at 49 percent -- unchanged from last month. This remains his highest approval rating since the days following the raid that killed Usama bin Laden when 55 percent of voters approved (May 2011). Still, the poll finds nearly as many voters -- 45 percent -- disapprove of his performance.
Most Democrats approve of the job their party’s leader is doing (84 percent), while most Republicans disapprove of Obama (80 percent). Independents are more likely to disapprove (48 percent) than approve (43 percent).
Meanwhile, Congress receives a 17 percent approval rating. That doesn’t sound impressive, yet that’s the best rating Congress has received in a year.
Finally, a 63-percent majority of voters thinks America’s best days are ahead. That’s up from 57 percent who felt that way the last time the question was asked in May 2009.
About one in four (26 percent) think the country’s best days are in the past.
Democrats (72 percent) are much more likely than Republicans (59 percent) and independents (55 percent) to think the country’s best days are still ahead. Optimism among Democrats is up three percentage points since 2009. Republicans are 17 points more likely to say America’s best days are ahead now than they were three years ago.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 907 randomly-chosen registered voters nationwide and is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from June 3 to June 5. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.