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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs