No Poll Bounce for Obama or Republicans

Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.
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As I discuss in my column this week, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven't fulfilled their ambitions for the first 100 days of the new term. The polls are telling: The president hasn't had a bump in voter approval since his re-election in November; the already diminished Republican brand name has sunk a little lower.

The average of five national polls conducted in April gives the president a 49 percent job-approval rating, with a little more than 46 percent disapproval. That's about the same result as the aggregation of surveys in October 2012, before the election.

In general, a plurality of voters gives Obama positive marks for his foreign policy; they are either divided or slightly negative on his handling of the economy.

The general disapproval of Republicans, and especially of the congressional party, has increased. A sampling of polls over the past month shows almost a 2-to-1 disapproval of the Republican brand; this is a little bit more negative than last fall.

It gets worse when respondents are asked how Republicans in Congress are handling their jobs. Over the past few weeks, surveys by Roper, Quinnipiac University and CNN all gave congressional Republicans closer to a 3-to-1 disapproval rating.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll earlier this month asked Americans if they agreed or disagreed with the political parties on social/cultural issues and whether they are perceived to be looking out for the middle class. For Democrats, the result was about evenly divided. For Republicans, more than twice as many respondents said they disagreed with that party on both social issues and their concerns for the middle class.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Albert R Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net