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Resurgent Roundup - April 1, 2011

Resurgent Republic | April 1, 2011

In recent weeks, public opinion has become more pessimistic about the direction of the country and the economy. President Obama’s standing on the economy has decreased, and a majority of voters support his Guantanamo Bay policy shift. When it comes to balancing the budget, voters strongly prefer cutting spending rather than raising taxes. On energy policy, Quinnipiac’s most recent survey shows strong support for increasing offshore drilling, results similar to recent polling conducted in March by Gallup and The Hill.

Political Climate

  • More than three-fifths of Americans (62 percent) think the country is on the wrong track, an increase of 5 points since January. Only 35 percent of Americans think the country is currently headed in the right direction. (AP/GfK Poll, 3/24-28/2011) 

  • Compared to February, Americans are less likely to believe the economy is getting better: 26 percent say better (down 6 points), 26 percent say worse (up 4 points), and 47 percent say the same (up 2 points). (CBS News Poll, 3/18-21/2011) 

  • A recent Associated Press poll found “Americans souring more on the economy.” When considering the past month, 15 percent say the economy got better, down from 30 percent in January. When asked to think about the year ahead, 28 percent say the economy will get worse, which is double the figure recorded in January and the highest mark in 2 years. (AP/GfK Poll, 3/24-28/2011)

  • On a 2012 generic congressional ballot, Independents prefer a Republican candidate by 36 to 27 percent. Among all voters, Republicans hold a 40 to 37 percent advantage. (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)

Obama Approval

  • President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 42 percent, an all-time low in a Quinnipiac University poll. By a 50 to 39 percent margin, Independents disapprove of Obama’s job performance. (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)

  • Americans are less likely to view President Obama as a strong and decisive leader. According to a new Gallup poll, 52 percent of Americans believe President Obama is a strong and decisive leader, reflecting a 21-point decrease since April 2009. (Gallup Poll, 3/25-27/2011)

  • By 60 to 39 percent, Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy, the widest margin recorded in this poll since taking office. This marks a 12-point net shift since January when Americans disapproved 54 to 45 percent. (CNN/ORC Poll, 3/18-20/2011)

  • By 60 to 36 percent, Americans do not believe President Obama has “a clear plan for solving the country’s problems.” (Gallup Poll, 3/25-27/2011)

  • Among Independents, President Obama trails a generic Republican challenger on the 2012 generic ballot, 32 to 28 percent. When asked if President Obama deserves to be re-elected, a majority of Independents have a negative response, 52 to 37 percent. (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)


  • Three-fourths of Americans (74 percent) say the increase in gasoline prices has caused financial hardship for their household, including 43 percent who describe the hardship as serious. (CBS News Poll, 3/18-21/2011)

  • Two-thirds of voters support allowing offshore drilling to resume (67 to 28 percent). Majority support for offshore drilling is found among all partisan groups: 86 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Democrats.  (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)

  • A majority of voters (56 percent) opposes releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to reduce gasoline prices. (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)

  • By a slight plurality (48 to 45 percent), voters support building new nuclear power plants in the United States. (Quinnipiac Poll, 3/22-28/2011)

  • A plurality of Americans (47 percent) believes the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks, compared with 38 percent who think the opposite. (CBS News Poll, 3/18-21/2011)

  • Two-thirds of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that a major accident at a nuclear power plant might take place in the United States. (CBS News Poll, 3/18-21/2011

Fiscal Issues and Government Regulation

  • When it comes to making tough choices to fix the federal budget, Independents prefer Republicans in Congress instead of President Obama. By 49 to 34 percent, Independents agree with the approach of Republicans in Congress “in cutting programs to reduce the budget deficit and still maintaining needed federal programs.” (CNN/ORC Poll, 3/18-20/2011)

  • Over three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans view the federal budget deficit as extremely or very important. (AP/GfK Poll, 3/24-28/2011)

  • By a two-to-one margin, Americans prefer cutting government services (62 percent) instead of raising taxes (29 percent) in order to balance the federal budget. (AP/GfK Poll, 3/24-28/2011)

  • Voters overwhelmingly believe that new business regulations should not be enacted without congressional approval. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64 percent) believe “no new expensive regulation of business should be allowed without first getting approval from Congress.” (The Tarrance Group Poll, 3/27-29/2011)

  • 59 percent of voters believe “additional federal regulation on businesses put the average American worker at risk of job loss.” (The Tarrance Group Poll, 3/27-29/2011)

National Security

  • A majority of voters approves of President Obama’s reversal of his Guantanamo Bay policy. By 51 to 25 percent, voters believe terrorist detainees should be tried in military court at Guantanamo Bay. Support is found among all partisan groups: 56 to 24 percent among Republicans, 49 to 27 percent among Independents, and 48 to 26 percent among Democrats. (Fox News Poll, 3/14-16/2011)

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Filed under: Free Market Economy, National Security, Political Climate, Energy And Environment, News, Obama Approval Rating, and Resurgent Round Up