President Barack Obama’s job approval, which bounced slightly to a 45 – 46 percent split March 25 in the wake of his health care victory, has flattened out at 44 – 46 percent, his lowest approval rating since his inauguration, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
A total of 53 percent of American voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” President Obama will make the right decision in nominating a U.S. Supreme Court justice, while 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not confident at all,” the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.
Voters trust the President rather than Senate Republicans 46 – 43 percent to make the right choice for the Supreme Court, but say 48 – 41 percent that Senators who do not agree with the nominee on key issues should filibuster the choice.
American voters approve 49 – 21 percent of the job John Roberts is doing as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and approve 52 – 32 percent of Obama’s nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Court.
The court is too liberal, 29 percent say, while 19 percent say it is too conservative and 40 percent say it is about right. Saying “about right” are 36 percent of self-described liberals, 44 percent of moderates, 38 percent of conservatives and 30 percent of those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party. Voters say 78 – 16 percent that Supreme Court justices allow political views to enter into their decisions.
“President Barack Obama’s approval rating hovers at an all-time low. The White House had predicted passage of the health care overhaul would boost his fortunes, but that has not been the case, and that legislation itself remains decidedly unpopular,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “At this point Americans are slightly more confident than not that President Obama will make a good choice for the Supreme Court, but they split with 42 percent saying the nominee will be too liberal and 42 percent saying the nominee will be about right,” Brown added.
“Perhaps most interesting is that almost five times as many voters think the justices allow their political views to play in their rulings rather than deciding cases solely on the law, perhaps a result of the all-out war that has been the case for most Supreme Court confirmations in the past two decades,” said Brown. “And 43 percent say Senators should consider a nominee’s political views while 47 percent say consider only qualifications when voting on confirmation.”
Voters disapprove 79 – 14 percent of the Supreme Court’s January ruling removing limits on the amount corporations and unions could spend attacking or boosting political candidates, with consistently strong opposition across the political spectrum.
Tea Party members disapprove 85 – 10 percent of Obama, while liberals approve 77 – 15 percent, as do moderates, 54 – 34 percent. Conservatives disapprove 76 – 18 percent. Men disapprove 50 – 41 percent while women approve 47 – 43 percent. White voters disapprove 55 – 35 percent while black voters approve 92 – 6 percent.
Obama’s ratings are far superior to Congress, which gets a 71 – 20 percent disapproval. The Supreme Court does better than Obama or Congress, with a 49 – 33 percent approval rating, but this is down from a 62 – 22 percent approval rating June 4, 2009.
Voters disapprove 55 – 40 percent of the way Obama is handling the economy and disapprove 55 – 40 percent of the way he is handling health care. By a narrow 42 – 39 percent margin voters trust Obama, rather than congressional Republicans to handle health care.
But they disapprove 53 – 39 percent of the federal health care overhaul that he recently signed into law.
“The racial split in attitudes toward the President has widened with only slightly more than one in three whites, but virtually all blacks, giving him a thumbs up for his job performance,” said Brown.
From April 14 – 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,930 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.
Peter Brown, Assistant Director, (203) 535-6203 Rubenstein Associates, Inc. Public Relations Contact: Pat Smith (212) 843-8026
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Peter Brown, Assistant Director,
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
Contact: Pat Smith (212) 843-8026