The FINANCIAL — Obama administration officials continue to insist that the economy is showing signs of improvement, but most voters aren’t buying it. The Discover (R) Consumer Spending Monitor shows that just 28% of Americans think the economy is getting better, while 48% say it’s getting worse.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of voters now view President Obama’s handling of the economy as poor. This is the president’s highest negative rating in this area since he took office in January 2009.
Thirty-six percent (36%) give Obama good or excellent marks for his handling of economic issues.
Just after his inauguration but before he had actually initiated any policies, 52% rated the president’s handling of economic matters as good or excellent, while only 25% viewed his performance in this area as poor.
Confidence in the president’s handling of the economy began to drop in late June 2009 following a disappointing report on job creation. At that time, the Administration had passed the $787-billion economic stimulus plan and taken over General Motors and Chrysler. Additionally, debate had just begun on health care reform.
Those measures all proved unpopular with voters: just 29% believe the stimulus plan helped the economy, most still believe it was a mistake for the government to takeover General Motors and Chrysler, and most favor a repeal of the health care law. Eighty-two percent (82%) say it’s important to cut the federal deficit in half but few expect that to happen.
Over the summer of 2009, those with doubts about the president’s handling of the economy grew. The number giving him poor marks has stayed in the mid- to high-40s since November before reaching 50% this month.
It is interesting but not surprising to note a strong correlation between perceptions of the president’s handling of the economy and his overall job approval ratings. The Presidential Approval Index first fell into negative territory last June as doubts about the president’s handling of the economy were growing.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted July 6-7, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
On the economy, as on many issues, perceptions of the Political Class differ from the rest of the nation. While 63% of Mainstream voters now view the president’s handling of the economy as poor, 98% of those in the Political Class give him good or excellent marks in that area.
In his new book, In Search of Governance , Scott Rasmussen says, “The gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.” In Search of Self-Governance , is available at Rasmussen Reports and Amazon.com.
If you’d like Scott to speak at your conference or event, contact Premiere Speakers Bureau.
Not surprisingly, there remains a huge partisan gap when it comes to perceptions of the president and the economy. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Democrats say the president is doing a good or excellent job. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans and 56% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagree and rate his performance as poor.
The housing market has been an ongoing concern over the past couple of years. Over one-third of current homeowners now say they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, and outlooks for the housing market in both the short and long-term are growing more pessimistic.