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National Poll Results: Half Think President Acted "Stupidly" in Race Dispute







After 199 days in office, President Barack Obama has a 50 – 42 percent job approval rating from American voters, down from 57 – 33 percent July 2 to its lowest level since Inauguration Day, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Voters disapprove 49 – 45 percent of the way the President is handling the economy and disapprove 52 – 39 percent of the way he is handling health care, but approve 52 – 38 percent of the way he is handling foreign policy.

Independent voters split 45 – 45 percent in their overall approval of President Obama, down from 52 – 37 percent in a July 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.  Republicans disapprove 77 – 16 percent, while Democrats approve 85 – 9 percent.

American voters disapprove 59 – 29 percent of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job and trust Obama more than these Republicans 47 – 36 percent to fix the economy and 46 – 37 percent to handle health care.

Obama acted “stupidly” in the dispute between a black professor and a white police officer, American voters say 49 – 33 percent.   White voters say 54 – 27 percent that he acted stupidly, while black voters disagree 61 – 16 percent.  Hispanic voters split 42 – 43 percent.

By a 62 – 26 percent margin, voters say the President should not have intervened in this matter.  Black voters split 44 – 42 percent on whether Obama should have intervened.

American voters approve 55 – 35 percent of the way Obama is handling race relations.

            “The good news for President Barack Obama is that American voters still see him as better able to handle the economy and health care than Republicans in Congress.  The bad news is his margins are shrinking,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “The President is right on the magic 50 percent threshold in public approval because of bad grades on the economy and even worse grades on health care.”

“By a 49 – 33 percent margin, voters think his policies will help the economy, but they believe, 36 – 33 percent, that Obama’s policies will hurt their personal financial situation,” Brown added.

“And while Congressional Republicans are taking a beating, Democrats are not doing much better, as voters disapprove 55 – 35 percent of the job they are doing, down from a 50 – 38 percent disapproval July 2.

“It’s a safe bet that President Obama probably agrees with 62 percent of voters who say he should not have gotten involved in the professor-police officer dispute at a time when he had a much bigger fish to fry – the battle over health care.  Despite this, he gets better grades for handling race relations than for his handling of health care or the economy.”

Asked about reports that the CIA had created assassination squads to go after Al-Qaeda leaders, voters say 53 – 30 percent that it was a good idea.   The assassination idea wins 56 – 26 percent approval from independent voters and 66 – 22 percent backing from Republicans, while Democrats split 40 – 39 percent. 

Support among religious groups ranges from 54 – 32 percent among Jews to 60 – 24 percent among white Catholics.

Men support assassinations 62 – 26 percent, while women back the idea 45 – 32 percent with 23 percent undecided. 

Voters say 59 – 31 percent that Congress should have been informed about the project, and by a 51 – 28 percent margin voters say the CIA should not have canceled the program.

A total of 93 percent of voters describe the nation’s economy as “not so good” or “poor,”  and only 28 percent say it is getting better, while 29 percent say it is getting worse and 41 percent see no change.

From July 27– August 3, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,409 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 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. 

For more data or RSS feed –, or call (203) 582-5201.

View Poll Results Here 

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