This crisis-burdened season is heading towards a summer of discontent for most Americans: they say they are unhappy with the direction of the country, the state of the economy, the job Congress is doing and with President Obama's performance, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll
conducted June 17-21.
Sixty-two percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track compared to 56 percent who said that in early May. This jibes with a CBS News/New York Times poll
, conducted June 16-20 and released this week, which had 60 percent saying the country was headed in the wrong direction.
Eight-two percent are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the state of the economy (with 48 percent in the "very" dissatisfied category) while 18 percent are very or somewhat satisfied (2 percent are "very" satisfied).
Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy by 50 percent to 46 percent with 4 percent undecided, compared to the 48 percent-to-46 percent margin by which they approved of his handling of the issue in early May.
That said, 72 percent say Obama is only somewhat or not really responsible for today's economic conditions (with 51 percent putting themselves in the "somewhat" responsible category) compared to 27 percent who hold him mainly or solely responsible. The blame aimed at former President Bush may be subsiding, with 60 percent saying he is only somewhat or not really responsible, while 40 percent still hold him mainly or solely responsible.
As far as Obama's overall standing with the public, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll had him in negative figures when it came to job approval for the first time in his presidency. Forty-eight percent disapproved of his performance while 45 percent approved, with 7 percent undecided. In late May, 48 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved with 7 percent undecided. Obama had come close to negative territory only twice in the NBC/Journal surveys dating back to February 2009 -- in March of this year and last December when his approval rating topped his disapproval number by only a point.
See the stories by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News on their poll.
Fifty percent disapprove of Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill while 42 percent approve, with 8 percent undecided.
When it comes to Congress, 73 percent disapprove of the job it is doing compared to 22 percent who approve, with 5 percent undecided. The disapproval percentage for Congress has been in the 70s since March.
Asked who they would like to see control the next Congress, 45 percent favored the Republicans while 43 percent backed the Democrats, with 12 percent undecided. The Republicans held a one point advantage in the generic congressional ballot in late May, and in early May, the two parties were tied.
The top two reasons cited by those who would like to see a GOP Congress were cutting federal spending and repealing the new health care reform law.
The top two reasons named by those favoring continued Democratic control were the need to look out for working people and to show support for Obama.
Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said the decision they make on their congressional vote is not meant as a signal about how they feel towards Obama and his policies, while 32 percent want it to be seen as a sign of opposition to him and 27 percent intend it as a show of support. That contrasts with the results in January when 37 percent said their midterm vote would be meant as a show of support for Obama and 27 percent described it as a gesture of opposition.
When it comes to Sarah Palin who has been endorsing candidates whose philosophies match hers, 52 percent said they would have reservations or be very uncomfortable about a Palin-backed candidate, 25 percent would be enthusiastic or comfortable about the candidate and 21 percent said it would make no difference.
Filed Under: Republicans
, Barack Obama
, Sarah Palin
, Obama Administration
, Poll Watch
, 2010 Elections
, White House