Barack Obama

50 Percent Approve of President Obama, but 57 Percent Disapprove of Country's Direction


The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds President Obama enjoys a 50 percent approval rating, 7 points higher than his 43 percent disapproval. However, this isn't much different from a similar time period in President George W. Bush's presidency. In May 2005, the year after his re-election, Bush's approval rating hovered around 48 percent. Also in May 2005, the NBC/WSJ poll found 52 percent of Americans said the country was headed in the wrong direction. Today, slightly more, 57 percent say America is headed in the wrong direction, 34 percent say the country is headed in the right direction. Slightly more Americans approve of the president's handling of the economy, 47 disapprove and 45 percent approve. Americans continue to overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress (75 percent) while 16 percent approve.

While a majority of women approve of President Obama's job performance (52 to 40 percent), men are evenly divided at 47 percent. However, when taking into account race and ethnicity, 78 percent of non-white women approve of the President compared to 40 percent of white women. On the President's handling of the economy, 65 percent of non-white women approve of Obama, compared to 31 percent of white women. This indicates the gender gap on presidential approval is instead more highly correlated with race rather than gender. Sixty-two percent of young Americans under 35 approve of the President, compared to 44 percent of their older peers. Taking race and ethnicity into account, a majority a both young white (52 percent) and non-white (73 percent) Americans approve of the president. In sum, age and race tend to correlate more strongly than gender with presidential approval.

Self-identified liberals (56 percent) and Democrats (52 percent) are among the few groups in which a majority says the country is going in the right direction. In contrast, 77 percent of non-partisan Independents say the country is going in the wrong direction, as well as 79 percent of Republicans. Interestingly, despite significantly higher unemployment rates among younger Americans, they are more likely (42 percent) than older Americans (30 percent) to say the country is headed in the right direction. A majority of Americans in the Midwest (62 percent), South (61 percent), and Northeast (54 percent) say the country is headed in the wrong direction, but Americans in the West are evenly divided with 49 to 44 percent.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted May 9-13 2013 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found hereFull methodology can be found here. Demographics and detailed tables are available here.

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    1. +nice

  2. Does this mean that 7% of the people polled actually believe that it is racist to disapprove of Obama in any way?

    1. Yes, and I'm surprised that number is so low.

    2. No. You can be pro Obama and anti-direction if you believe that the Republicans somehow control the direction.

  3. I disapprove of Obama and the direction the country is moving in. What do I win, Alex?

    1. Interviews with DHS, IRS and FBI.

    2. Higher taxes, IRS scrutiny, and possibly a droning. You know, beyond the droning on and on that you normally do.

      1. Say, why not drones with nuclear warheads? Oh, sorry, just thinking out loud.

    3. RACIST! You are an ignorant Rethuglican and deserve to be thoroughly investigated and roughed up by the proper authorities.

    4. A weekend with the Pain Monster.

  4. I do not enjoy being a young person in Vermont. Almost every person I know just adores Obama. I can't get anything through to them. It's saddening. On almost every policy, they agree with me. By the time I try to use that to convince them Obama is not for half of what they like, the cognitive dissonance sets in.
    What evidence would work best?

    1. Probably nothing. I know people who get the basics of his policies wrong and still ardently defend those policies.

    2. What evidence would work best?

      A .38 slug delivered at high velocity to the cranium.

    3. It's so disappointing to have friends like this...

      1. Do they follow politics at all? Or do they like him because he's cool?

        I run across people all the time that like Obama the celebrity and have no idea what he or his administration does.

        1. Do they follow politics at all? Or do they like him because he's cool?

          Because he's cool and their friends all like him. A lot of my left-wing friends flat out don't know any policies that Obama has actually been in favor of, except for Obamacare and the time he decided gay people are okay.

          They don't actually know anything about Obamacare, and don't follow politics enough to know that Obama claimed to be opposed to gay marriage for most of his political career.

