Barack Obama approval ratings

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Obama total approval january 11 2010.jpg

In the wake of the financial collapse of 2008, President Obama initially enjoyed the goodwill and moderate approval ratings of Americans. A July 2010 poll conducted by former Clinton advisers James Carville and Stan Greenberg found 55% of Americans viewed Barack Obama as "a socialist."[1]

Declines after the Gates flap

After the "Gates flap."[2] Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested on misdemeanor disturbance charges. Prof. Gates told the arresting officer, "Do you know who I am?" Gates was a personal friend of Obama.[3] When asked about the incident at a press conference, Obama charged the arresting officer with "acting stupidly." Polls shortly after revealed Obama's personal popularity and approval ratings declined significantly across the board, on every major subject and among all demographic groups.[4] Obama's approval rating is lower than that of his predecessor in 2001 despite liberals' demonization of George W. Bush.[5]

President Obama toasts Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president told the nation at a prime time news conference Gates was a close personal friend. Gates is cited as the inspiration of the 1999 communist apologetic, Black Like Mao: Red China and Black Revolution.[6]

The public perception of Obama's favoritism toward influential and powerful elites was revealed in polls, with the greatest declines among poor people, the very group Obama worked hard to court in 2008. The respected Pew Research Center noted "Some of the larger declines are among members of his own party."

By the end of President Obama's first year a majority (54%) of voters believed the nation was on the wrong track. Included among that 54% are nearly all Republicans (91%), a majority of Independents (61%) and one-in-five Democrats (18%). Only 13% of Americans say Obama has done better than they expected, including just 27% of Democrats.[7]

Public opposition to Obamacare

Main article: Obamacare

Obama’s approval rating for handling health care has fallen steadily since April 2009 led by a steep a 17-point slide among independents. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in August 2009 showed public doubt about health care reform with a rise in views the president's proposals would do more harm than good. Charlie Cook, a leading election analyst, compared Obama and his battle to push through his health care agenda to Captain Ahab and his suicidal hunt for the great white whale.[8] Despite poll after poll showing that Americans’ main priority is jobs, President Obama focused on his health care plans.[9]

On April 3, 2010, Newsmax reported concerning the recent passing of the ObamaCare legislation:

This healthcare thing apparently isn’t working out too well politically for President Barack Obama. His approval rating fell to a record low of 44 percent in the latest CBS News Poll.

That compares to 49 percent in late March, just before the healthcare reform bill became law. His approval rating was 50 percent in January and 68 percent last April.

Obama does even worse on healthcare. Only 34 percent of respondents approve of his healthcare policy, down from 41 percent in late March, 40 percent in January and 49 percent in July.[10]

Obama’s approval rating for handling health care fell steadily after April 2009 led by a steep a 17-point slide among independents. Expectations he can accomplish so-called "reform" have dropped further. Americans disapprove of his handling of the deficit by a record 12-point margin, 53-41 percent. After sharp gains following the 2008 elections, according to the polling report "views of the country’s direction have soured; 55 percent say it’s seriously off on the wrong track." [11]

Fidel Castro was quoted by Reuters as saying, "President Barack Obama is trying to make positive changes." [12] Castro, who 50 years ago implemented in Cuba a program of change, universal health care and mass murder,[13] recited the liberal mantra :

I was amazed to read the wire services issued during the weekend about the US domestic policy, evidencing a systematic decline in President Barack Obama’s influence... the extreme right hates him for being an Afro-American and opposes anything the President does to improve that country....[and] will do its best to try to wear him out by hindering his program .... I wish I were wrong! [14]

2010 Midterm elections

For a more detailed treatment, see 2010 Midterm elections.

Election forecasters in September 2009 were revising their predictions downward for the Democrats, as Obama's popularity continued to plunge. From April to August, Obama lost 10 points across the board—suffering losses in every group except blacks, who remain loyal to him.[15] In the days leading up to the election, a majority of voters supported repealing/replacing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sixty-five percent of voters said that the economic stimulus package either hurt the economy or did no good,[16] and fifty-four percent of those voting said they were dissatisfied with the performance of Barack Obama.

Obama explained his disconnect with voter concerns was the cause of his "shellacking" at the polls.[17] Vice President Joe Biden told GC magazine, Obama's brilliance and aloofness was the reason the American people rejected the president's agenda.[18]

See also