President Obama is running about even in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In the race for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney continues to hold a slim lead, with Rick Perry placing second and Herman Cain moving up to third.
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.
For the first time in his presidency, significantly more Americans disapprove than approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and and the margin of strong disapproval over strong approval has widened. But the public is also profoundly discontented with the political leadership of both parties, angry at the federal government and dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country.
The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in May has vanished. In the race to be the Republican who takes on Obama, Mitt Romney still leads, but Rick Perry is getting strong interest from the most engaged Republicans, and Michele Bachmann is the candidate Republicans have heard most about recently.
The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff, with 68% saying they want lawmakers to agree to a deal even if they disagree with it. Republicans overall favor a compromise by a small majority, but those who identify with the tea party movement say their representatives should stick to their principles.
The U.S. image abroad is more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but it now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status and the belief that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower.
Despite the struggling economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, the public has a positive view of the United States' global standing. But more think that the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world than say it stands above all other countries.
Most Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy, consider it a potential military threat and oppose American-led anti-terrorism efforts. A majority also describes bin Laden's death as a bad thing and many say it will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the U.S. and their country.
The emerging GOP field draws tepid ratings, and among the well-known candidates only Romney has broad potential appeal (most say there is no chance they would vote for Palin). In a hypothetical matchup, Obama continues to hold a sizable lead against a generic Republican opponent.
The rise of pro-democracy movements in the Middle East has not led to an improvement in America's image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative, as they have been for nearly a decade. And, with the exception of Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in the Muslim nations polled.