News / USA

Obama 'Worst President' Since WWII, Poll Finds

With the Key Bridge, linking Washington and Northern Virginia in the background, President Barack Obama speaks about the economy and transportation at Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, July 1, 2014.
With the Key Bridge, linking Washington and Northern Virginia in the background, President Barack Obama speaks about the economy and transportation at Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, July 1, 2014.

A new U.S. poll shows Americans think President Barack Obama is the country's worst president since World War II.

The independent Quinnipiac University poll said Wednesday that its survey taken late last month of more than 1,400 U.S. voters showed that 33 percent put Obama at the bottom of the list of 12 presidents who have served since 1945, with 28 percent naming his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush.

Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president through most of the 1980s, was picked by 35 percent as the best president since World War II. He was followed by Bill Clinton, who served in the 1990s, who was preferred by 18 percent.

"Over the span of 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies, President Barack Obama finds himself with President George W. Bush at the bottom of the popularity barrel," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of Quinnipiac University's polling unit.

A wide variety of recent surveys have shown weak approval for Obama, who was easily re-elected to a second term in 2012 over Republican Mitt Romney, but since then has faced several domestic and foreign policy setbacks. The Quinnipiac survey showed voters now think, by a 45 to 38 percent margin, the country would have been better off if Romney had won the election.

In the survey, Obama got negative grades for his handling of the economy, foreign policy, health care and terrorism, with those polled only giving him a favorable rating on environmental issues.

“He has taken a pretty big hit as far as foreign policy goes," Malloy noted.  "He has lost 10 percentage points as far as competence and the way he is handling that.  So that could play pretty heavily into it because that was one of his stronger cards, foreign policy, and now it is not so strong.”

Obama continues to try to rally supporters in the wake of weak poll numbers and some recent political setbacks.

The president says he will press ahead with executive action to deal with immigration reform amid strong indications Congress is unlikely to deal with the issue this year.

The Speaker of the House, Republican Congressman John Boehner, said recently he intends to initiate a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking the president’s use of executive orders.

“You know the Constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws, and in my view the president has not faithfully executed the laws," Boehner said.

President Obama has been dismissive of the Republican lawsuit threat and has vowed to take unilateral action where he can.

“Middle-class families cannot wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff," Obama said.  "So sue me.  As long as they are doing nothing, I am not going to apologize for trying to do something.”

Foreign policy has long been one of the president’s political strengths.  But the recent turmoil in Iraq seems to be undercutting public confidence in Obama’s leadership, said analyst John Fortier with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“I think the problem for the president is that conditions on the ground (in Iraq) are not good and he will get some of the blame for that," he said.  "So I do not think there are any good alternatives for him even though the American people are not united in what they want to do.”

Pollster Tim Malloy added that the president’s decision to act unilaterally has the potential for both political risk and reward.

“It’ is not easy for a second term president, ever.  And is the president going rogue?  Is he doing things arbitrarily and on his own?  Some would say he is.  But this has been historic gridlock in Washington and I am sure supporters of the president say he has got no other choice, and people who do not support him say he has gone off the reservation," Malloy said.

Democrats remain concerned the president’s weak poll numbers will hurt them in congressional midterm elections in November.  

Experts say Republicans are likely to hold their majority in the House of Representatives and have an excellent chance of gaining enough Democratic seats to reclaim a majority in the Senate.  That would give them control of both chambers of Congress for the final two years of Obama’s presidency.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 5
    Next 
by: Floyd Webb from: Chicago
July 03, 2014 7:27 AM
I never believe a Pole that is not from Warsaw. Oh, you said Poll!

