Published October 10, 2012
Slim majorities of American voters say the Obama administration has mostly failed to grow the economy and create jobs. And while a majority says President Obama has mostly succeeded at making America safer, two-thirds of voters are concerned about the administration’s initial false statements on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Libya.
Fifty-two percent of likely voters think the Obama administration has mostly succeeded at making the country safer. That’s the only positive rating for the White House on the issues tested.
Fifty-three percent think the administration has mostly failed at creating new jobs, and another 53 percent feel it has failed on growing the economy.
On health care: 44 percent say the White House has improved it and 48 percent say it’s failed to do so. Likewise, 44 percent think the administration has succeeded in improving the country’s image around the world, while 48 percent say it’s failed.
Half or more of independents think the administration has failed on jobs (57 percent), the economy (55 percent), improving America’s image (51 percent) and health care (50 percent).
President Obama also receives negative ratings on his handling of the economy: 44 percent of voters approve, while 53 percent disapprove. That’s about where his ratings have been on the economy since August.
Overall, 49 percent of likely voters approve and 48 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president -- unchanged from two weeks ago.
Some 37 percent of voters approve of how Obama’s dealing with Libya, and 46 percent disapprove. Another 17 percent are unsure.
In the aftermath of the September assault on diplomatic facilities in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, Obama administration officials falsely claimed it was a spontaneous reaction to an offensive online video, even though they had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda.
Two-thirds of voters (67 percent) find it “troubling” that the White House initially made false public statements about the attacks. For 26 percent “it’s not much of a concern.”
Almost all Republicans (90 percent) and a majority of independents (70 percent) call the administration’s actions troubling. For Democrats, 43 percent say “troubling” and 45 percent say it’s “not much of a concern.”
Why did the administration give misleading info in their early statements? A 37-percent plurality of voters thinks it was to “help the president’s campaign.” Another 26 percent say it was for “diplomatic reasons,” and 23 percent think it was just a “mistake.”
Optimism for the Future
Finally, looking ahead to the next 10 years, two-thirds of voters are very (33 percent) or somewhat (33 percent) optimistic about the future of the country. Some 26 percent feel pessimistic, including 12 percent who are very pessimistic.
Fully 83 percent of Democrats feel optimistic, as do 63 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans.
The Fox News poll is based on live telephone interviews on landlines and cell phones from October 7 to October 9 among 1,109 randomly-chosen likely voters nationwide. Likely voters are registered voters who are considered most likely to vote in the November presidential election. The poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The poll is weighted by age and race; it is not weighted by party identification.