Obama’s approval at 50% as he leaves office/Zogby Presidential Greatness Poll
- Category: News
- Published: Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:22
- Written by Administrator
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Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 1324 likely voters in the US between 1/4/17-1/6/17. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1324 is +/- 2.7 percentage points.
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama's job as president?
Strongly approve 24%
Somewhat approve 26
Somewhat disapprove 17
Strongly disapprove 31
Not sure 3
*Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.
According to a new Zogby poll of 1,324 US voters, outgoing President Barack Obama's approval is at 50% (strongly approve and somewhat approve combined), which remains nearly the same as our last national poll in November 2016 (51% approval vs. 47% disapproval). Nearly just as many voters disapprove of his job as president (48%), while 3% remain not sure how to rate the job of the outgoing president.
Considering the low approval ratings of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as they left the white house after their second terms, Obama's approval rating is much better from that of his most recent predecessors. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama is more popular among certain demographics: Mainly women (54% approval vs. 43% disapproval), minorities--Hispanics (59% approval vs. 41% disapproval), African Americans (93% approval vs. 7% disapproval), younger voters--18-24 year olds (61% approval vs. 36% disapproval), 18-29 year olds (59% approval vs. 36% disapproval), middle age voters--age 30-49 (58% approval vs. 39% disapproval) and lower income voters, who earn 25k-35 annually (55% approval vs. 40% disapproval).
These groups, which have been dubbed the "Obama coalition", were mainly responsible for electing him to office for two terms. The same groups that elected Obama did not vote with as much voracity for Hillary Clinton in 2016, especially in the "Rust Belt' states. As Obama is remembered for his tenure and accomplishments, not everyone is thrilled with President Obama as he leaves office. Much like Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, the last eight years might be summed as "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" To a slight majority President Obama was a champion of the middle class but was obstructed by a Republican controlled Congress at every turn, and to almost as many he was tone deaf and not willing to compromise.
Although, it is not set in stone how history will remember President Barack Obama's policies and accomplishments, he will always be remembered as America's first African American president, which carries a great historical significance, and he will most likely always be seen as successful and popular by his core groups--Democrats, progressives, young voters, minorities, lower to middle income voters and women. His immense popularity and allure with his advocates might parallel that of Ronald Reagan's two terms in the sense that both were partisan lightning rods when in office but to their respective bases, they passed significant legislation and lead the country through times of crisis and fought to instill American values across the globe.
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump's job as president elect?
Strongly approve 22%
Somewhat approve 21
Somewhat disapprove 12
Strongly disapprove 33
Not sure 13
President elect Donald Trump's approval rating has improved slightly since the election but he has a long way to go to reach Obama's popularity. An incoming president usually has higher approval numbers, but this is Donald Trump and everything he has done up until this point has been unconventional. As many voters approve (43%) as they disapprove (44%) of President elect Trump's job as president elect, while 13% are undecided. Only time will tell if Trump can maintain support among the base that elected him president and follow through on certain policies and promises.
Right Direction 26%
Wrong Track 51
Not sure 23
*Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.
According to the new Zogby Presidential Greatness Poll, more people rate Kennedy as great or near great (60%) than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt. FDR has traditionally rated highest in our presidential greatness poll all the way back to 1997. We recently asked 1,324 voters, "For the following list of names of the last 13 Presidents, please tell us if you rate each as Great, Near Great, Average, Below Average, or a Failure." John F. Kennedy won with a 60% greatness rating (great and near great combined) followed by FDR, who received 58% (great and near great combined), followed by Ronald Reagan with a 53% greatness rating. Dwight Eisenhower was fourth (41% great) and Bill Clinton was fifth (39% great). FDR's greatness number was 57% in our last poll in February 2011. Since our polling began in 1997, FDR, Reagan and Kennedy have always received high marks when we have polled voters.
Harry Truman is usually next in line but his rating, along with FDR and Kennedy's numbers have slid in the last ten or so years. FDR reached 78% greatness in our 2007 and 2003 polls, while Kennedy received a best 74% greatness rating in 2007. President Truman received his best greatness rating in 2003 with 62%. All three presidents (FDR, Kennedy and Truman) have lost double digit percentage points in the last thirteen years. The biggest gain since our last poll in 2011 is President Barack Obama, who went from 27% to 37% greatness. Kennedy was next in gains since 2011; he went from 51% to 60% greatness.
At the bottom of the heap are Gerald Ford (13% great), Richard Nixon (14% great), George W. Bush (21% great), Jimmy Carter (22% great), Lyndon Johnson (22% great) and George H.W. Bush (24% great). When it came to not great presidents (failure and below average ratings combined), at the head of the pack were Richard Nixon (47% not great), George W. Bush (40% not great) and Barack Obama (39% not great).
How do we interpret President Barack Obama's numbers? As an outgoing president he leaves office considerably popular among the public. President Obama comes in 6th place among the 13 presidents rated with 37% of voters rating him great, preceded by Clinton (39% great) and Eisenhower (41% great). His numbers have climbed the most since 2011 when only 27% considered him great. As time goes by his numbers may climb even higher due his post presidency efforts and the historical significance of his winning in 2008 and 2012.
Please click here to view the survey methodology.