Half of All Americans Believe Obama Will Be Reelected

By Harris Interactive, Special for US Daily Review.

In a strange disconnect among voters who don’t like the President (around 60%), yet some how believe Obama will be reelected (50 percent).

While the Republicans are still fighting it out for the nomination, President Obama remains out of the election fray and this may be helping his approval ratings hold steady. Just like last month, two in five Americans (40%) give the President positive ratings for the overall job he is doing while three in five (60%) give him negative ratings.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,451 adults surveyed online between March 12 and 19, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the possible swing states for the general election (Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia) just over two in five Americans in these nine states (42%) give the President positive ratings while 58% give him negative marks.

By political party and ideology, just 7% of Republicans and 14% of Conservatives give President Obama positive ratings. Among Independents two-thirds (67%) give him negative ratings but just over half of Moderates (54%) feel the same. Among the President’s party, three-quarters of Democrats (75%) give President Obama positive ratings and one-quarter (25%) give him negative ratings. Among liberals, two-thirds (67%) give the President positive marks and 33% give him negative ratings.

Direction of the Country and Most Important Issue

Another thing that has stayed the same from last month is the direction Americans think the country is going. Again this month over one-third of U.S. adults (34%) say things are going in the right direction while two-thirds (66%) say things are going off on the wrong track.

When it comes to the two most important issues for the government to address, it’s almost all about the economy in some way. Over one-third of Americans (36%) believe the government needs to address employment and jobs while three in ten (30%) say it is the economy in general. One in five U.S. adults (21%) say the government should address healthcare while 12% say they need to deal with gas and oil prices and 11% say the issue is the budget deficit and national debt.

President Obama’s re-election chances

Status quo seems to be a theme this month for President Obama. If the election for president were to be held today, it is close with 45% of Americans likely to vote for him, 49% unlikely to vote for him and 7% who are not at all sure. Last month, 48% of U.S. adults said they would be unlikely to vote to re-elect the President and 45% said they would be likely to do so. Looking at this by party, nine in ten Republicans (89%) and half of Independents (52%) would be unlikely to vote for him, while four in five Democrats (80%) would be likely to do so.  In the likely 2012 swing states, 49% say they would be unlikely to vote for the President while 44% say they would be likely to vote for him.

When it comes to what Americans think will happen on Election Day, the numbers are moving and they are moving in the President’s direction. Last month, over two in five Americans (46%) thought President Obama would be re-elected while 37% thought he would not be re-elected. This month, half (50%) of U.S. adults now believe he will be re-elected while 32% say that he will not be and 18% are not at all sure.

So What?

As the Republicans head into more primaries with a presumptive nominee but a battle to prove it, President Obama is on the sidelines and mostly free from their attacks. That seemed to help him last month and has at least allowed him to stay steady this month. But, as the overall economy ever so slowly inches back, the President now has to deal with rising gas prices putting a new crimp on people’s wallets. If these high prices linger, the thoughts of a recovery may start to fade.

TABLE 1
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING – BY PARTY & IDEOLOGY
“How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?”

Base: All adults

Total Political Party Political Ideology 2012 SwingStates
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
POSITIVE 40 7 75 33 14 46 67 42
    Excellent 8 1 16 7 5 7 17 10
    Pretty good 32 6 58 26 9 39 50 32
NEGATIVE 60 93 25 67 86 54 33 58
    Only fair 25 25 17 31 22 28 25 24
    Poor 34 67 8 36 64 26 9 34

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; 2012 Swing States are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada,New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia


TABLE 2
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING – TREND
“How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?”

Base: All adults

TREND Positive* Negative**
% %
2012 March 40 60
February 40 60
January 36 64
2011 December 36 64
November 34 66
October 33 67
September 32 68
August 32 68
July 38 62
June 38 62
May 19th 45 55
May 9th 46 54
April 38 62
March 39 61
Feb. 42 58
Jan. 44 56
2010 Dec. 36 64
Nov. 38 62
Oct. 37 63
Sept. 38 62
Aug. 40 60
June 39 61
May 42 58
April 41 59
March 41 59
Jan. 40 60
2009 Dec. 41 59
Nov. 43 57
Oct. 45 55
Sept. 49 51
Aug. 51 49
June 54 46
May 59 41
April 58 42
March 55 45

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.  **Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 3
RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK
“Generally speaking, would you say things in the country are going in the right direction or have they pretty seriously gotten
off on the wrong track?”

