President Obama’s approval is at 53%. Americans give their Commander in Chief positive marks on foreign relations, a low grade on the budget deficit and are evenly split on issues of the economy and working across the political isle.
These are just a few of the highlights from a new poll released by Bloomberg this morning, interviewing a thousand adults nationwide.
Now over a month since the election Obama’s current approval to disapproval margin is 53-44%. This falls roughly in line with the results from several other pollsters. Gallup also pits the President at a 53% approval and Rasmussen currently shows Obama at 55%. By a 54-39% margin most approve of the job he’s doing with foreign relations but by a similar margin of 53-40% most disapprove of his handling of the federal budget deficit. With “Fiscal Cliff” discussions ongoing Americans are evenly divided 48-48% on his handling of the economy, and 45-45% in his negotiating with the Republican controlled House of Representatives.
Also typical of recent polling while most Americans give Obama positive marks they still believe the country as a whole to be headed on the wrong track. Only 38% of those interview by Bloomberg believe America to be headed in the right direction, with 55% holding the opposite opinion. In spite of this more believe their financial fortunes will improve over the next year than those who do not. 31% see their personal finances getting better, 23% worse, and 44% “about the same” in 2013.
The most important issue at the moment appears to be job & unemployment with over a third (34%) of poll responders choosing that topic as most important. 19% mentioned the deficit, 11% entitlement spending and 9% health care as the single issue of greatest concern facing our country. On the topic of business relations meanwhile the President is seen as having “about the right balance” by a narrow 54% majority of Americans. Many more (33%) however see him as too anti-business rather than pro-business (6%).
In the 2008 Democratic Primary then Senator Barack Obama narrowly defeated current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But it’s now the former First Lady who is enjoying skyrocketing favorable ratings. Obama is viewed favorably by 55% of the country against 42% who disagree, but that pales in comparison to the 70-24% margin current enjoyed by Clinton. Additionally 32% of adults believe Hillary’s prospects for the Presidential nomination in 2016 to be ‘excellent’ with another 27% saying they are ‘good’. Only 20% view her chances as ‘poor’.
Getting back to Obama, an interesting question by the Bloomberg poll asked those interviewed whether they believes the President’s reelection to be a validation of his style of governing or an example of a forgiving public who thinks he has learned his lessons, grown as a politician, and will change some of his policies. A 46% plurality sees it as a lesson learned against 37% who think it validated his governing style. 17% remain uncertain.
In spite of the fact that a clear majority do not believe that his ability to win reelection was a validation of his policies, on most specific issues his November 6th victory is seen as a mandate to lead. 65% think reelection gives the President a mandate to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, 64% think he can protect Social Security from budget cuts, 62% to protect Medicare from the same, and 57% the ability to overhaul immigration policy. By a 50-47% margin a plurality believes he has the mandate to decrease defense spending, and an even number of Americans (46-46%) see reelection as giving Obama the right to take action on climate change.
Lastly Bloomberg asked about party identification. 43% of those who responded said they either are solid Democrats or lean towards the party against 34% who said the same about being Republican. Another 20% considered themselves to be strictly independent. On Election Day Democrats outnumbered Republicans and independents at the polls by a 38-32-30% margin.