News / USA

    Obama, Republicans Get Mixed Reviews in Opinion Polls

    Multimedia

    Audio

    New public opinion polls show that President Barack Obama and both major U.S. political parties face a challenging political climate in the months ahead.

    Two recent surveys - one by ABC News and The Washington Post newspaper, the other by the Gallup organization - show President Obama's job approval rating at 51 percent.  Another new poll by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut found that 45 percent of Americans approve of the job the president is doing, while 46 percent disapprove.

    The surveys also show many Americans are losing faith in government and are frustrated at the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Washington - on issues ranging from the economy to health care to national security.

    The ABC-Washington Post poll found that two-thirds of those surveyed are dissatisfied or angry about the way the government is working.  The Quinnipiac poll found that only 16 percent of those questioned believe the government does what is right, while 27 percent said the government hardly ever does the right thing.

    President Obama has made more of an effort in recent weeks to reach out to Republicans, so far with mixed results.

    "That is what the American people are demanding of us.  I think they are tired of every day being Election Day in Washington.  And at this critical time in our country, the people [who] sent us here expect a seriousness of purpose that transcends petty politics," he said.

    Republicans say they are open to the idea of cooperation, but warn they will go only so far when it comes to issues like taxes, government spending and a larger government role in health care.

    Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas says it is now up to Democrats in Washington to listen and change course.

    " We are willing to work with them.  But we will continue to stand on principle.  We will oppose more reckless Washington spending and we will fight for better solutions that make government live within its means," he added.

    Public opinion polls show Democrats continue to stand by President Obama while Republicans overwhelmingly oppose his policies.  The president's poll numbers have weakened in recent months, in part, because independent voters have become disenchanted with Mr. Obama's health care reform plan and with the overwhelmingly partisan nature of the political debate in Washington.

    Peter Brown is with the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    "Independent voters are more likely to find calls for bipartisanship appealing.  They expect their elected officials to get the job done.  Independents, by and large, are much more pragmatic.  They want the job done," he said.

    Neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress are viewed favorably in the latest polls.  But the Republican victory in the recent Senate election in Massachusetts and last year's victories in governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia have Republicans expecting major gains in the midterm congressional elections in November.

    Democrats have been urging President Obama to draw more attention to Republican blocking tactics toward legislation in Congress that Peter Brown says could become an issue in this year's congressional races.

    "Obviously, the Republicans are doing better vis-à-vis Democrats than they were six months or a year ago," said Brown.  "But the public doesn't like politicians who don't do things.  So that if the public were to perceive the Republicans as obstructionists, that would be very bad for the Republicans," he said.

    Despite all of the recent talk about bipartisanship, political experts like Brian Darling of The Heritage Foundation say the focus for both major parties will increasingly shift to the November elections.

    "And as you get closer and closer to Election Day, Republicans and Democrats aren't going to want to work together.  They want to start creating campaign themes to show that they're the party that needs to continue in leadership or to change the leadership," said Darling.

    All of the surveys show that the domestic economy and jobs remain the top issues for voters, and that early support for a bipartisan measure in the Senate aimed at job creation was one of the few concrete signs that Democrats and Republicans are willing to work together, even during an election year.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora