About three-quarters of voters like President Obama personally, but a small majority don't like his policies, according to a Quinnipiac University poll
conducted Feb. 21-28.
The numbers break down like this:
-- Forty-one percent of those surveyed like Obama and
his policies. That includes about three-quarters of Democrats, a little over a third of independents and 7 percent of Republicans.
-- Thirty-three percent like Obama but not
his policies. Forty-four percent of Republicans are in the category, as are 20 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of independents.
-- Nineteen percent like neither
his person nor his policies. Forty-one percent of Republicans feel that way, as do 19 percent of independents. Only 1 percent of Democrats subscribe to that view.
-- The category with almost no one in it is those who like his policies but don't like him. Only 1 percent fit that description.
That adds up to 74 percent who like him personally and 52 percent who don't like his policies. Five percent of those surveyed were undecided.
The percentage of those who like both Obama and his policies declined three points since Quinnipiac last asked this in January, while those who say they like the person but not the policies increased by four points.
Looking ahead to 2012, 47 percent say Obama does not deserve re-election compared to 45 percent who say he does, with 7 percent undecided. The margin of error is 2.3 points. Eighty-six percent of Republicans say he does not deserve another term, while 82 percent of Democrats say he does. Independents say he shouldn't be re-elected by a 50 percent-to-42 percent margin, with 8 percent undecided. Women are more favorable to another Obama term than men, with 51 percent of women saying he should get four more years and 53 percent of men saying he shouldn't.
Obama's showing on the 2012 question was a little better than last November, when 49 percent said he didn't deserve another term and 43 percent said he did, with 9 percent undecided.
Fifty-eight percent don't approve of the way Obama is handling the federal deficit, while 36 percent approve, with 6 percent undecided. Independents disapprove by a 66-percent-to-29-percent margin, with 5 percent undecided.
On the economy, 59 percent disapprove of Obama's performance compared to 38 percent who approve, with 4 percent undecided. Independents disapprove by 64 percent to 34 percent, with 2 percent undecided.
However, the disapproval of Obama on the economy does not mean a clear edge for the Republicans. Voters split at 45 percent each on the question of whether they trust Obama or the Republicans more to do a better job. Ten percent are undecided. Independents side with the Republicans by 47 percent to 39 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Voters do give Republicans a slight edge when it comes the deficit, preferring them over Obama by 46 percent to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
Obama gets better marks on his handling of foreign policy than on the deficit or the economy, but is still not in positive territory. Forty-five percent disapprove of his performance, while 43 percent approve, with 12 percent undecided. That shows slippage for Obama from January, when 47 percent approved and 38 percent disapproved, with 15 percent undecided.
Voters still don't like Obama when it comes to his health care policies. Fifty-six percent disapprove of them while 40 percent approve, with 4 percent undecided. The level of disapproval is just under the 58 percent high recorded in two Quinnipiac polls last year.
Going back to a contentious issue during the debate over the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts
, the poll found that, by a 2-to-1 margin, voters believed that raising taxes on households with income over $250,000 should be a main part of any government approach to the deficit. Democrats and independents overwhelmingly are in favor of that, and it even gets support from 42 percent of Republicans.
When it comes to cutting the deficit, Quinnipiac also explored public attitudes about targeting defense spending and sacrosanct entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. More than 7 out of 10 voters opposed cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits and 59 percent were against cuts in Medicaid. However, voters were roughly split on whether defense spending should be touched or not.
Asked if they had to choose which of those four programs should be cut the most, 49 percent said it should be defense spending, 22 percent singled out Medicaid, 8 percent said Social Security and 7 percent said Medicare.
Looking at the flip side of that question -- choosing which programs should be cut the least -- 36 percent wanted to minimize any cuts to Social Security, 23 percent felt the same way about defense spending, followed by 20 percent who cited Medicare and 14 percent who wanted to protect Medicaid the most.
One of the hot-button issues in the budget debate this year is funding for National Public Radio, an issue that escalated with Republicans after the highly publicized firing of Fox commentator Juan Williams
from the job he held at NPR. The House voted last month to end the funding
for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, through which NPR gets a small amount of money, but the Senate is unlikely to go along with full elimination.
Forty-nine percent opposed cutting the funding, while 40 percent were in favor, with 11 percent undecided. Republicans favored eliminating the funding by 54 percent to 33 percent, with 13 percent undecided; Democrats opposed doing so by 62 percent to 27 percent, with 11 percent undecided; and independents opposed cutting the funding by 50 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided.
Follow Poll Watch on Twitter
Visit the Poll Watch Home Page and see all the latest polls in one place