The same applies!

by: D.LaPlante from: Spokane
July 02, 2014 4:20 PM
Where do I begin? This poll is the worst poll since WWII?

by: John from: Madison, WI
July 02, 2014 3:43 PM
Why is everyone so harsh with their opinions? You all sound like Democrats and Republicans in Congress trying to get something done. You hear something you don't like, immediately disregard the other person's stance completely, and then scream your opinion like it is a fact. It appears as if there is something wrong with the way the people in our governmental system interact as a whole. "W. Bush messes everything up and that's why Obama can't get anything done." " Obama has had plenty of time to clean things up and has only made it worse". The real problem is Congress and the President not being able to compromise, and look where we are now: Obama has said he will just do things on his own because you can't deny Congress is thwarting helping anything Obama wants to pass. Congress is now suing the President. How much inefficiency can there be in our system? Who is the one President that is not being attacked in these comments? Clinton. Why was he successful? Mostly, the economy. Everyone gets pissed when the economy sucks, which it has for the last 14 years. He didn't get too involved in Foreign Affairs (i.e., start a war). And focused on enacting policies in education, health care, and the environment that weren't too over the top to piss anyone off. Bush started a war, Obama completely changed our health care system. People say "we want better health care", but then you change the system completely and most can't handle dramatic change. People say "we want the world to be a safe place", but then you try to rid the world of an evil dictator and people can't handle it. The fact is, we are too tied up in Republican vs Democrat. If Obama started the Iraq war Democrats would support it. If Bush created BushCare Repubs would support it. A non-partisan democracy would force people to actually look at a representative's policies before voting. Instead, we have our defend our affiliation's whether right or wrong and blast others without truly listening to their side. So, long story short, we need more Bill Clinton's, but the type who don't get BJ's from interns at work.

by: stan from: Stockton, CA
July 02, 2014 3:40 PM
This info came from a Reuters Poll. I didn't see anybody questioning their polls when everything was coming up roses for Obama. The honeymoon is over, I'm just surprised it took people so long to realize that he wasn't qualified, prepared or competent enough to run this country. But he did have that speech in 2006 at the DNC. He's made his 15 minutes of fame last over 8 years. Impressive.

by: Susan from: California
July 02, 2014 3:34 PM
Obama will go down in history as one of the great presidents for all his accomplishments. Right now the right wing media is busy slamming his name into the ground. The Republican party has become so nasty in their tactics. It is really amazing all Obama has done with such a do nothing congress to deal with. Most people don't really understand what is going on. It is amazing the things they blame on Obama. I will give the Republicans credit for one thing, they have been successful in leading the poor little sheep astray.

by: charlotte from: deep south
July 02, 2014 3:26 PM
This an accurate poll regarding this sham of a POTUS! To supposedly have been Harvard educated and a Constitutional expert he is a disgrace. He should surrender his diploma like he did his law licence!

by: Herb from: Carrabelle. Fl
July 02, 2014 3:24 PM
Obama has failed miserably on stopping illegal immigration. Who is going to pay for all these illegals? Better not be the American Taxpayer! He is a looser in every other category. The only thing he did not do is get another 4,000 American Troops killed. YET!

by: joe from: montana
July 02, 2014 3:24 PM
Do we really need a poll to know this?

by: Rick from: San Diego
July 02, 2014 3:23 PM
Obama inherited the biggest mess in US history when Bush left office: Bush gave us a record breaking deficit, 2 wars that we couldn't seem to leave, 9/11 happening under Bush's watch, very high unemployment, invasion of Iraq based on lies, letting Osama bin Laden escape when we had him surrounded at Tora Bora, giving huge tax cuts to billionaires to increase the deficit, etc etc etc etc etc.... Bush was the worst president of all time - nobody else comes close to his record.

by: BRG from: Texas
July 02, 2014 3:21 PM
Wow this article is horribly bias. And that is modest assessment. And to say Reagan was one of the best??? How has that war on drugs worked out???? Billions spent to kick in pot heads doors and billions more spent to lock up perpetrators of victimless crimes. And then wonder why the guy that got locked up for pot is now a gang member? I wonder why? Obama is doing well in my opinion, I personally like how he just doesn't act and reviews all possible solutions unlike other predecessors . And how is Iraq his fault? They (Iraq/middle east) have been killing each other for hundreds if not thousands of years and we think we can stop that from the other side of the world. I mean everyone was complaining on the resources spent yet when we return the country it goes to h3ll and it is Obama's fault. But I have herd this before, my car broke down It's Obama's fault. Its sad people can't see past the BS. In these peoples eyes Obama can't do anything right. What about the entire economy he fixed? During wonderful Bush Jr. I hope these article improve......
Comments page of 5
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More