          1. The only way people like that will turn against Obama is if a lot of comedians start mocking him.

            Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

            1. Now, now, Jon Stewart got in a few zingers that one time he posed with a shotgun. Though he was pretty much just making fun of him for pandering to Republicans.

        2. Some more than others. Of my entourage, one is just about as libertarian as I am, but more reserved. Three or so are the typical Obama follower. They enjoy sending links to gun control and making people pay their fair share. They seem to be involved, but not able to listen to any other opinion. In the beginning, when I would disagree with them, I would instinctively be called out for being a right wing something or other. One of my friends seems to be a solid left libertarian. I can discuss foreign policy and civil liberties with him, but taxation and SS seem to hit a brick wall.
          Almost none of them(except the other libertarian) can handle any sort of Monetary Policy or theory.
          I think the cool factor plays a huge role...

          1. They enjoy sending links to gun control ..
            In Vermont? Do they not realize that Vermont basically has no gun control at all, yet they are not subject to the horrors of gun crime that they so fear?

            1. I doubt it. It's mind numbing. SAVE THE CHILDRENS

              1. Make them live outside of Burlington. They will get used to living without government.

                1. That would be a start. The other libertarian was originally from outside Burly, and I'm about as far off the trail as you can get without being in the NEK.

                  1. Growing up in the NEK is why I am a libertarian.

                    1. I'm on the backside of sugarbush. I can see how the NEK would do that too you. Are there lots up there?

                    2. Fuck MRG and their snowboard hate.

                      There's not a ton of libertarians in the NEK based on principle, but there are a lot of independent/apolitical people who just want to be left alone. They'll probably judge someone for being gay, but aren't going to call the cops about it.

                    3. How old are you, as a 'young' Vermonter?

                    4. yeah MRG is where I learned to ski, but now I can't go there... They don't like my board.
                      I'm 21, 22 in September.

                    5. Hmm, where did you/do you go to school?

                      NCU 06/UVM 10

                    6. It was MAUHS 09, Montana State for a year (I went snowboarding too much), then I went to North Bennet Street School 12.

                    7. Ha, I live in Boston now.

                      Is that Anthony or Abe? I know someone from Mt Abe that would have graduated in 08 or 09. He's a libertarian too.

                    8. Abe. I might know who that is...

                    9. He went to St Mike's.

                      Bring this up again in a Links thread, and just include my handle when you do.

        3. I run across people all the time that like Obama the celebrity and have no idea what he or his administration does.

          New York Times, Washington Post, NPR...

        4. Exactly. We were with a couple this weekend who are both professionals in their forties but pretty apolitical, and somehow politics came up. Both voted for Obama, but couldn't name a single policy or position of his except Obamacare, and of course had no real idea what it entailed.

    4. What evidence would work best?

      They're not thinking. They're emoting. They feel that Obama is cool, so they like him. No amount of evidence can change what they feel.

      The only way they will change is if they learn to think instead of emote, and that is easier said than done. Everywhere you go people ask "How do you feel about [insert subject here]...?" instead of "What do you think about [insert subject here]...?" People are encouraged to go with their feelings instead of critical analysis. It's much easier to manipulate people who go with their emotions than people who think rationally.

      It's depressing. I tend to give up the moment a person's voice starts to rise in pitch, because that's when I know that emotion is taking over and rational discussion has come to an end.

      1. It's just infuriating when I see a Prius with a "coexist" bumper sticker, some sort of anti war sticker, and then the Obama '08 and Obama Biden '12...
        All I want to do is take a sharpie and write "DRONE WARS!" on the thing.

        1. You don't understand. That person is "tolerant" in the sense that they do not tolerate intolerance. Your criticism of Obama is intolerant, and they don't need to tolerate it. You see, they are inclusive, and inclusive people don't include intolerant people. That's because they believe in equality. They and people who think and feel like them are equal, and intolerant people like you are inferior.

