Politics & Policy

New Poll Exposes Undecided Voters’ Deep Dissatisfaction with the Obama Agenda

(Chris Jackson/Getty)

The results of our most recent national monthly omnibus poll show some important trends:

‐Two thirds of all voters, 64 percent, still say the country is on the wrong track. Only 28 percent say it’s headed in the right direction. 

Right Direction vs. Wrong Track

This wrong-track sentiment is strongest among Republicans (85 percent) and independents (70 percent), and also registers at 47 percent among Democrats.

Right direction vs. wrong direction, by party and affiliation

‐President Obama’s job approval is showing a slow, steady recovery from a decisive negative on last November’s Election Day, from 42 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove (–14 percent) to a more evenly polarized 48 percent approve, 50 percent disapprove (–2 percent). This is a net improvement of 12 points.

President Obama Job Approval Rating

Obama job approval, by party and affiliation

‐As it did for the last cycle, the generic ballot for Congress remains a dead heat, at 43 percent apiece for Republicans and Democrats.

Genereic ballot for Congress

Republicans intend to vote for Republicans 92 percent to 3 percent. Democrats intend to vote Democratic 86 percent to 7 percent. Independents slightly favor Republicans, 38 percent to 33 percent, with 29 percent undecided. Republicans are losing their decisive edge among independents. However, the undecided vote for Congress still disapproves of the job the president is doing; only 36 percent approve and 58 percent disapprove. They say that the country is on the wrong track, 68 percent to only 21 percent for the right direction. The key to winning will be the 8 percent who are undecided and disapprove of the job the president is doing, and the very similar 8 percent who are undecided and say the country is on the wrong track.

Generic ballot for Congress, by party and affiliation

#share#

‐As shutdown talk was increasing in the news, the previously consistent 5-to-3 majority of voters who preferred smaller government with fewer services over larger government with many services narrowed, in one month, from a 25 percent edge to 15 percent: 49 percent for smaller government to 34 percent for larger government.

Smaller government vs. larger government

Smaller government vs. larger governement, by party and affiliation

‐Hillary Clinton remains a strong net negative, with only 41 percent of the voters being favorable to her and 51 percent unfavorable. We saw this increase in her negatives not just as the e-mail scandal built but also right after her endorsement of the president’s unpopular nuclear deal with Iran.

Favorable vs. unfavorable opinion on Hillary Clinton

An interesting result is that women voters are more negative to Hillary Clinton (38 percent favorable to 52 percent unfavorable) than men (45 percent to 49 percent).

Opinion of Hillary Clinton, by party and affiliation

‐Finally, we introduced a new bellwether question into this poll for the 2016 election. Since 2009, in order to help the Republicans retake the House majority, we had asked whether they preferred to vote for a member of Congress who would help the president pass his agenda, or one who would be a check and balance on President Obama’s agenda. This message worked very well in helping Republicans to retake the House, retake the Senate, and then expand their House majority to the highest level since the 1920s. However, thanks to the presidential term limit, this argument will no longer apply. Instead we asked, “Generally speaking would you like the next president to continue the policies of President Obama or change direction and move away from the policies of President Obama?” The results were decisive: continue Obama’s policies 34 percent, change direction 57 percent. Republicans want change, 88 percent to 8 percent; Independents want change, 63 percent to 24 percent. Those who are undecided for Congress want change, 61 percent to 15 percent. Among Democrats 64 percent want to continue Obama’s policies, while 25 percent want change.

Continue Obama's polices vs. move away from them, by party and affiliation

For now, even though Barack Obama will not be on the ballot, it’s clear he’s driving the 2016 election. The vast majority of American voters say that the country has been on the wrong track for quite a while and they want change for the better.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More