Poll shows Obama approval at an All Time Low, GOP enthusiasm higher than Democrats’ - The Washington Post - FACTOIDS
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Poll shows Obama approval at an All Time Low, GOP enthusiasm higher than Democrats’ - The Washington Post

Less than a month from the midterms, the political landscape continues to tilt in favor of the Republican Party

Heading into the final weeks of the midterm campaign, the political landscape continues to tilt in favor of the Republican Party, with President Obama’s overall approval rating at the lowest level of his presidency and GOP voters signaling greater likelihood than Democrats that they will cast ballots, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Americans are looking to November and beyond with dissatisfaction about the state of the country and the political leadership in Washington. Two-thirds say the country is seriously off-track. And while more than 6 in 10 say the president lacks a clear plan for governing, a slightly higher percentage says the same of Republicans in Congress.

Public impressions of the two political parties are similarly gloomy. “Favorable” ratings for the Democratic Party (39 percent) are at a 30-year low, and for the first time a majority (51 percent) gives the Democrats an “unfavorable” rating. The Republicans are rated even lower, with a 33 percent “favorable” mark. That is little changed since last year’s government shutdown, although the party’s “unfavorable” rating has improved.

Most worrisome for Democrats is that their candidates will be weighed down by unhappiness with the president. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 40 percent, the lowest recorded in a Post-ABC News poll during his six years in office, though it is only a point lower than last month. Among independents, his rating is 33 percent.

The president’s economic approval rating is better, at 44 percent, and has been moving up over the past year, coinciding with better economic news and a decline in the unemployment rate. Disapproval of his handling of the economy is at 51 percent, the best it has been since September of last year.

Little affection for Republicans or Democrats heading into midterms

But public support for his handling of the threats posed by Islamic State extremists has tumbled dramatically in just the past few weeks, falling from 50 percent approval at the end of September to just 35 percent today. Three weeks ago, his rating on dealing with the Islamic State was a net positive by six points. Today it is net negative by 16 points.

On other measures, the president is at or near low points, whether international affairs, terrorism or implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

His worst rating comes on his handling of immigration, with just 29 percent saying they approve of how he has handled the issue, down nine points since June. Obama has said he will use his executive powers to make changes, including giving some kind of legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants — but not until after the elections, a decision that satisfied neither side.

Meanwhile, analysis of the survey findings shows that the Republican electorate is more motivated to vote in this election than are the Democrats. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans say they are certain to vote, compared with 63 percent of Democrats.

Democrats often have more trouble turning out their base voters in midterm elections. This year, they have made unprecedented efforts to register new voters and turn out those who often vote only in presidential races.

Midterm elections generally are a referendum on the party that holds the White House, and the president’s party almost always loses seats. Today, 62 percent of registered voters say the president will not be a factor in their vote next month, up eight points in a month. But among those who say he will be a factor, more say they will use their vote to send a message that they oppose Obama.

Among independents, 23 percent say they want to send a message to oppose the president while 8 percent want to support him with their vote. Meanwhile, 46 percent of Republicans say they will vote to send a message of opposition to the president, while just 30 percent of Democrats say they are voting to send a message of support for Obama.

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