          I know. It's enough to make your head hurt.

          1. I can handle someone who is for safety nets or whatever they think their taxes go to. I can disagree with them logically there. I can't understand how the anti war crowd (that was huge in VT '02-'08) just disappeared.
            I once laughed at a lady who got out of her prius with that setup as she walked to the grocery store. I parked next to her, the laugh got out before i could stifle it. I hoped when she got back to her car she would see my Ron Paul and Gary Johnson stickers on the truck.

            1. The only time I ever hated being at UVM was fall of '08.

            2. I can't understand how the anti war crowd (that was huge in VT '02-'08) just disappeared.

              Feelings. They hated Bush with a white-hot passion. Then along comes a cool black guy as president. So the protesters went home.

            3. This is not so bad, and is to be expected. Know what would be bad? If a good portion of these people start thinking at just the wrong time, and generalize the good feelings they have toward Obama in thoughts favoring his policies, and then keep favoring them once Obama's out of there, and even if a Republican's in there. That's what I'm afraid of; the rest is mere partisanship.

          2. This x 100. The most angry and hate-filled people I know are leftists who consider themselves to be fighting against "haters."

      2. They're not thinking. They're emoting. They feel that Obama is cool, so they like him. No amount of evidence can change what they feel.

        Oh NOW everyone figures out why Romney lost.

    5. perhaps the Socratic method would work? Or work from common ground - for example, the drug war.

      Mention how bad it is that people are getting busted for pot. Or the prisons full of low-level drug users.

      and then introduce Obama into the conversation - the Feds continual crackdown, the DOJ, etc.

      It's a start.

      1. The Republicans [stopped him; made him do it; blocked him; caused the problem; were at the helm when it started].

        That was an easy rebuttal.

    6. What evidence would work best?


      Ask them how they live with themselves supporting a man who has killed more children in Pakistan than Adam Lanza killed in Connecticut.

      Ask them how they feel about supporting a man who claims due process doesn't apply to citizens if "capturing" them is too hard.

      Ask them how they feel about Obama peddling the firearms to Mexico that are used to kill and terrorize people by both the government and the cartels.

      1. This could work. I'll attempt this the next time I get them drunk enough to start politicking.

  5. The US have gone into the wrong direction for at least 12 years.
    I disapprove of both O'Bummer and Bushed - to me, they are pretty much the same disaster.

  6. Sixty-two percent of young Americans under 35 approve of the President, compared to 44 percent of their older peers. Taking race and ethnicity into account, a majority a both young white (52 percent) and non-white (73 percent) Americans approve of the president.

    My generation is retarded. Our health care premiums are set to double, our unemployment rate is atrocious (overall unemployment is 16%, although nonemployment is almost 30% because of people who chose to continue schooling rather than get a job), and we are paying into a social security system that sure as shit will not even exist by the time my 24 year old ass is retired.

    Obama has done nothing to improve the 3rd problem and actively contributed to the first and second.

    1. There is a reason that once upon a time, the franchise was limited to people who actually contributed to society and had some minimal amount of life experience.

    2. My generation is retarded.

      No, not retarded, just barely educated by a school system that indoctrinated them with propaganda and a myopic view of history.

      1. Not to mention a sense of entitlement, lack of proportion, and undeserved sense of accomplishment.

      2. There's also the fact that we've been trending this way. It's not like we were living with limited government and free markets a few years ago.

        1. It's not like we were living with limited government and free markets a few years ago.

          Well, according to some leftists I know, we were a Randian, libertarian free for all until Obama set to work on nationalizing the health care system and hyper-regulating Wall Street.

          Truly, the Golden One has brought us through the dark times.

          1. You surely recall how small government was under Reagan, Bush I, and especially Bush II.

            1. History starts whenever clueless left-wing propagandists say it does.

              1. They are the same people who think we are living under intense racist/sexist oppression, despite the obvious fact that, by those measures, it's a better time than ever.

