Polling’s Mixed Message for 2014, 2016

Jul 03, 2013

At midyear, the national opinion polls provide little indication of which way the political wind is blowing looking ahead to 2014, and 2016. Most of the key public opinion measures are mixed, or uncertain.

Obama’s Standing – Historically, second term presidencies are often full of surprises and many of them unpleasant. Absent a surprise, so far, public opinion on Obama is running ahead of George W. Bush, but behind where both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, whose unexpected troubles revealed themselves two years into their second term.

So far there is little indication that recent Washington controversies have hurt Obama. Yes, the release of a recent CNN survey made quite a stir when it showed the president’s approval rating slipping significantly amidst the fallout from the IRS and the NSA surveillance controversies. But most other national polls, including the Pew Research Center’s, have shown little movement of late. For the most part, Obama’s approval score is mixed and below the 50% mark. Last week’s Gallup rating was 47% approve: 45% disapprove. Pew Research had him at 49%:43%. This compares to CNN’s 45%:54% rating.

Read the full report on the Pew Research Center's website.
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