President Obama's job approval ratings plunge

Posted by Lesley Clark on November 12, 2013 

Obama Health Overhaul

President Barack Obama speaks at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall about the federal health care law, Oct. 30, 2013.


President Barack Obama's job approval ratings have sunk to an historic low in a national poll released Tuesday, following a month of bad headlines chronicling the error prone rollout of his health care law.

American voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing by a 54 percent to 39 percent margin -- his lowest approval rating in any Quinnipiac University national poll since he became president in 2009. Even women -- Obama's biggest supporters -- disapprove of his performance by 51 percent to 40 percent.

The numbers are a slide from the 49 percent to 45 percent disapproval rating Obama had in a similar poll on Oct. 1. His lowest score before today was a 55 percent to 41 percent disapproval in an Oct. 6, 2011 survey by the university.

The poll found disapproval at 58 percent to 37 percent among men, 91 percent to 6 percent among Republicans and 63 percent to 30 percent among independent voters.

Democrats approve 79 percent to 14 percent. White voters disapprove 62 percent to 32 percent, while black voters approve 75 percent to 15 percent and Hispanic voters disapprove by a slim 47 percent to 41 percent margin.

"Voters in every income and age group disapprove of the job Obama is doing," the university said, "With the biggest disapproval, 59 percent to 36 percent, among voters over 65 years old."

The poll also found that for the first time, voters say 52 percent to 44 percent that Obama is not honest and trustworthy. His previous lowest marks were May 30, when 49 percent of voters said he was honest and 47 percent said he was not.

"Like all new presidents, President Barack Obama had a honeymoon with American voters, with approval ratings in the high 50s. As the marriage wore on, he kept his job approval scores in the respectable, though not overwhelming, 40s. Today, for the first time it appears that 40 percent floor is cracking," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. ""Any Democrat with an 11-point approval deficit among women is in trouble. And any elected official with an 8-point trust deficit is in serious trouble."

"President Obama's job approval rating has fallen to the level of former President George W. Bush at the same period of his Presidency," Malloy said.

The Nov. 6 to 11 survey of 2,545 registered voters nationwide carries a margin of error of +/- 1.9 percentage points.

Voters said 53 percent to 43 percent that the administration has not been "competent in running the government." By a similar 51 percent to 43 percent margin, voters say Obama is not paying enough attention to what his administration is doing.

Only 19 percent of American voters say the quality of care they and their families receive will improve in the next year because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while 43 percent say it will get worse and 33 percent say ACA won't affect their health care.

Voters oppose the ACA 55 - 39 percent, with men opposed 59 - 37 percent and women opposed 51 - 41 percent.

American voters are divided 46 - 47 percent on whether Obama "knowingly deceived" the public when he said people could keep their existing health insurance plans if they wished.

Voters also support 73 - 20 percent extending the March 31, 2014 deadline for signing up for coverage without facing a penalty.

"President Obama's misstatement, 'If you like your health plan, you can keep it,' left a bad taste with a lot of people. Nearly half of the voters, 46 percent, think he knowingly deceived them," Malloy said.

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