Obama Gets Low Marks On Deficit, Economy

Although his overall approval rating has bounced back from its 2010 lows for the most part, a new Gallup poll shows that Barack Obama still gets low marks on most domestic economic issues, most especially the federal budget deficit:

PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s approval rating for handling the federal budget deficit has gone from bad to worse in recent months, even as his ratings on all other major national issues have generally held steady. Currently, 27% of Americans approve of Obama on the deficit, down from 32% in November, while 68% disapprove.

Overall, Obama is doing much better on international issues than domestic ones. Among eight issues on which Obama was rated in the new poll, Americans give the president the highest approval ratings on foreign affairs and the situations in Egypt and Afghanistan. The deficit, the economy, and taxes rank among his lowest ratings, alongside healthcare policy.

On the deficit in particular, the public disapproval of the President’s handling of the issue has grown dramatically since he came into office:

Overall, Obama is doing much better on international issues than domestic ones. Among eight issues on which Obama was rated in the new poll, Americans give the president the highest approval ratings on foreign affairs and the situations in Egypt and Afghanistan. The deficit, the economy, and taxes rank among his lowest ratings, alongside healthcare policy.

It’s no surprise that the President gets higher marks on national security and international issues than he does on domestic issues. That’s been historical reality for quite some time, and the fact that the economy is, at best, anemic makes it less likely that the public is going to approve of how the President is doing on those issues.

As far as the deficit goes, though. it’s unclear if this is just a temporary issue, or a sea change. There have been times in the past, usually when the economy is weak, when these issues have been high on the public’s list of concerns. Once times improve, though, that concern disappears as does any pressure on Washington to do anything about spending and the debt. We’ve already seen that the public is very reluctant to back the kind of spending cuts and tax increases that would be necessary to fix the structural issues that created the debt. It’s doubtful that will change if and when the economy improves, unless someone in Washington is willing to talk honestly and bluntly about why this needs to be done now before it’s too late.

Don’t count on that.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Deficit and Debt, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. wr says:

    People will stop worrying about the deficit as soon as Republicans get control of the government and stop pretending they care about it.

  2. Terrye says:

    I don’t think Obama’s numbers have bounced back. He is down below 50 on RCP again. The truth is his numbers have not changed a lot one way or the other for some time. He got a dead cat bounce that took him up about 6 points and now he is back down about 4 or 5. Not that much one way or the other.

  3. john personna says:

    These are the same people who approved of the tax cuts extension, right?