President Obama Hits New Low in National Poll

President Obama Hits New Low in National Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 20, 2011

President Obama has hit new lows in the McClatchy-Marist poll on job performance, favorability and his handling of the economy. Compounding the problems for the president, the poll shows a majority of Americans hold a bleak outlook on the nation's unemployment situation.

The McClatchy-Marist poll finds the president's job approval rating at 39 percent among registered voters, while 52 percent disapprove. His grades are lower among independents: 32 percent approve and 57 percent disapprove.

Obama’s favorability ratings are also upside down: 46 percent view him favorably while 48 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. Forty percent of independents view him favorably, down 10 points since last month.

The president’s score on the economy has also sunk, with just 33 percent approving and 61 disapproving. His grade has slipped nine points among independents in the past month. Now, 69 percent of independent voters disapprove of the way he is handling with the economy.

Adding to the pressure on the president is the fact that 75 percent of Americans think the country is still in a recession, while 22 percent disagree. Most are pessimistic about it getting better, with 61 percent saying the worst is yet to come (though this has declined eight points since last month). And the overall outlook on the state of the country is negative: 73 percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction while 22 percent feel it is on the right track.

Additionally, 63 percent say the president's recently unveiled jobs plan doesn't go far enough while 18 percent think it goes too far. Most Democrats (78 percent) and independents (59 percent) and the majority of Republicans (54 percent) think Obama's plan should do more to help Americans get back to work. However, 50 percent of voters feel the president's plan will do more good than harm, while 39 percent believe the opposite.

Notably, 77 percent of respondents don't see the unemployment rate getting any better, while only 23 percent see the rate ticking down within the year. Among registered voters, 46 percent think the 9.1 percent unemployment rate will remain unchanged while 23 percent say it will go lower and 31 percent believing it will go higher.

Meanwhile, both parties in Congress earned poor grades as well. Sixty-seven percent of voters disapprove of the job Republicans are doing on Capitol Hill, and 63 percent disapprove of the Democrats' performance.

The poll surveyed 1,041 adults, including 825 registered voters, from Sept. 13-14. The larger sample has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, and the smaller sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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