Base: All adults

TREND Right Direction Wrong Track
% %
2012 March 34 66
February 34 66
January 27 73
2011 December 24 76
November 20 80
August 16 84
May 39 61
January 37 63
2010 December 29 71
April 39 61
2009 August 46 54
January 19 72
2008 October 11 83
February 23 69
2007 December 18 74
February 29 62
2006 May 24 69
February 32 59
2005 November 27 68
January 46 48
2004 September 38 57
June 35 59
2003 December 35 57
June 44 51
2002 December 36 57
June 46 48
2001 December 65 32
June 43 52
2000 October 50 41
June 40 51
1999 June 37 55
March 47 45
1998 December 43 51
June 48 44
1997 December 39 56
April 36 55
1996 December 38 50
June 29 64
1995 December 26 62
June 24 65
1994 December 29 63
June 28 65
1993 June 21 70
March 39 50
1992 June 12 81
January 20 75
1991 December 17 75
January 58 32

TABLE 4
VOTING FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA
“If the election for president were to be held today, how likely would you be to vote for the current president, Barack Obama?”

Base: All adults

2011 2012
May 9 May 19 June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. March
% % % % % % % % % % % %
Likely 46 43 41 42 37 39 40 40 42 41 45 45
   Very likely 33 32 30 30 27 26 26 30 29 30 33 33
   Somewhat likely 14 11 11 12 10 13 13 10 13 11 12 12
Unlikely 47 49 52 52 55 53 54 53 51 52 48 49
  Somewhat unlikely 7 8 7 8 7 7 8 6 8 7 5 6
  Very unlikely 40 41 45 44 48 47 46 47 43 45 43 42
Not at all sure 6 8 6 6 7 8 6 7 7 7 7 7

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 5
VOTING FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA – BY POLITICAL PARTY
“If the election for president were to be held today, how likely would you be to vote for the current president, Barack Obama?”

Base: All adults

Total Political Party Political Ideology 2012
Swing
States
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Likely 45 8 80 40 16 50 74 44
   Very likely 33 4 65 26 11 34 63 32
   Somewhat likely 12 4 15 14 5 15 12 12
Unlikely 49 89 16 52 78 44 17 49
  Somewhat unlikely 6 7 3 9 5 8 5 6
  Very unlikely 42 81 13 43 73 36 13 43
Not at all sure 7 4 4 8 6 6 8 7

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; 2012 Swing States are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada,New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia

TABLE 6
LIKELIHOOD OF OBAMA’S RE-ELECTION
“If you had to say now, do you think that President Obama will be re-elected, or not?”

Base: All adults

2011 2012 Political Party
July Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March
Rep. Dem. Ind.
% % % % % % % % % % %
I think he will be re-elected. 35 30 30 32 35 36 46 50 19 76 52
I do not think he will be re-elected. 42 47 49 46 44 41 37 32 58 11 32
Not at all sure. 23 23 21 23 20 22 17 18 23 12 16

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 7
MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE
“What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to address?”
Spontaneous, unprompted replies

