"A Failure": How a Majority of Americans Now Describe the President

Posted: Sep 09, 2014 11:30 AM

The president’s overall job approval currently stands at 42 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday morning. That figure is a bit higher than Gallup’s finding last week, which pegged the president at just 38 percent (the lowest of his presidency). And yet despite his somewhat rising approval ratings, he’s underwater on four key issues: The economy (42/54), international affairs (38/56), Obamacare's implementation (38/56), and immigration issues (31/59).

And the following graph, of course, explains why all that matters:

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Meanwhile, 71 percent of Democrats are “very enthusiastic” or “fairly enthusiastic” about voting in the upcoming congressional midterms, according to the survey. By contrast, only 63 percent of Republicans feel the same way. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that more respondents feel the president has been a failure than a success, and increasingly, are going to the polls to vent their frustration:

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The president, however, does receive some positive marks. Respondents say he is "honest and trustworthy" (49/48) and that he comprehends the problems of “people like you” (49/48). Still, only a plurality says he is a “strong leader” (43/55), and a majority finds him exceedingly divisive.

Asked whether they believe the president “has done more to [unite the country]” or “done more to [divide the country],” only 38 percent said the former and 55 percent the latter.

That's quite an accomplishment, I suppose, for someone who once said this.