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

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: US Army Turns Its Best Minds Toward Ebola

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Dissident Venezuelan General Resurfaces in New York

Antonio Rivero has resurfaced after nearly a year in hiding, appearing at United Nations in New York More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 5
 Previous   Next 
by: oregoner from: oregon
July 02, 2014 3:21 PM
This is a poll America should pay attention to why? Because it represents all Americans? Yeah right.


by: o from: miami
July 02, 2014 3:18 PM
It's more that Mr. Obama has not brought anything new to the political arena that a previous administration had not offered or done before. Mr. Obama needed to do things outside the box. Instead, his policies were copies of what had been done before. Example 1, bailing out the automakers was done with President Jimmy Carter and Chrysler. Back then there was a larger manufacturing base in the U.S. At Mr. Obamas bailout, the US economy was 73% consumer spending. That was where the bailout money should have gone to. Say $25,000 per adult US Citizen not on welfare. If the conservatives would point to a free market, well consumer spending is driving it. Example #2 Obamacare, Hillary Clinton in President Clinton's administration offered a similar proposal.
Mr. Obama was to be a breath of fresh air, new bold ideas, not cower at being called socialist ("for the people, by the people"). Instead he was canned, preserved, policies. Rather than humiliate the US with an Arab coalition to remove forces from the Bush Wars, he stayed the course to clean up that mess. Well, if no moderate president will ever step up to take cautious but bold moves, only well funded radicals will make sizable changes. At what cost?


by: Dizzy
July 02, 2014 3:15 PM
What do you expect when you vote in a community organizer with no experience, who was only elected for his 'style' & color?


by: James Turnage from: Reno, Nevada
July 02, 2014 3:14 PM
Anyone who doesn't think "W" was the worst president in history must have been in a cave between 2001 and 2009


by: Zach from: CA
July 02, 2014 3:14 PM
I think he's also been the most stonewalled president as well. I've never seen another president be so opposed at every turn. I get that he's trying different things and that freaks people out, however it was clear that many things were not working as they were. Most Americans are very short sighted and fail to see that it takes longer and more expensive to get out of a mess than it is to get into one. We need to look at things from a higher level not just in the now. If some of the changes don't work then we change them back and that's fine. We have to quit voting by our pocket books and not be so adverse to new ideas and work as a team, not enemies.


by: toben crosse from: california
July 02, 2014 3:10 PM
Obama inherited the worse mess inherited by all presidents since ww2. George bush ( both of them) are in my opinion the worst with the son being the worst of all presidents. he put us in 2 wars and did not even try to win them. he created the climate for our economic collapse. his decisions cost us millions of jobs. his cabinet was as corrupt as any I know of.
bush said after 911 ( if your against us then your not with us)
and days later he acquiesced and boot licked the Saudis for their oil and influence. bush is by far and away the WORST president of all time


by: Donnie Rhodes from: Columbia SC
July 02, 2014 3:02 PM
Im so far frm politics it like I don't care but if Obama was so bad why.was he reelected by the people


by: Anonymous
July 02, 2014 3:01 PM
I'm somewhat suspicious of any poll of 1446 individuals attempting to sample the very geographically-dependent impressions of a country of 313 million. Also, while also noting that two-thirds of these individuals have nothing more than a highschool degree, I wonder if they could even list the last 12 presidents and the most significant ups and downs of each presidency. If that's not the case, then why ask this question? Why even extrapolate it to the entire population? If you want a historical perspective on presidential performances, shouldn't you poll a representative sample of historical experts? Articles like these are nauseating to read...


by: Sean Sanity from: Illinois
July 02, 2014 2:58 PM
How in the hell do people forget the Iraq war disaster, 9/11, hurricane Katrina, and the financial melt down? Hey those happened under W. I think this May be bias.


by: JMS from: South Carolina
July 02, 2014 2:54 PM
GWB was certainly not what anyone would call a great or even passable president by any measure but BHO deserves the ranking he received. Other than the environmental issues, on which I give him a B-, I cant think of one major issue that his admin has not completely screwed up or had to backtrack on. I don't blame ALL of this on him personally but I do blame his administration. A Russian diplomat put it into words how the world sees BHO.... "The American President is no different than shearing a pig, a lot of squealing but no wool.

Comments page of 5
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid