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President and Congress at Lowest Approval Ratings Ever
added: 2011-08-22

After weeks of bad economic news and battling Congress over the debt ceiling and deficit discussions, President Obama is heading off for a little vacation time with his family to end the summer. Unfortunately, he is also ending the summer with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency so far. This month, just one-third of Americans (32%) give the president positive ratings on the overall job he is doing while two-thirds (68%) give him negative ratings. Last month, almost two in five (38%) gave the president positive marks while 62% gave him negative ones.

Looking at the ratings on a partisan level, it's not shocking that almost all Republicans (95%) and nine in ten Conservatives (92%) give the President negative marks, but so do almost three-quarters of Independents (73%) and two-thirds of Moderates (64%). Certain groups are probably more divided than the White House would probably like as two in five of both Democrats (39%) and Liberals (43%) have a negative opinion of the job President Obama is doing.

While the President's ratings may be at his lowest, one small piece of comfort he has is that he is doing a better job than Congress. Right now, almost all Americans (95%) have a negative view of the overall job Congress is doing and just 5% give them positive ratings. This is a further drop from last month when 8% of U.S. adults gave them positive marks and 92% gave them negative ones.

Continuing the trend of low ratings, more than four in five Americans (84%) say things in the country have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track and just 16% say things are going in the right direction. Last month, one-quarter (25%) said things were going in the right direction and 75% said they had gotten off on the wrong track. There have only been two other times since 1991 when this number has been lower: June of 1992, when just 12% of Americans thought things were going in the right direction and October of 2008 when 11% felt this way.

Even more disturbing for the White House are the numbers on likelihood of voting for President Obama. If the election for president were to be held today, over half of Americans (55%) say they would be unlikely to vote for Barack Obama while 37% say they would be likely to vote for him. Almost half (48%) say they would be very unlikely to vote for President Obama. This is down from last month when 52% of Americans said they were unlikely to vote for the current president and 42% were likely to do so.

Again, looking at this on a partisan level, nine in ten Republicans (92%) and Conservatives (88%) say they are unlikely to vote for President Obama as are three in five Independents (59%). Among Moderates, half (50%) say they are unlikely to vote for the President while 43% are likely to do so and 8% are not at all sure. Even among the two groups who are the President's more staunch supporters one in five of both Liberals (21%) and Democrats (21%) say they are unlikely to vote for the President if the election were to be held today.

So What?

There is no arguing that all politicians had a very rough July and early August and Americans are telling them with these current numbers that they are not at all happy with the job they've done in these past few weeks. Economic concerns are still top of mind and when people see partisan bickering standing in the way of solving some of these concerns, it definitely irritates them. In a little over a year, all of the House of Representatives, the President, and one-third of the U.S. Senate is up for re-election. If this negativity in the American electorate continues, they should all be very concerned for their election chances.

Source: PR Newswire

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