A new poll by Zogby Analytics shows President Barack Obama bouncing a couple of points from a low 43% job approval rating two weeks ago. The new poll of 909 likely voters conducted online October 9 and 10, has the President up to 45% approval and 52% disapproval. The poll’s margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points.
While a 45% job approval rating is hardly anything to brag about, especially in the context of a government shutdown and a looming crisis just days away regarding failure to extend the national debt limit, the new Zogby Poll shows the degree to which the government crisis is hurting Congress even more than the President – especially the public’s perception of the Republican Party. According to the new poll, Congress overall receives only a 13% job approval rating, compared with a 85% disapproval rating. The 13% figure matches the 13% approval rating of the Republicans in Congress, while the Democrats in Congress receive a 24% approval rating and 73% disapproval.
There is no question, however, that the lack of resolution between the two parties is hurting all sides. Only 23% say that the country is heading in the right direction – a very low barometric reading and a sign of public disgust, disaffection, and disillusionment. At the same time, the new poll shows that the President has, at least for now, bottomed out among key elements of his base and is perhaps on the road to winning some of their support back. Our last Zogby Poll in late September had the President’s job rating among independents at 30%; today it is at 35%. Hispanic support is back to 60%, although Mr. Obama was re-elected with 71% less than a year ago. African American voters remain solid at 87% and the Creative Class is up to 57% support – the President won this key voting group with 56% last year. But NASCAR Fans, Frequent Wal-Mart Shoppers, and self-identified members of the Investor Class are all under 50% in their backing of the President.
But Mr. Obama is a giant compared to the Congress. Only 8% of independents give the overall Congress a positive rating, as do only 9% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats.
No one emerges a hero from all of this – but at least the President is still standing and perhaps recovering.