On economy, voters give Obama middling marks
May 11th, 2012
10:23 AM ET
3 years ago

On economy, voters give Obama middling marks

(CNN) – Voters are largely split when assessing President Barack Obama's handing of three major economic issues, according to a poll released Friday.

The ABC News/Washington Post survey showed that among all Americans, 47% have a favorable view of Obama's economic stimulus program, compared to 48% who see the plan in an unfavorable way. The plan – enacted in 2009, soon after Obama took office – directed increased federal spending on infrastructure, education, and expanded unemployment benefits.

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Three years later, signals of an economic recovery are mixed. The unemployment rate has fallen, but huge numbers of workers have dropped out of the workforce. As Friday's poll indicates, voters are near-evenly divided on the success of the stimulus in improving the country's economy.

Obama's loans to the U.S. auto industry – a persistent topic on the campaign trail – fared slightly better among the poll's respondents. Fifty percent of Americans viewed the loans favorably, and 43% said their stance was unfavorable.

General Motors and Chrysler accepted a total of $80 billion in federal loans, though a portion of that was administered under President George W. Bush. The higher favorability rating for the auto loans may be linked to improved performance from American automakers - in February, GM announced record annual profit, and regained its position as the world's largest automaker.

A third item, Obama's increased regulation of the financial industry, also received mixed reviews from Americans. Forty nine percent viewed the regulations favorably, and 44% viewed the new rules unfavorably.

The Dodd-Frank bill passed a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010 and was subsequently signed into law by Obama. The measure put in place new financial reforms intended to prevent the sort of risky trades that sparked the economic crisis. Republicans say the rules go too far and restrict American enterprise.

In the poll, a partisan divide was present on all three questions. Democrats were largely supportive of Obama's performance on the economy, and Republicans mostly viewed his performance unfavorably.

Independents mirrored the results as a whole – divided between viewing the president's performance favorably and unfavorably.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by phone from May 2-6, and surveyed 1,006 adults nationwide. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Obama's loans to the U.S. auto industry – a persistent topic on the campaign trail – fared slightly better among the poll's respondents. Fifty percent of Americans viewed the loans favorably, and 43% said their stance was unfavorable.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    I wonder how many of the 50% know that this has cost the American Treasury $38 billion. I wonder how many of the 50% would view the loans favorably if they knew that the American Treasury still owns $25 billion of GM stock and that it has to double from where it is now for that investment to break even. And don't expect that to happen any time soon. Certainly not by November. Obama said this bailout would not cost the taxpayer a dime. He was wrong.

    May 11, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Pretty sad that 47% have gotten used to record unemployment levels and record debt that Obama has forced on the country with his failed policies. Record levels of unemployment for record lengths of time get a thumbs up??? THIS IS CRAZY!! WE CAN DO MUCH BETTER!!!

    May 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Gus

    The Mans long term Vision is to supply the WORLD with Natural Gas that would create MILLIONS of AMERICAN jobs. The Pubs Hate it & are SEVERLY in bed with Big oil.

    May 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Tired of republican lies

    The economy is a lot better...compared to what the other side is proposing to do....I'll stick to what we have. Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Captain Awesome

    This is why the obama admin and democrats would rather drum up all of these phony scandals – the latest of which is the story of Romney cutting some kid's hair in... wait for it....wait for it....1965!!!!! So that he doesn't have to talk about his lousy record on the economy and jobs. obama would rather talk about gay marriage, the Buffett Rule, phony wars on (insert minority group here) and other bogus things. President Romney- hmm I like the sound of that...

    May 11, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Gus

    Whe are the Repubs so against Natural Gas??? It would SAVE the WHOLE American Economy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. rob

    Some news that you CNN readers won't read: Latest poll has Romney up by 7 points, independants favor Romney by 10 points, 70% feel the country is on the wrong track, fewest number of people in the workforce in decades...if counted fully the unemployment rate would be about 11%.

    May 11, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Overall, the President has done fairly well with the economy. He's averaging right down the middle. Take that into account along with all of the social issues and foreign policy issues, it's plain to see the President needs to be reelected. Willard has a big problem. It's up for debate who will handle the economy better(although I know the President can). Willard has some serious character flaws. It's sad enough he's a gay basher, but the worst part is that he's a bully. Not the kind of person I want setting an example for my kids.

