Last week's jubilant signing of the health care
overhaul, Obama's signature domestic initiative, seems to have given
the president little boost. Instead, his standing on four personal
qualities has sagged, and 50% of those surveyed say he doesn't deserve
"People are still hurting; a lot of people are
still struggling, and I think a lot of what we're seeing in the polls
reflects people's views on the economy," says Rep. Chris Van Hollen
, head of the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee.
"At the same time, things have been improving.
Clearly the economy is growing again," Van Hollen said. "I believe that
if we begin to see positive job growth, people's confidence will return
and that will change the dynamic."
In the survey last Friday through Sunday, the president gets tough treatment:
• Obama's standing on four key personal
qualities, including being a strong and decisive leader and
understanding the problems Americans face in their lives, has dipped.
For the first time since the 2008 campaign, he fails to win a majority
of people saying he shares their values and can manage the government
• Twenty-six percent say he deserves "a great
deal" of the blame for the nation's economic problems, nearly double
the number who felt that way last summer. In all, half say he deserves
at least a moderate amount of blame.
The blame directed at his predecessor, former president George W. Bush
, hasn't eased, however: 42% now give Bush
"a great deal" of blame, basically unchanged from 43% last July.
• By 50%-46%, those surveyed say Obama doesn't deserve re-election.
Obama's approval rating on handling the economy,
foreign affairs and the federal budget deficit hasn't significantly
changed from February. It has risen a bit on health care, though he
doesn't get majority approval on any of the categories.