PPP's newest national survey finds that there has been very little change in public perceptions of Barack Obama since election day last November. 52% of voters in the country approve of the job he's doing so far, while 42% disapprove. Only 4% of people who voted for him last fall now disapprove of his performance, and just 10% who voted for John McCain now approve of his performance. By and large voters made up their minds about the President a year ago and there's been little to change that since he took office.
85% of Democrats but just 16% of Republicans think he's doing a good job. Independents are pretty evenly divided but with a slight lean toward Obama- 48% approving and 42% disapproving.
He's maintained high levels of approval with black voters (91%) and Hispanics (62%) but by a 49-44 margin more whites disapprove than approve of his work.
While Obama's overall popularity remains pretty strong his health care plan is not faring as well in the court of public opinion. 47% of voters say they oppose it with just 40% in favor. The problem for Democrats on this count is that the scientific data actually confirms the perception being created by the town halls that Republicans are stronger in their opposition to this than Democrats are in their support of it. 83% of GOP voters say they are against Obama's efforts while only 70% Democrats say they're supportive of them. Independents are also arrayed against them by a 49/35 margin.
One question we asked on this poll gives a good idea of how difficult it is to inform the public on this complicated issue. Medicare is obviously an inherently public program, but just for the heck of it we asked the somewhat tongue in cheek question of whether the government should 'stay out of Medicare.' 39% of Americans said yes with just 46% opposed. When such a large swath of the electorate claims not to even want government involvement with Medicare you can see what a tough sell Obama and Congressional Democrats have in convincing the public there should be a larger public role in the health care system.
We'll release the numbers looking at 2012 match ups for Obama tomorrow.
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Full results here.