    May 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. rla

    Directed to infrastructure??? You mean those shovel ready jobs and the money to states to keep union employies hired?

    May 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. mikle

    From 1-to-10 his performents on economy minus 1. Period.

    May 11, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. SuperD

    If you are a partisan Democrat, you think the economy is fine. Everyone else knows it stinks. See, that's how delusional Democrats can be. Please don't tell me the unemployment rate is improving either, that's nothing but a bunch of baloney and the numbers are being cooked by the Administration.

    May 11, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. sonny chapman

    Middling numbers among Independents = Obama Victory.

    May 11, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Who was polled? We would be out of this mess if the GOP Congress and Senate tried to help the President and not screw him at every turn!

    May 11, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. obama victim

    so how's that "hope and change" workin' out for ya?? C ya Barry

    May 11, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. greg

    the people that find the economy unfavorable under Obama are the same people that have watched the european economy tank with ideas that the republican party wants to use here. No stimulas and cutting the budget has put europe into a double dip recession. Thats the stratgy that mitt and the ryan budget what to implement here. Repos will find anything the president does to be unfavorable to the detrament of the American people. The presidents failure will be the American peoples failure and the repos want this. Obama 2012

    May 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. judy

    austarity does not work and repos know this.

    May 11, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Jolly

    The economy was on the right track until this lousy hollywood president delegated governing to msnbc and Valerie Jarret!!

    May 11, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. d

    If i was polled i would have siad he is doing a great job given what he has had to work with....gop obstructionist! btw it is not all on the prez. why dont you poll about congress and get to the truth of the matter

    May 11, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "Middlilng marks"...ha. It's like asking a romper room full of remedial students if they think the teacher knows the material. I'm pretty sure I have yet to see a poll or study that shows anything other than the fact that the general American public deserves a big fat F- on their understanding of the economy.

    May 11, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Gus

    Romney up by 7 points, Ok Rasmussen, You funny , funny guys..

    May 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Stuffit

    They must have interviewd nothing but democrat liberals for this, because most people who actually work, pay taxes, accept personal responsibility for their lives, have not been indoctrinated by the NEA and don't gush over Obama realize that he has been the most inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady in the history of this country.

    May 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Mikey

    I enjoyed your post. You hit the nail on the head with the following:

    "Does not appear to even understand what the average American goes through and really doesn't seem to care much"

    I would only add that Mitt has the whole pious-pout down to an art form. He doesn't give a rat's behind about America - he knows it and we know it - but he sure can turn on that pious-pout of his on when he wants us to think he cares.

    May 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. NVa Native

    I wonder how many Americans realize that the current cluster of GOPuppets want to double down on the reckless and greedy policies that brought us the Great GOP Recession. Not the dumbed down fox followers of course.

    May 11, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "They must have interviewd nothing but democrat liberals for this, because most people who actually work, pay taxes, accept personal responsibility for their lives, have not been indoctrinated by the NEA and don't gush over Obama realize that he has been the most inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady in the history of this country."

    Man, and here I thought today would be yuor special day to shine....but nope...still can' shake the "union toady" line. let's try a different tack, shall we? Why don't you explain what makes him a "nion toady" so I can shred your argument?

    May 11, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "I wonder how many of the 50% know that this has cost the American Treasury $38 billion. I wonder how many of the 50% would view the loans favorably if they knew that the American Treasury still owns $25 billion of GM stock and that it has to double from where it is now for that investment to break even. And don't expect that to happen any time soon. Certainly not by November. Obama said this bailout would not cost the taxpayer a dime. He was wrong."
    ====
    And I wonder when you're going to wake up and realize that your constant refrain of this inaccurate talking opint word salad does you no good because, even if it was toally correct and not a mischaracterization, most people would consider the price to have been worth paying for what we got out of it. THOUSANDS of upon thousands of jobs were saved by this. But that's ok...we know you're not really interested in seeing the forest for the trees, but rather more interested in spraying partisan Agent Orange all over it.

    May 11, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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