Words People Associate with President Obama and Who Associates Obama With those Words

January 26, 2012, 4:00 PM GMT+0

Intelligent (57%) High Scores Across the Board. Bold (30%) Relatively Higher Scores with Republicans, Independents than with Democrats, Liberals

When asked whether they associate President Obama with each of 14 positive attributes, Americans nationwide associate him most with “intelligent” (57%) in the most recent Economist/YouGov poll (week of January 21). Almost all Democrats (83%) and liberals (84%) credit Obama with being intelligent, and so do significant numbers of Moderates (65%), Independents (56%), and even Conservatives (43%) and Republicans (37%). The gap in perceptions by party or ideology is wide, but some credit comes even from those outside his party.

The pattern is very different on the attribute “bold” (30%). As Obama sought to reach across the aisle for support in Congress, he has disappointed some core Democratic constituencies. Until Obama’s State Department blocked the Keystone Pipeline, he’d won little praise from environmentalists. On the eve of his State of the Union Address, the chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, commenting on Obama’s policies toward the poor and minorities, stated, “if there was a white President” and this level of unemployment, African Americans would be marching on the White House. So, not surprisingly, Obama’s scores for being bold are merely mediocre among Democratic constituencies, and relatively speaking his best scores (other than “intelligent”) from among others.

Here are Obama’s scores among all Americans on each attribute. Ironically, given how Obama’s score for being bold has clearly suffered among his fellow partisans who find him less than bold on issues that matter to them, and perhaps to anxious to unify rather than fight, at the bottom of all the attributes tested, only 15% credit Obama with being “unifying.”

Does he have a prayer of improving that score? Not really….and for that matter, only 16% attribute “religious” to Obama.

Photo source: Press Association

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

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