(Week of 1/26/2013) Americans continue to divide when it comes to their opinion of President Obama, this week being no exception — but while the numbers in the ‘support/oppose’ response camps remain fairly even, the magnitude of the opposition outweighs that of the support. In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, 49% approve of how he is handling his job as President, while 46% disapprove. But the disapproval is more intense: 33% strongly disapprove, while just 25% strongly approve.
This intense opposition was not there at the beginning of the President’s first Administration. In February 2009, 30% strongly approved, and just 20% strongly disapproved. But by one year later, intense opponents outnumbered intense supporters, and that balance has remained.
The reason for the imbalance is the overwhelming strong opposition from Republicans, 74% of whom say they strongly disapprove of the President. So do 67% of conservatives. In contrast, the positive ratings from Obama supporters are much more tepid. Fewer than half of Democrats and liberals claim to strongly approve of the President’s performance in office.
Opinions of Congress, however, are not only more negative than opinions of the President, but the four in ten adults who strongly disapprove of the legislative branch are from all parties, and especially likely to be not affiliated with either party. 41% of Democrats, 35% of Republicans, and 50% of independents strongly disapprove of how Congress is handling its job.
In addition, 54% overall have an unfavorable view of Republican House Speaker John Boehner, more than the 45% who have an unfavorable view of the President.
Photo source: Press Association