            2. Those damned deregulators! They pulled back all the regulation creating an atmosphere of casino capitalism! Rich getting richer while the poor were getting poorer! Taking entitlements away from the poor to give tax cuts to the rich! Aaauuuggghhh! I can't take it anymore!

      3. If only the reich wing rethuglicans hadn's slashed education spending to the bone. Oh and Booooshhhhh11!!1!1

        / progtard

    3. Fuck everyone under age 35. Now that I'm 36, I say that.

      Wait, my wife is still 34. Dammit!

      Seriously, who the fuck are these people and what exactly is it about Obama that they approve of, other than his alluringly dusky skin hue??? What's the appeal? And don't give me that "cool" shit - the motherfucker wears mommy jeans, wears a helmet on a bicycle, throws a ball like my right-handed little sister throwing lefthanded, and sucks ass at basketball despite claims to the contrary. He's a preening, shrill, arrogant scold, the living personification of the irritating, nosy schoolmarm.

      1. Okay, fine, I'll fuck you wife.


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The man who led the Internal Revenue Service when it was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status told Congress on Tuesday that he knew little about what was happening while he was still commissioner.

    Jay Carney explains.

    1. Mistakes were made. Things just happened okay.

      1. I want IRS underlings dragged before Congressional committees and put under oath. And I want to see copies of all IRS emails and memos during this period. They either squeal on their superiors who ordered this, or we prosecute them for whatever we can find. (Federal civil rights violations? Those laws are pretty flexible. Thanks, liberals!) Eventually we'd make our way up to the top.

      2. Naturally, incompetence is an acceptable occurence if you mean well and are on the right TEAM.

    2. And bear in mind that these are the people who are going to "fix" the health care industry: the ones who say they have absolutely no clue of what's going on.

  8. This result makes perfect sense. You have to remember that Obama has no idea what is going on and no influence what so ever on events. He is just an unlucky guy. Everyone loves Obama. He is black and he is cool. It is not his fault all of this stuff is happening. It is not like he is President or something.

    1. It's funny that liberals think he's cool, since he's actually a total dork who sucks at sports.

      I'm convinced they think he's cool entirely because he's black and looks like he's in decent shape.

      It's basically left-wing racism.

      1. He is a total dork, a terrible speaker and kind of a nasty piece of work.

      2. I remember in the 2008 campaign, when his fans were all impressed because he did three pullups right before going out onstage to give a speech. Three? That's all it takes to impress you fucking people? That's when I knew we were stuck with this prick for 8 years.

        1. Hey man, there was a girl in my 8th grade class who did 2 pullups, and everyone thought that was really impressive.

    2. Well, yeah, you can't expect the guy in charge to actually run things. I mean, that's how the same people excused GWB, right?

    3. Look, he played basketball and missed a bunch of shots! Ha ha ha! His wife complains about him! Ha ha ha! He's just one of us folks!

    4. There is a granule of truth to that. The Presidency is imbued with a fairly arbitrary set of powers and entrusted with overseeing an ever-expanding number of bureaucracies, which themselves have arrogated a number of powers great and small which simply can't be managed in a meaningful or decisive way.

      Of course, the Obama administration complaining about this is somewhat akin to the thief complaining that people are no longer investing their funds in the banks that he robs.

      1. It works both ways. Presidents never have a problem taking credit for things they had nothing to do with; for example Clinton taking credit for the tech boom. So, they get the blame for what happens on their watch.

        1. Well, Obama did kill bin Laden with his bare hands...

          1. His hands? Last I heard Obama strangled bin Laden with his enormously long penis.

            Or was that Warty? I get so confused sometimes.

