News / USA

    Latest Polls Suggest Trouble Ahead for Obama

    President Barack Obama waves during a Labor Day event at Detroit's Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011.
    President Barack Obama waves during a Labor Day event at Detroit's Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011.

    The latest round of national public-opinion polls gives President Barack Obama plenty to worry about as he plans his re-election strategy for next year. 

    Political analysts say the latest poll results suggest the public has lost faith in President Barack Obama's ability to turn the domestic economy around.

    The latest NBC News Wall Street Journal poll found Obama’s approval rating at a new low of 44 percent, while 51 percent disapprove.

    Republican pollster Bill McInturff is involved with the poll and he spoke to MSNBC television.

    “And when economic pessimism is this difficult and confidence is that bad it is very hard for a president to recover," he said. "It takes a substantial event to try to change those kind of numbers.”

    Similar results are found in the latest survey by NBC News and the Washington Post where 77 percent of those asked now see the country headed in the wrong direction.

    The president will offer new proposals on job creation Thursday in a speech to Congress. But veteran political analyst Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News says Obama may have a tough time getting the public to listen.

    “The more fundamental problem President Obama has is that it is all about the economy.  The unemployment rate is still terrible," said DeFrank. "The U.S. economy is still growing but at a very anemic rate.”

    Many economists see little chance of a dramatic change in the jobless rate before next year’s election, which now stands at 9.1 percent.

    Since 1900, only two presidents have won re-election with jobless rates higher than seven percent-Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 and Ronald Reagan in 1984.

    American University presidential historian Allan Lichtman says it is virtually impossible for an incumbent president to escape blame for a bad economy.

    “As [former President] Herbert Hoover once said, a man who should know, ‘the president gets the credit for the sunshine and the blame for the rain’.  It is very difficult for a president of the United States to deflect blame against others,” he said.

    But Republicans do not fare well in the latest polls either.  The ABC News Washington Post survey found that only 28 percent of voters approve of Republicans in Congress, while 68 percent disapprove.

    Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who supervises the NBC Wall Street Journal poll, says Americans want lawmakers to put aside their differences and work together to help the economy.

    “All of this says, look, get back to work and do your job," said Hart. "People are struggling and they want Washington to understand it and they want the president to be able to get something done.”

    The only good news for the president in the latest polls is that his favorability rating remains higher than his approval rating, which analysts say means the public still likes Obama personally even as they lose faith in his policies.



    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora