A new Quinnipiac Poll released on Wednesday underscores the deep challenges facing President Obama next year, particularly when it comes to the groups he needs to win over for his reelection.
Only 44 percent of registered voters approve of Obama’s performance, while half of the country disapproves of his performance, according to the survey. His job-approval rating is only at 42 percent among independents.
White voters continue to view Obama negatively -- just 37 percent back the job he has done as president, the poll found, including only 34 percent of blue-collar whites. The numbers are better among whites with a college degree –- 42 percent support Obama –- but that’s still a notable drop-off from the support he received in 2008. Then, 47 percent of whites with a college degree voted for Obama, according to exit polling.
Obama is also suffering a significant dropoff in support among Hispanics: 56 percent approve of the president’s performance. He won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008. The contest for the Latino vote, which is concentrated in battleground states like Colorado and Nevada, will be pivotal.
Other numbers in the survey paint a similarly challenging picture for Obama. Only 45 percent of voters think he deserves reelection; 48 percent think he doesn’t. He has a dismal 33 percent approval rating on the economy.
Most damaging, 81 percent of respondents say they are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the country’s direction – including 50 percent who say they are very dissatisfied. That “right track, wrong track” question has historically been a key indicator of a president’s reelection chances.
The poll also showed that a plurality of voters support overturning Obama’s health care law, whether through congressional or judicial action. Forty-seven percent want lawmakers to repeal the law (41 percent don’t), while 48 percent want the Supreme Court to overturn it (40 percent don’t). The Supreme Court is slated to review the law next year.
Congressional Democrats hold a narrow advantage on the generic ballot, 40 percent to 36 percent over Republicans. Among independents, Democrats hold a 33 percent to 31 percent lead.
But the public has soured on the movement some Democratic leaders have tried to associate itself with, Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street is now viewed favorably by only 29 percent of voters, the same percentage that favors the tea party. But the OWS unfavorable rating is at 44 percent in the Quinnipiac Poll, compared with a 42 percent unfavorable rating for the tea party.
Quinnipiac conducted the poll from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20, surveying 2,552 registered voters on landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.9 percent.