            1. I thought Warty's penis was more thick and spiny.

              1. All I can tell you is, watch out for the barbs.

              2. So what you're saying is, you know Warty's penis pretty well.

                1. I've heard...things...that's all I'm sayin'...

            2. Help a brutha out. What was the title of that Blaxploitation film where a Black dude gets set up by the Mafia and sent to prison where his cellmate teaches him some yoga technique to stretch his penis and use it to strangle people. And when he gets out, he uses this power to sleep with all the Mob bosses' wives and then when they walk in on him, he strangles them to death?

              1. Mandongo: A Penis Too Far?

              2. I don't know, but it sounds like a Wayans brothers movie.

              3. Ah, I remember! It's called Soul Vengeance!

                1. Here you go, the entire thing on Youtube:


    5. Look, Obama made it clear in the 2012 campaign that the incumbent had really messed things up, and it was going to take some time for him to whip the nation back into shape. Let's just give him a chance, OK?

      1. In a very real way, this is true.

  9. Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my own part that any significant numbers of people are beginning to see that we've lived under a fascist duopoly for decades, enabled and nourished by the for-profit mass media, even though the evidence has been plain to see for a long time. We still have very far to go, it seems, because so many people think you can only choose one major team or the other, as if principles don't exist for any other purpose.

    Some of the liberal news blogs are going so far as to defend the "probable cause" behind investigating James Rosen, and playing the moral equivalence game with the IRS thing, calling it selective outrage. One can only wonder if there is anything that could break the spell.

    1. In the end most elections come down to who is better looking, likeable, eloquent, or some other attribute that has nothing to do with the job.

      Women should have never been given the vote.


      1. Well, I don't think they were "given" the right to vote, any more than we were with all other rights we consider natural, but that's a very different matter than how our cultural norms have failed us. Too few women (and men) in this country actually fulfill their roles as free and sovereign citizens, and the statists are all too glad to take that trend in the wrong direction.

      2. In the end most elections come down to who is better looking, likeable, eloquent, or some other attribute that has nothing to do with the job.

        Women should have never been given the vote.

        Bullshit. Few people in this country fulfill their roles as 'free and sovereign citizens,' as Jon Lester put it. Don't lay that on women.

        The only difference is that men are slightly more likely to be right-wing statists and women are slightly more likely to be left-wing statists. Men are hardly any more likely to want legitimate freedom than women are.

        Plus, if you want to get women to agree with the libertarian point of view, I hardly think 'You should have never been allowed to vote' is a position that will make them more likely to see it our way.

        Most people are morons who don't think their positions through or even attempt to judge politics by the issues. Women may vote for who they'd most want to sleep with, but men will likewise vote for who they'd most want to have a beer with. Neither gender can really claim they vote on issues.

        1. Speaking of emotional reactions...

        2. No, men are much more likely to want legitimate freedom than women are.

          At first I was going to write, "Men are much more likely to want legitimate freedom than women." However, I must admit that men are more likely to want women than legitimate freedom -- and often that's the choice!

  10. WAR ON REPORTERS?: Sharyl Attkisson's computers compromised

    Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

    "I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public."

    In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, "there could be some relationship between these things and what's happened to James [Rosen]," the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.

    We'll have to wait for details, but you have to wonder if Sharyl Attkisson ended up on somebody's enemies list.

    1. Excellent. Journalists, to your keyboards!

  11. One wonders what Obama would have to do to get the 50% to 'unlike' him. There's a weird thing going on. Celebrites are the people who are famous for being famous. Obama seems to be popular for being popular. I really, really don't get it.

    Forget about policy for moment: the guy is evasive, snarky, a continual blame-shifter, a scold and a nag. He's not funny when he tries to be. He is utterly predictable. He gives no credit to anyone around him for any accomplishment (of which there are few) and hogs credit for things in which he has only distant involvement. What exactly is likeable about this guy?

    The only real talent he has demonstrated is the ability to knee-cap and torment his opponents. I guess there's a large contingent of lefties who really enjoy Obama beating up on clueless Republicans. For them it must be sort of like having your favorite team's quarterback be a massive jerk -- but a massive jerk who always manages to beat the traditional rival.

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