Christmas tidings are not filling Americans with merry feelings about the government, according to two new polls. A Quinnipiac University poll says President Obama’s approval/disapproval rating is 38/57 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll asked the same question, and received a 43/54 percent response. The two are the latest in a string of declining approval ratings for the President.
Fred Yang, a Democratic pollster who worked on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll said that there is still time left in the Obama presidency, but the numbers from this poll are “a very critical inflection point.” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, was much more colorful in explaining that institution’s poll results. ”A rousing chorus of Bah! Humbug! for President Barack Obama as American voters head into the holidays with little charitable to say about the president.”
A slipping rate for President Obama has not boosted the view of Congress. In both polls, Republicans had the edge over the Democrats in regards to who a respondent would vote for if the 2014 midterms were held today. Forty-four percent from the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll wanted a Republican-controlled Congress, and 41 percent from Quinnipiac chose the Republican candidate in the House, 47 percent picked the Senatorial Republican. Democrats had 42 percent of the former, 38 and 42 percent of the latter.
Americans may favor Republicans in Congress, but that does not translate into them supporting Republican policies or a growing approval of Congress. Quinnipiac’s poll gave Republicans in Congress a disapproval rating of 74 percent, and 67 percent disapprove of the Congressional Democrats. The polls were conducted before the bipartisan budget deal was announced. What impact, if any, that has on Congressional ratings is unknown.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that Democrats are more likely to be willing to work with the other side (31 percent to 19 percent), and have new ideas on how to solve problems (29/21 percent). Overall, 50 percent were either disappointed or dissatisfied with Obama’s presidency.
The poll then drilled into that question to discover why the highest portion, 33 percent, said that their response was given because Obamacare isn’t working, it will raise rates, and needs improvement. Coming in second was another Obamacare-related reason; 17 percent said he was dishonest, disingenuous, or hasn’t delivered on promises. “Make no mistake, the president has been weighed down by one issue: his healthcare law,” Yang said.
There is definite backlash from the recent developments in the Affordable Care Act in the poll. However, Democrats still capture the majority of people’s confidence when it comes to fixing healthcare. They gave the Democratic party 36 percent, and Republicans 30 percent, as the party with the advantage. Republicans are more trusted on the economy, 36 percent to 26 percent.
This could be why Republicans are gaining traction for in the 2014 midterm races. Quinnipiac asked for what the priorities for the President and Congress are in 2014. In order, the top three are: the economy, the deficit, and healthcare. The President did not have a high approval rating in any of those categories; with 34 percent giving him the stamp of approval on health care, 37 percent for the economy.
According to Malloy, ”President Obama could be pretty lonely during his last two years in office if voters decide they want Republican majorities in the House and Senate.” In each poll, respondents favored raising the minimum wage, with the most support going to an increase from $7.25 to $10.10. In Quinnipiac’s, 42 percent said the minimum wage should be set at $10.10, and 36 percent in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll strongly supported a minimum wage at that level.
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