Obama Has Underperformed as President for 44% of Americans

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As the second anniversary of Barack Obama’s electoral victory approaches, a considerable proportion of Americans believe that their President has not been able to fulfill their expectations, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

More than seven-in-ten respondents disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is doing its job.

As the second anniversary of Barack Obama’s electoral victory approaches, a considerable proportion of Americans believe that their President has not been able to fulfill their expectations, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,011 American adults also shows that only one-in-five respondents are satisfied with the way their federal legislators are performing.

The President

As was the case last month, 43 per cent of respondents approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his duties, while 50 per cent disapprove. The level of strong approval for the U.S. President (9%, -4) trails the level of strong disapproval by a 3-to-1 margin (32%, +2).

Four-in-five Republicans (85%, -3) are dissatisfied with Obama, while seven-in-ten Democrats (73%, +2) are content with the American president. Three-in-five Independents (60%, +3) disapprove of Obama’s performance, while a third approve of it (34%, -2).

While a third of respondents (34%) believe Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected in the 2012 presidential election, more than two-in-five (45%) think Obama does not deserve a second term at the White House.

Since January, the proportion of respondents who believe Obama has performed worse than they expected has increased by eight points (from 36% to 44%). Conversely, two-in-five respondents (40%, -7) think Obama has performed just as they expected, and only nine per cent feel he has done better than they thought.

While a third of respondents (34%) say it is still too early to judge Obama’s accomplishments as president, 14 per cent think he has done much in his first two years in office. More than two-in-five Americans (45%) think the President has accomplished little so far.

Congress

The approval rating for the U.S. Congress stands at 20 per cent this month (+1), while 71 per cent of respondents disapprove of its actions (+2).

The level of strong approval for federal lawmakers remains at three per cent, while two-in-five Americans (39%, +1) are strongly dissatisfied. This month, Congress made some gains among Democrats (36%, +4), but the numbers continue to be particularly low among Independents (10%, -3) and Republicans (6%, -2).

Analysis

There was little movement for both Obama and Congress on the approval rating front, a fact that does not bode well for the Democratic Party and incumbent lawmakers of all political stripes as the mid-term election draws near.

The biggest setback for Obama lies in the sizeable increase in the proportion of Americans who believe he has underperformed as their head of state. Also, as the months go by, the argument of having little time to garner achievements is no longer valid for many Americans. For the first time since his term began, more people are saying that Obama has done too little in Washington.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)