Obama Approval Ratings Steady, Personal Image Remains Positive

Sep 17, 2009

Following his nationally televised address to Congress, opinion of President Barack Obama has taken a more favorable turn. Obama’s job approval ratings, which had declined in the summer, have remained essentially unchanged over the past month. And the balance of opinion regarding the health care reform proposals before Congress has become a bit more positive than it was in late August, though the public is about evenly divided over those proposals.

Obama’s job approval rating, currently 55%, has changed little since late July. Nonetheless, it remains well below his rating at the 100-day mark of his presidency (63%). The president’s personal image also has slipped since the early weeks of his administration, but continues to be very strong.

Currently, 83% say Obama is a good communicator, while 78% say he is warm and friendly. Obama’s ratings on these and other personal dimensions, while overwhelmingly positive, have declined somewhat since February. In most cases, the falloff in positive views mirrors the decline in his job approval rating – from 64% in February to 55% today.

However, Obama has seen double-digit declines in positive views on several traits, including whether he cares about people like them (13 points), is a strong leader (12 points), trustworthy (12 points) and able to get things done (12 points). In February, 70% said Obama was able to get things done while just 15% said he was not. The margin is much closer in the current survey (58% to 31%).

Read the full report Obama Approval Ratings Steady, Personal Image Remains Positive on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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