Thursday, June 24, 2010
Americans are more pessimistic about the state of country and less confident in President Obama’s leadership than at any point since the president took office, this according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The survey also shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil spill, now in its 65th day, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation of the oil industry and fear the spill will affect the nation’s economy and environment.
Sixty-two percent of adults in the survey feel the country is on the wrong track, the highest level since before the 2008 election. Just one-third think the economy will get better over the next year, a 7-point drop from a month ago and the low point of Mr. Obama’s tenure.
Support for President Obama and other incumbents is eroding. For the first time, more people disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance than approve. And 57% of voters would prefer to elect a new person to Congress than re-elect their local representatives, the highest share in 18 years.
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the WSJ/NBC poll with GOP pollster Bill McInturff said the results show “a really ugly mood and an unhappy electorate, the voters, I think, are just looking for change, and that means bad news for incumbents and in particular for the Democrats.”
The most ominous findings of the poll shows support for Mr. Obama and the Democrats is declining among centrist, independent voters — proof he is losing his base. Approval for Mr. Obama has dropped among Hispanics, too, along with small-town residents, white women and seniors. African-Americans remain the firmest part of Mr. Obama’s base, with 91% approving of his job performance.
Just 40% rate him positively on his “ability to handle a crisis,” an 11-point drop since January. Half disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of the oil spill, including one in four Democrats.