Jan. 17, 2013

Obama’s Approval Ratings Over his First Term

President Obama is in a strong position at the start of his second term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the earliest months of his presidency. But it has certainly had its ups and downs. Our chart below displays Obama’s job approval ratings from Pew Research Center polls combined with […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama in Strong Position at Start of Second Term

As he prepares for his second inauguration, Barack Obama is in a stronger position with the public than he was over much of his first term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the early months of his presidency. His personal favorability, currently 59%, has rebounded from a low of […]

Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]

Dec. 21, 2012

Timeline: Hillary Clinton’s Career

Over the course of her long political career, Hillary Clinton truly has been a comeback kid. On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less four […]

Dec. 21, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Career of Comebacks

Over the course of her long political career, Hillary Clinton truly has been a comeback kid. On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less […]

Dec. 13, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side

The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama’s job rating is markedly […]

Nov. 15, 2012

Low Marks for the 2012 Election

The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and […]

Sep. 10, 2012

Democratic Convention Highlights: Clinton Outshines Obama

Like Mitt Romney, Barack Obama was not the highlight of his party’s convention. Among those who watched at least a little coverage of the Democratic convention, 29% say the highlight was Bill Clinton’s speech, while 16% name Obama’s speech as the highlight. About as many (15%) say that first lady Michelle Obama’s speech was […]

Sep. 5, 2012

Obama in a Word: From ‘Inexperienced’ and ‘Change’ to ‘Good’ and ‘Trying’

Four years ago, voters’ descriptions of Barack Obama focused on his newness on the political scene. In September 2008, more voters used the word inexperienced to describe Obama than any other word, while change was the most frequently used positive term. Words like young, charismatic and new were also among the top descriptions. Today, the […]

May. 15, 2012

Obama Support for Gay Marriage Public’s Top Story

President Obama’s expression of support for same-sex marriage proved to be the public’s top news story last week. About a quarter of Americans (26%) say they followed news about Obama’s statements on the divisive topic more closely than any other news, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 10-13 among […]

May. 14, 2012

Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably. There are wide partisan and age differences in reactions to Obama’s expression of support […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Romney Leads GOP Contest, Trails in Matchup with Obama

Mitt Romney has retaken a significant lead nationally in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, even as he has fallen further behind Barack Obama in a general election matchup. Moreover, Obama’s own job approval rating has reached 50% for the first time since last May, shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden. […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Obama: Weak Job Ratings, But Positive Personal Image

Barack Obama begins his fourth year in office facing a struggling economy, an unhappy public, and a lower job approval rating than most of his recent predecessors at a comparable point in their presidencies. In fact, Obama’s job rating today is a bit more negative than it was in December: 48% disapprove of his […]

Dec. 20, 2011

In 2007, Mood Just Beginning to Sour, Democrats Better Regarded

Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but still a lot better than it is today. In late 2007, the economic recession was gaining strength and the public’s view of the economy had grown more negative. Only about a […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Obama Job Approval Improves, GOP Contest Remains Fluid

With much of the recent political focus on the ever-changing Republican presidential nomination race, Barack Obama’s job rating has improved modestly over the past month. And a majority of Americans continue to hold a favorable personal opinion of Obama. This is not the case for his main GOP rivals, whom he mostly bests in […]

Nov. 3, 2011

The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election

In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006. The latest […]

Oct. 6, 2011

Obama Motivates Supporters, Opponents in Early 2012 Matchups

Barack Obama is a leading driver of voter preferences in possible 2012 matchups, among both his supporters and opponents. Currently, Obama is running a close race in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Against both GOP candidates, most of Obama’s supporters view their vote as a vote for the president, while most […]

Sep. 6, 2011

Most Plan to Watch Obama Jobs Speech

Nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) say they plan to watch President Obama’s speech Thursday night to a joint session of Congress about his plans to spur job growth and help the struggling national economy. Not surprisingly, fewer plan to watch Wednesday night’s debate in California among the candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Four-in-ten […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline

The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions. Fully 79% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Even more (86%) say they are frustrated or angry with the federal government. Favorable ratings for both political parties are in […]

Jul. 28, 2011

Obama Loses Ground in 2012 Reelection Bid

The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in polls conducted earlier this year has vanished as his support among independent voters has fallen off.Currently, 41% of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 40% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in […]