Monday, April 25, 2011

Libya hurting Obama...even though many don't know where it is

Barack Obama's approval numbers have been hitting record lows in our polls and others of late and one of the things that's really hurting him right now is Libya- even though barely half of voters in the country actually know where it is.

Our most recent national poll found that only 27% of Americans supported the military intervention in Libya to 40% who were opposed and 33% who had no opinion. Democrats only narrowly stand behind the President in supporting the action in Libya, 31/28. Meanwhile Republicans (21/51) and independents (29/42) are considerably more unified in their opposition.

Libya doesn't seem likely to be a big vote shifter next year- 52% of voters say it won't make a difference in their decision on whether to support Obama for reelection or not. But for the voters who do say it could be a game change it's a negative- 31% say what's going on in Libya right now make them less likely to vote for Obama compared to only 17% who say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Obama's not picking up any Republicans on Libya- just 4% say his actions there make them more likely to vote for him. He's losing more Democrats on the issue- 14% say it makes them less inclined to support him again. And it's also hurting him with independents, who split 13% more likely to vote for him because of Libya to 29% less likely.

Libya is definitely proving to be a political loser for Obama which is interesting because only a little more than half of Americans, 58%, can actually correctly identify that it's in northern Africa. 27% think that it's in the Middle East, 4% think it's in South Asia, 2% think it's in South America, and 9% don't offer an opinion. Voters may not be terribly informed when it comes to Libya but they know they don't like what they're seeing.

There's a wide array of things causing Obama's popularity issue and it would be a mistake to try to pin it all on Libya- but it's certainly not helping.

Full results here

13 comments:

vp said...

The "Middle East" is a rather vague (and Eurocentric) term, but it arguably includes Libya:

From Wikipedia:

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east, Syria and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia."

Anonymous said...

Aw, couldn't do a crosstab between how "informed" voters think they are and "where is Libya?"

That could've been funny. =P

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many will defend this act of foreign military aggression because Obama is president?

Kevin said...

Those numbers are actually fantastic compared to most tests of American geographic knowledge.

Now, let's try showing them a map and see how many get it right.

Rasmus said...

Just for shits and giggles I'd like to see a breakdown of the 2% (I know that's only like 25 people) who thought that Libya is in fucking South America.

Might be interesting to see whether they're stupid in general or merely fucking with the poll.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Aw, couldn't do a crosstab between how "informed" voters think they are and "where is Libya?""

We did if you check the full results.

Anonymous said...

"We did if you check the full results."

I see the crosstabs by ideology, gender, party, race, age across those two dimensions, but I don't see a combination of the "Where is Libya?" question and the "How informed are you?" question.

Not a big deal, unless I'm missing something...

Dustin Ingalls said...

True, those particular tabs are not in there, but the results are discussed in the press release. Here they are:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/libyatabs2.pdf

Aron said...

As a follow-up to the question:

Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?

Can you please ask respondents in a future poll in which the birther question is asked:

Where do you think Barack Obama was born -- in Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, or the Philippines?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Can you please ask respondents in a future poll in which the birther question is asked:

Where do you think Barack Obama was born -- in Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, or the Philippines?"

We actually did that on the national poll way back, well over a year ago.

I Am Iron Man said...

It's amazing to see how partisan these things are... really you can say that goes a bit both ways. I'm sure if this was a George W. Bush excursion the GOP support would be huge while there will be next to no Democratic support.

Libya seems like it makes far more sense than Iraq --- but I suppose the disaster of Iraq has turned the American people off from the idea of getting involved in these sorts of things generally and I think that's a good thing (even though I also think Obama probably is doing the right thing with Libya - as a President not as a politician.)

Anonymous said...

"True, those particular tabs are not in there, but the results are discussed in the press release. Here they are:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/libyatabs2.pdf"

A bit late on this but thanks, I did indeed have my laugh. :)

Anonymous said...

The war in Libya is a war of attrition. The international powers that control world politics and economy do not want this war to end soon. As Libya is an oil producing country (although currently not one of the most important producers), war is an excuse to keep oil prices high and, therefore, the price of gasoline be higher than four dollars a gallon.
Thus, the international forces help the rebels, as they have a lower combat power than Gadaffi troops, but not enough to help them succeed. On the other hand, these same international forces give Gadaffi ideas on how to fight the rebels.
In the end, both sides will be very worn and thus international forces can bring to power the puppet that suits them.

 
Web Statistics