As Democrats brace for a tough road ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are hitting new lows.
President Obama’s approval rating took a five-point hit in April, as more than half of Americans say they disapprove the way he is doing his job, according to a newly released poll issued by Washington Post-ABC News. Two-thirds of voters also believe the U.S. is going in the wrong direction, a four-point jump since January.
What makes things more difficult for both the President and his party in November is that those who say they do not like Obama feel strongly about it.
In addition, more than 70% of respondents hold a negative opinion of the nation’s economy, and many blame both Congressional Democrats and Obama for the way things are.
Among the 52% of respondents expressing dislike of Obama’s job performance, a solid 40% say they “strongly disapprove” of how he handles his job, up two percent from last month. Those numbers represent the president’s highest unfavorable ratings so far this year. Forty-six percent of voters approve of Obama’s job performance, with one-quarter (25%) saying they strongly favor him; and only 22% say they approve “somewhat.”
The president’s numbers are even more dismal in specific issues, as Obama gets the worst marks on his handling of the economy, and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act – 57% say they dislike the way he manages the economy, and 54% disapprove of his running of the ACA implementation.
Americans are a little more supportive of Obama’s stance on the situation between Russia and the Ukraine, but not by much. Only 46% disapprove and 34% approve of the president positions — leaving a substantial number of respondents (20%) with no opinion on the matter.
When it comes to the way things are in the U.S., everyone in Washington D.C. seems to be at fault in the eyes of voters, but Obama and Democrats appear to get the lion’s share of the blame.
Of the 66% of people polled who believe the country is on the wrong track, most of them fault Congress and the President (41%) or just Democrats (18%), while those blaming just the GOP is only 6%.
There are some areas where Democrats get high marks from voters, showing respondents are picking up on the party’s messaging on the middle class and women’s issues.
When asked which party is more capable on certain issues, 52% of respondents say Democrats are trusted to help the middle class, versus 32% for Republicans. The same is true for issues important to women, with 55% trusting Democrats compared to 25% for the GOP.
However, Republicans were trusted most to handle the country’s economy, with 44% saying they would do a better job.
When the poll asked registered voters which party they thought should be in power, 53% felt that while Obama is in White House, Republicans should be in charge of the Congress, acting as a balance of executive power and as a check on the president’s policies.
The Washington Post-ABC News telephone poll was conducted April 24 – 27 by ABT-SRBI of New York, using a random national sample of 1,000 adults, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 points.