September 14, 2011

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit

38 vs. 26

President Obama’s overall job approval rating has declined in recent months, but there is also an intensity gap that has emerged, with Americans more likely to say they very strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance than to say they very strongly approve.

As disapproval of President Obama’s job performance has grown in recent months, an intensity gap also has emerged. Americans are now significantly more likely to say they very strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance than to say they very strongly approve (38% vs. 26%). From early 2010 through March of this year, about as many people strongly approved of the president’s performance as strongly disapproved. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (73%) strongly disapprove of Obama; this rises to 81% among conservative Republicans (compared with 54% among moderate and liberal Republicans). Far fewer Democrats (53%) strongly approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president; 60% of liberal Democrats strongly approve, as do 48% of conservative and moderate Democrats. By about two-to-one (39% to 20%), more independents strongly disapprove than strongly approve of Obama’s performance.
Most African Americans (64%) continue to strongly approve of Obama’s performance. By contrast, just 19% of whites and 26% of Hispanics strongly approve of Obama’s job performance. People younger than 30 are the only age group in which about as many strongly approve of Obama’s job performance as strongly disapprove (30% and 21%, respectively). Among older age groups far more strongly disapprove than strongly approve. Read More