March 4, 2013
By John Zogby, Forbes Columnist
The latest nationwide poll of likely voters by Zogby Analytics shows a majority (51%) approving of President Barack Obama's job performance. A substantial minority (46%) disapprove of his performance. The new Zogby Poll, conducted online of a random sample of 1500 likely voters on February 27, reveals that the President is holding on to the base of supporters that re-elected him last November.
The new Zogby Poll, conducted online of a random sample of 1500 likely voters on February 27, reveals that the President is holding on to the base of supporters that re-elected him last November.
Women (55% approve, 42% disapprove) are more favorable toward Mr. Obama than men (46%-51%), and support for the President starts high among younger voters (54%-40%) and steadily declines with age. Hispanic voters, who gave the President 71% of their vote in 2012, have increased their positive view of his job by 7 points – 78% approve, while 20% disapprove.
African American voters approve 89% to 10%. Significantly, the President obtains majority support among several key groups: Catholics (53%-46%), the Investor Class (54%-45%), the Creative Class (59%-38%), and NASCAR fans (52%-46%). Thus the President's numbers remain good despite the sequestration and the new poll showing that only 35% now see the United States heading in the right direction and 54% feeling that things are on the wrong track.
Those numbers are substantially lower than immediately after Mr. Obama's re-election. Other polling reflects that far fewer voters blame the President for the looming sequestration than blame Congress. On resolving the fiscal crisis, American voters are clear that they favor Mr. Obama's approach of higher taxes on the wealthy and some cuts to the GOP position of no more tax increases and heavier cuts.
There has been a decided shift in the voters' overall mood. While the "right direction" number is not good news for the President, about half of voters (49%) are optimistic about the future of the country compared with 45% who say they are pessimistic – and more (35%) expect to be doing better financially over the next four years than expect to be doing worse (31%).
These are not great numbers but they do represent a nation that is standing more with their President than with their Congress. In another publication out today, I give the President a grade of "F" in my weekly Report Card for scaring up the sequester and not being able to deliver a deal. Presidents do not usually get rewarded by the public for screwing up, but when the opposition party is still debating the meaning of rape, these are anomalies we get.
The upshot of all of this? The public wants a deal and they can envision one that is more balanced coming from the White House than the GOP. If sequestration drags on, it could hurt the President much more than what the numbers are currently showing. On the other hand, the GOP remains the victim of its internal debate and its lack of support among the nation's fastest growing demographics.