Let’s try something. Glance at the picture below.
What was the first word that popped into your head?
If you said “incompetent” or “liar,” you aren’t alone. According to the results of a recent Pew survey gauging the President’s job approval rating, those terms are among the most popular descriptors used in reference to President Barack Obama in recent months.
Although some positive terms, like “good man” and “honest,” also appear on the list of words and phrases used to describe the President, Obama is more likely than at any other point in his Presidency to elicit descriptive words with negative connotations from respondents.
Here is an overview, via the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press:
In terms of public approval, 49 percent of respondents said they approve of the President’s handling of his job. Forty-three percent said they disapprove.
It would seem apparent that the recent deluge of scandals that have rocked the White House would have an obvious negative impact on the public’s approval of the President. But the numbers suggest that Obama’s approval ratings have held steadfast near 50 percent since the beginning of the year.
Using the two Presidential Administrations preceding Obama as a gauge, Pew finds:
Obama’s current job rating of 49% is higher than George W. Bush’s rating in June 2005 (42%), but lower than Bill Clinton’s job measure in June 1997 (54%).
The partisan divide in opinions about Obama’s performance is virtually the mirror image of views of Bush at a comparable point in his second term.
Obama’s ratings on the economy, with the help of a perceived economic uptick in recent months, have improved. Currently, 44 percent of Americans approve of his economic efforts while 50 percent disapprove. It is Obama’s highest net approval rating on the economy since his first year in office, but the number is well below the 60 percent approval rating Obama received for handling the economy in April 2009.
Let us know what word popped in your head on viewing Obama’s picture in the comment section below; but, remember, we moderate our comments.