A CBS News/New York Times poll finds President Barack Obama’s approval ratings below 50 percent — in the political danger zone with some improvements in some areas that do not change his overall grim appoval rating:
President Obama’s job approval rating remains just below 50 percent, virtually unchanged from three weeks ago, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday.
About 47 percent approve of the way he has handled his job as president, while 44 percent disapprove. That compares to 48 percent and 43 percent respectively three weeks ago.
On the economy specifically, just 39 percent think he is doing a good job, compared to 37 percent in early June. The only change since three weeks ago that is not within the three percentage point margin of error is a four percentage point decline in Mr. Obama’s disapproval ratings on the economy. About 52 percent of respondents disapprove of his handling of the economy, compared with 56 percent disapproval three weeks ago.
Yet few blame Mr. Obama for the economic conditions in the United States. Just 8 percent say Mr. Obama is “most to blame” for the state of the economy, compared to 7 percent earlier. About 26 percent blame his predecessor, President George W. Bush, and 25 percent blame Wall Street. Those figures compare with 28 percent and 22 percent three weeks ago.
Eleven percent of respondents said Congress was mostly to blame, compared to 10 percent in early June.
UPDATE: A sign that Obama and Co. are feeling it’s time to get out there: he will hold his first press conference in 3 months.
Obama is at 48 percent on the Gallup Daily tracking poll — further confirmation that he remains in the political doldrums as media attention focuses on the stalemate (and increasingly likely default) on the federal debt ceiling and the political break-out narrative about Republican Rep. Michele Bachman.
The Pollster.com composite poll graph shows the trending facing Obama: disapproval going up.
UPDATE: So key parts of his winning constituency are souring on Obama — but his strong point seems to remain his opposition, one poll finds:
Only 36 percent of registered voters say they’d definitely vote for President Barack Obama next year – but he still tops all Republican challengers in one-on-one matchups, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The survey also found that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents remain highly uncertain about who they want to face Obama. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the field, but with only 19 percent.
The findings “speak to the vulnerability on the part of the president,” but also doubts about the Republican field, said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.
The survey was taken June 15-23, after seven Republicans held a nationally televised debate in New Hampshire on June 13. It also covered a period of low consumer confidence in the economy and gasoline prices near $4 a gallon.
The survey included 801 registered voters, with 308 Republicans or GOP-leaning independents. The error margin was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters and plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for questions asked only of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
Obama faces determined opposition: 43 percent of voters said they would definitely vote against him in 2012. So would 43 percent of independents, 10 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans.
But none of his potential GOP rivals would beat him today. Republican candidates, said Miringoff, “have not at this point developed credibility with voters.”
Romney maintained a similar level of support as he did in an April survey, despite the attention given his June 2 announcement and a strong debate performance on June 13.
He may have “hit a ceiling,” said Miringoff, as doubts continue about his health care stand. As governor, Romney signed into a law a health care plan requiring near-universal coverage, a plan similar to the 2010 federal health care law that Republicans loathe. Romney has explained that each state should be able to decide what’s best for its residents.
The poll also suggests that the Tea Party movement isn’t as strong as it is cracked up to be — even among GOPers:
The poll suggests that the “tea party,” the grassroots conservative movement that helped elect dozens of Republicans to Congress last year, has limited influence. Only 8 percent of registered voters said they strongly support the movement and 16 percent said they support it. Among Republicans, 45 percent said they supported the tea party, while 39 percent didn’t and 15 percent were unsure.
And 20 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents said they were more likely to support a tea party-backed candidate, while 70 percent said it made no difference.
“The tea party gives the Republican Party a lot of energy,” said Miringoff. “But for rank and file Republicans, it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
UPDATE II:Polly Vote, averaging polls, index models, and econometric models, forecasts Obama will win 51.9% of the popular vote. This suggests 2012 will be an election in which voter suppression and combating voter suppression could play a big role
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.