Business Owners And Farmers Have Lowest Opinion Of Obama

A new Gallup poll shows that business owners and farmers are the two professions that have the lowest opinion of the President:

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. business owners’ approval of President Barack Obama fell in the second quarter of 2012 to 35%, essentially tying farmers and fishers for the lowest approval among major occupational groups. Overall, professional workers remain the most approving, at 52%.

The findings are based on 25,464 interviews conducted with working U.S. adults in Gallup Daily tracking during the second quarter of 2012. Gallup asks employed adults to describe the work they do and then codes each respondent into one of 11 job categories.

Obama’s job approval ratings by occupational group clearly relate to election preferences. Gallup previously found that Obama does best compared with likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among voters who are professionals and service workers. Romney does best among voters who work in farming and fishing or construction, or are business owners.

In the overall average for the second quarter of 2012, 47% of working Americans approved of the job Obama is doing as president, and 47% disapproved. This is slightly improved from 45% approval and 48% disapproval in the first quarter.

Across occupational groups, installation and repair workers, as well as clerical and office workers, became significantly more approving of Obama in the second quarter. Business owners were the sole group that became significantly less approving, with their second-quarter approval of 35% reflecting a decline from 41% in the first quarter.

Here’s how the numbers shape up across professions from the first Quarter to the second:

It’s hard to say exactly what the implications of these numbers might be for the election, however, at least as far as business owners are concerned, the President is slipping on the job and, arguments regarding context and intending notwithstanding, the uproar over the “you didn’t build that” comment two weeks ago is likely to only diminish his standing among that particular group further.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Moosebreath says:

    For someone who supposedly is having trouble with blue collar workers, having 3 of the 4 largest gains for Obama in “Installation or repair workers”, “Manufacturing or production workers” and “Construction or mining workers” seems to belie that.

    But of course Doug focuses on the least favorable for Obama category, which probably has fewer voters than any of those. So how many gallons of water are you carrying today, Doug?

  2. Farmers want federal dams and aqueducts to bring “their” water which they use to grow “their” subsidies.

    … not that I’m cynical or anything.

  3. anjin-san says:

    I wonder if Doug will ever post about the rebound of the real estate market – a fairly significant event…

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Interesting, they didn’t poll workers in the Equestrian Dressage and Leveraged Buy Out “industries” either.

    I’m pretty sure that Obama would not poll well with those workers either.

  5. sam says:

    I think you’ll be able to add British prime ministers to the list: Romney’s Remarks on Olympics Cause Stir in London. Gotta luv the PM’s rejoinder:

    “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

  6. @anjin-san:

    I think the fair call is A Mixed Bag Of Economic Updates

    On the west coast we have Container Traffic Rises at Long Beach, good local news.

  7. J-Dub says:

    Last I checked “Business owner” is not really a profession so I don’t know why it gets lumped in with actual professions. I am a business owner, but fall under the other heading of “professional worker”. It matters a lot what type of business you own. If you own a company that builds roads I’m sure you were prefer the infrastructure plans of Obama to the lack of plans from Romney. In fact, I’m not sure what type of business owner would prefer Romney. Maybe one that does high frequency stock trading.

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Gallup is funny, in sort of a Cheech & Chong sense. U-6 unemployment is astronomical and yet for this piece they polled those who gainfully are employed. Terrific. What do you suppose the numbers would have been if you included people who’ve been out of work for weeks, or months or years? Then they didn’t break it down by race nor by party affiliation. Two slightly relevant factors, given the obvious demographic components of this election.

    That all said, like a stopped clock or a broken watch, Gallup did capture one relevant item: the staggering lack of approval for Obama among business owners. The irony of course is that many of the people out there who would want to become employed and who want to be able to make ends meet won’t be able even to grasp the irony of the laundry list of reasons why business owners, i.e., their prospective employers, feel that way about Obama.

  9. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    A new Gallup poll shows that business owners and farmers are the two professions that have the lowest opinion of the President

    No, it doesn’t, look at the margin of error for the subgroups.

  10. J-Dub says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I’m a business owner and I approve of President Obama’s performance. I have already reaped the benefits of parts of the ACA that have gone into effect. Are you a business owner? What has President Obama done/not done that you don’t approve of? Specifics please, not some vague idea about “uncertainty”.

  11. Lit3Bolt says:


    Obama has made me uncertain because of his blackity-black-black-Dark-As-Africa-blackness. Therefore, I refuse to invest and will shit the bed of my community and nation until my political party returns to dominance.