Base: All adults

’97 ’98 ’99 ’00 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 07 08 09 10 10 ’11 ’11 ’11 12 12
May Jan Feb Aug Dec Dec June Oct Aug June Oct Oct Mar Jan Nov Jan May Sept Jan Mar
% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
Employment/jobs 5 3 4 4 7 8 8 10 3 7 5 5 21 31 36 33 33 50 42 36
The economy (non-specific) 8 9 7 5 32 34 25 28 19 14 13 64 50 32 33 24 29 27 31 30
Healthcare (not Medicare) 10 11 12 15 5 10 14 18 11 12 25 22 25 45 30 35 18 17 21 21
Gas and oil prices X X X X X X 1 1 10 8 2 1 1 * 1 1 12 2 2 12
Budget deficit/National debt X X X X X X X X X X X X 3 X 8 12 17 13 12 11
Taxes 14 16 12 13 6 5 11 8 5 4 3 6 4 4 7 6 4 7 10 7
Budget/Government spending X X X X X X X X X 5 6 2 6 7 10 13 9 11 9 7
Education 15 14 21 25 12 11 13 7 8 7 6 6 5 5 6 7 7 5 8 7
Immigration 2 1 * 1 1 1 2 2 3 20 12 3 4 5 8 8 10 6 6 5
Wars/Armed conflicts X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 6 3 2 4
Energy X X X X X X 1 1 4 4 1 4 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 3
Social security 6 6 24 16 3 2 4 4 10 5 3 3 1 1 4 3 3 7 3 3
Downsizing government X X X 1 * X X 1 * 1 1 * 1 2 2 2 1 2 4 2
Environment 3 2 3 3 1 3 2 1 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 3 3 2
Dependency on foreign oil X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 2
Housing X X X X X 1 1 * * 1 2 2 6 1 1 2 1 2 2 2
Foreign policy (non-specific) 3 5 4 3 2 4 2 3 2 2 4 2 3 2 2 1 1 3 3 2
Human/civil/women’s rights 2 1 * 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 2 * * 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
Military/defense 2 2 2 4 4 1 5 3 1 4 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
(Programs for) the poor/ poverty 3 2 2 3 1 2 3 * 4 4 4 * 1 2 2 3 2 2 2 1
National security X X 2 2 6 3 6 5 2 2 2 5 2 4 1 1 1 1 2 1
Terrorism X X X X 22 17 11 7 7 4 4 3 4 6 2 2 4 1 2 1
Bipartisanship X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 1 1 2 1 1
Obama/president X X X X X X X X X X 1 * * 1 1 * 1 1 1 1
Crime/violence 19 13 8 10 1 2 3 1 3 2 2 1 * 1 * 1 1 * X 1
Ethics in government * * * * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 * 1 1 1
Homeland/domestic security/public safety X X X X 8 9 3 6 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Medicare 4 5 5 6 1 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 * * 2 1 2 1 1 1
Welfare 14 8 4 2 1 1 3 * 3 1 2 * * * 1 1 * 1 1 1
Inflation X X X X X X X X 1 2 3 * 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 1
Afghanistan X X X X X X X X X X X X X X * 1 * * * 1
Religion (decline of) * 1 * 1 2 1 1 1 * 1 1 * * * 1 * * * * 1
Same sex rights X X X X X X X 1 1 2 * * 1 1 1 * * * * 1
Abortion 2 2 2 6 1 1 1 4 2 1 2 1 1 1 * * * * 1 *
Homelessness 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 * 1 1 3 * * 1 * 1 * * 1 *
Business accountability/bailouts X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 1 1 * * 1 *
Infrastructure X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X * 1 1 * *
Iraq * * 1 X X 11 3 9 6 8 14 7 2 2 1 * * * * *
Programs for the elderly (not Medicare/Social Security) 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 * * * 1 1 * * * * * * * *
Income gap/Wealth distribution/Middle class X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 1 1 x X *
(The) war X X X X 12 18 8 35 41 27 24 14 9 2 4 3 * 1 * X
Overspending/wasting money X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 2 x X X
Other 8 19 2 19 3 8 8 8 1 6 5 15 5 1 6 5 3 6 7 8
Not sure/refused/no issue 9 12 16 18 11 10 12 9 8 6 8 4 4 2 2 4 4 3 3 2

* = Less than 0.5%, X = Not mentioned as specific issue
Note: Prior to March, 2009, this question was asked via telephone


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 12 and 19, 2012 among 2,451 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

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Q1205, 1208, 1210, 1218, 1255

The Harris Poll® #31, March 22, 2012
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

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