Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clinton or Carter?

If you want to compliment Barack Obama, compare him to Bill Clinton. If you want to insult Obama, compare him to Jimmy Carter. That's the takeaway from our newest national survey which asked respondents who among the last five Presidents Obama most reminded them of.

Overall 41% picked Clinton and 35% said Carter with only 6% saying Ronald Reagan and 2% picking either of the Bushes. But there was a very significant divide in who said Clinton and who said Carter. Among voters who approve of the job Obama is doing 65% said he reminded them of Clinton with Reagan coming second at 9% and Carter third at 7%. With voters who weren't happy with Obama 63% said he was Carter redux to 18% saying Clinton.

Obama's approval rating stands at 47% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. That's a slight improvement from last month when his approval spread was 45/52. His numbers are pretty identical to a month ago with Democrats and Republicans, but he's seen a little improvement with independents from their disapproving of him by a 40/56 margin to their doing so 44/49.

Obama's job performance numbers may be in negative territory but 50% of Americans still say they'd rather have him to 43% who would prefer to have George W. Bush back. The numbers on that question pretty much mirror Obama's approval with partisan voters but independents would take Obama over his predecessor 53/36 even though they don't give him positive marks. The Obama/Bush divide has actually widened since PPP last investigated the question in April and found voters preferring him by only a 48/46 margin.

Full results here

10 comments:

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Ah, you guys finally polled again.

Interesting to see the margin spreading...

steven said...

talk about your missed calls last night on the colorado race lol

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Ah, you guys finally polled again."

Huh?

"talk about your missed calls last night on the colorado race lol"

We only got one of the three victors correct, but considering how close the results of our polls were in the two GOP races, it's not exactly a blown call. We had McInnis over Maes, 41-40, with 19% still undecided (meaning most of those probably didn't even vote). We had Norton over Buck, 45-43, with 12% undecided. If you assign the undecideds proportionately, assuming either none of the undecideds ended up voting or that all of them went as the rest of the population did, McInnis and Norton were both up 51-49. With a 3.5% margin of error, that means Maes and Buck could have been up, theoretically, 52.5-47.5, or 53-48; Maes won 51-49, and Buck 52-48.

Chuck T said...

It's interesting to see that most polls are showing Obama with approval ratings in the mid to high 40's. Considering unemployment at 9.5% its actually kind of a testament to Obama's continued appeal that he polls as well as he does. Now consider if the economy actually does start coming back in 2011 and 2012--just as it did for Reagan in 83-84, Obama would be nearly unbeatable.

Al Pippin said...

Tom,
You stated that Obama was preferred by voters over Bush, by a 50-43 margin; as if that somehow represented a positive for Obama and his approvals. Bush left office with one of the worst approval ratings for an exiting President in modern times. The fact that he trailed Obama by only 7%, up from 2% in April, speaks volumes about Obama's current popularity (or lack thereof) amongst the electorate. The way it's going for Obama, even ol' Georgie could beat him 1n 2012 - hypothetically speaking, of course. Oh what difference, only 20+ months have made. How funny!

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Left out words "that match-up". I'd been asking in the comments section for a while when you gents were going to do the Obama-Bush fantasy election question again.

Anonymous said...

But Chuck T, if the economy does not improve (and its looking like it will not) Obama's numbers will not recover like Reagan's did and he could find himself in the high 30s by next summer.

Dustin Ingalls said...

Al, when Basil Marceaux gets 21% against Obama, that means that a good chunk of people will vote Anybody But Obama. There are red-dog Republicans (I think I just coined that term) just as there are yellow-dog Democrats who would've voted, literally, for a yellow dog against Bush. If Obama actually won 50-43, that'd be the biggest popular-vote margin since Bush Sr. beat Dukakis in 1988.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Obama's numbers will not recover like Reagan's did and he could find himself in the high 30s by next summer."

Obama's national approval numbers have been steady in 2010, and the economy has either slightly improved or stagnated. As I highlighted in the press release, in five of the eight months of this calendar year, he has been one point above or below .500--in the others, he was 2 down, 4 up, and 7 down. In January, he was at 47-48, and he's now at 46-48. His approval has hovered between 45 and 50, and his disapproval between 46 and 52 (52 being the outlier--all the others are between 46 and 48).

NRH said...

There is one comparison to Carter that's got some interesting implications. Specifically, national demographics. Obama won the non-white vote by about the same percentage that Carter won the non-white vote. Obama lost the white vote by about the same percentage that Carter lost the white vote. The difference is that the demographics of 1980 produced a crushing loss, while the demographics of 2008 produced a decisive victory.

If Republicans remain locked in as the White Male Party, they're fairly well condemned to a future of declining electoral viability. They're racing down that path with a brick on the accelerator.

 
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