President Barack Obama's job rating has improved modestly over the past month, although few Americans approve of the way he is handling the economy. In addition, 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 test election measures.
While his support continued to hold in the polls, businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain was the focus of a much tougher narrative in the news media last week, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
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.