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Nearly 6 in 10 Lack Confidence in Obama to Make Right Decisions

5 years ago
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Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they have "just some" or no confidence in President Obama to make the right decisions for the country, and they give even lower marks to congressional Republicans and Democrats, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted July 7-11.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled put themselves in the "just some" or "none at all" columns as far as their trust in Obama, while 43 percent say they have a great deal or good amount of confidence in him. That's a dip since January, when 53 percent said they had little or no confidence in Obama and 47 percent said they did.

When it comes to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, 73 percent had just some or no confidence in congressional Republicans to make the right decisions for the country and, by a 67 percent to 32 percent margin, the public held the same negative view of Democrats.

Ninety percent of Americans consider the state of the economy as not so good or poor, and they disapprove of Obama's handling of the issue by 54 percent to 43 percent, with 4 percent undecided. Forty-one percent describe themselves as "strongly" disapproving of Obama's performance on the economy. In early June, Americans were split, with 50 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.

A separate CBS News poll, conducted July 9-12, said 54 percent disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy compared to 45 percent who approved, with the number of independents who approved dropping to 35 percent. Those who approved of Obama's performance dropped five points since last month.

The Post/ABC survey said the public trusts the Democrats more than the Republicans on the economy by 42 percent to 34 percent, with 3 percent trusting both, 17 percent trusting neither and 3 percent undecided. That hasn't changed much since March, but it's a big drop for Democrats compared to February 2008, when the new Congress was getting underway and they were trusted more than Republicans on the economy by a margin of 52 percent to 33 percent.

Looking ahead to the midterm elections, the poll's generic congressional ballot has Republicans ahead of Democrats by 47 percent to 46 percent when it comes to which candidate registered voters would choose. The margin of error is 3.5 points. In early June, Democrats led by 47 percent to 44 percent.

Sixty percent said they were inclined to look around for another candidate, compared to 25 percent who would re-elect their current representative, with 6 percent saying it "depends" on the choices and 9 percent undecided. While the number who say they'd look around was not that much higher than the 56 percent recorded in February, the number who said they'd vote to re-elect their representative dropped 12 points from 37 percent. Some of those appear to have moved into the "undecided" column, which went up from 3 percent in February to 8 percent in the current poll.

Unlike other polls, this one did not show a big enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans about the elections.

Fifty-one percent said they favored Republican candidates to keep a check on Obama's policies, while 43 percent said they backed those who would support his policies.

Fifty-two percent say they want Congress to extend unemployment benefits -- a contentious issue right now between congressional Republicans and Democrats -- while 36 percent oppose doing so because of deficit concerns.

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