Latest NPR: Voters Divided on Obama’s First Year, Want Focus on Economy and Jobs Tonight


Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
Client: National Public Radio

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NPR Survey Results (PDF - 13 K)

NPR Presentation (PDF - 33 K)

Broadcast (MP3 - 2 MB)

Executive Summary

In advance of President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight, a new bipartisan survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Public Opinion Strategies shows a nation divided down the middle on President Obama’s performance and direction after his first year in office; however, they are united on wanting him to speak about jobs tonight. These results are based on a survey conducted together with Public Opinion Strategies for National Public Radio, neither of which is responsible for the conclusions described here. To hear the full broadcast click here.

Key Findings

At this one-year anniversary, the divide in the country is pretty stark:

  • 49 percent approve of the President’s performance and 48 percent disapprove.
  • 48 percent believe he is making progress and 49 percent do not.
  • 50 percent believe he is seeking the right changes and 46 percent think he is seeking the wrong ones.

And when the Democratic and Republican pollsters presented robust statements on the first year of the Obama presidency and where it was headed, the respondents divided 49 to 48 percent.

There is a lot of discontent, reflected in the 61 percent who say the country is on the wrong track and the generic congressional ballot that favors the Republicans by 5 points. But at this moment, this survey shows a country evenly divided on the basic judgments about the President and his direction.

While there are some signs of increased optimism about the economy, the public wants their leaders to address the jobs problem:

  • 63 percent believe the President and Congress should be prioritizing jobs and the economy, followed by health care at 26 percent and terrorism and national security at 21 percent.
  • When asked what one issue the President should center on in tonight’s State of the Union, 70 percent want his focus to be on a jobs bill.

Methodology

These results are based on a bipartisan survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in conjunction with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for National Public Radio. The survey fielded January 20-21 & 23, 2010 and was conducted among 800 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of +/-3.46 percent. The results and broadcast can also be found at www.npr.org.