President Obama: One Year After Winning it All

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by JDL, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. JDL


    One year ago today, Senator Barack Obama became President-elect Obama. He and his team had run nearly a flawless campaign and were about to embark on what turned out to be a nearly flawless transition effort. By Inauguration Day, the man who had won 53% of the vote saw his overall job approval rating soar to 65%.

    As expected, once the campaigning was over and the governing began, those numbers began to slip.

    As president, Obama lost the support of Republicans in February during the debate over the stimulus package. Over the summer, economic concerns and the health care debate cost the president support among unaffiliated voters. By October, a month-by-month review showed that Obama's overall job approval had slipped to 48% among Likely Voters.

    This morning, on the anniversary of his election, the president's Approval Index rating is at -13, just one point above the lowest level yet recorded and down 41 points since the Inauguration.

    Economic conditions have played a role in dimming Obama's support. For much of the past year, voters continued to blame George W. Bush for the economy, but the blame is more evenly divided now between Bush and Obama.

    The core promise made down the stretch to voters by candidate Obama was a pledge to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans. Now, more than 40% expect a tax hike and hardly anybody expects their taxes to go down. Not surprisingly, 74% of voters now view the president as politically liberal.

    Just 33% believe the stimulus package has helped, and most opposed other economic initiatives including the takeover of General Motors and the cash-for-clunkers program. Among the priorities established by the president, voters consistently see deficit reduction as the most important but least likely to be achieved.

    The health care plan proposed by the president is struggling and is supported by just 42% of voters nationwide. Confidence in the War on Terror spiked during the first weeks of the Obama administration but has now fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years. On a related topic, one of the president's earliest initiatives, his promise to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, initially received mixed reviews but is now opposed by most Americans.

    Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters now expect politics in Washington to become more partisan over the coming year. That's up 25 points since Inauguration Day when a plurality believed politics might become more cooperative.

    Despite the struggles and challenges, however, Obama's overall ratings remain mixed. He retains very strong support from Democrats and endures very strong opposition from Republicans. Among those not affiliated with either major party, there is some dissatisfaction, but it can clearly be turned around if the economy improves.

    The president himself remains more popular than his policies. That gives him some good will to draw upon. However, as was shown in yesterday's election results, the president's ability to help other Democratic politicians may be limited.

    Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.