At Year's End, Nation Remains Divided

  • December 16, 2009

Public opinion about President Barack Obama and his major polices continues to be divided as the year comes to a close. His overall approval rating is 49%, which is largely unchanged from November (51%). However, the percentage expressing at least a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to fixing the economy has slipped from 59% in October to 52% currently. Smaller percentages express confidence in Obama on health care reform (44%) and reducing the budget deficit (41%).

Opinions about Afghanistan also are mixed: 50% express confidence in Obama to do the right thing regarding the situation in Afghanistan, which is unchanged from October. About the same percentage (51%) supports his decision to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. While an increasing percentage of Americans say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going well, just 36% say Obama has a clear plan to bring the situation there to a successful conclusion.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted Dec. 9-13 among 1,504 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, finds that while views about Obama are mixed, opinions about the national economy are not. Just 8% say economic conditions are excellent or good while 91% say they are only fair or poor. Views of the national economy have changed little over the past six months.

Read the full report Mixed Views of Obama at Year's End on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press' Web site.