Many voters say the 2012 presidential election campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. They give mixed grades to the candidates, the consultants, the press and the pollsters.
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 the highlight of the convention.
The public's one-word descriptions for Obama reflect the mixed views of his presidency. The top positive words are good and trying, while the most frequently used negative descriptions are failure and incompetent.
President Obama’s expression of support for same-sex marriage proved to be the public’s top news story last week.
Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president.
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. Obama’s job approval rating has reached 50% for the first time since last May, shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
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. However, Obama he still possesses a positive personal image with voters.