CBS News reports on their latest CBS/NYT polling:
Obama's approval rating drops to all-time low; Public split on jobs plan
Simultneously the NY Times (aka Obama 2012) presents the same poll results with this semi-smiley face:
Obama's Support Is Slipping Poll Finds But His Jobs Plan Is Well Received
That was revised in subsequent iterations and appeared on my dead tree edition as:
In Poll, Support For Obama Slips Among Base
So in TimesWorld Obama's support is slipping; the fact that ity has set a new low does not merit a headline. And the public support the jobs bill! Well, sort of - here is their puffery:
The president’s effort to seize the initiative on the economy was well received by the public, and clear majorities support crucial pieces of his new job-creation program....
[Big Skip and...]
The poll found that most Americans are familiar with the American Jobs Act, the president’s $447 billion proposal to create jobs. Almost half of the public is confident the plan would create jobs and improve the economy. A substantial majority of Americans support the main proposals aimed at creating jobs, including tax cuts for small businesses, improvements in the nation’s infrastructure and payroll tax cuts for working Americans.
And what did CBS see differently?
As for Mr. Obama's latest proposal to lower unemployment, the American Jobs Act he presented to Congress last week, the public is split. While 64 percent say they have heard about the bill, Americans are divided as to whether the plan will actually create jobs. Nearly half of Americans are at least somewhat confident that Mr. Obama's proposals will create jobs and stimulate the economy --12 percent are very confident and 36 percent are somewhat confident. But about the same amount -- 47% -- are not confident his plan will do that.
Let's go to the poll! At Question 61, p.19, the topic is Obama's jobs speech. As noted by CBS, 12% are "very confident" that Obama's "proposals will create jobs and improve the economy"; 36% are "somewhat" confident; 23% are "not very" confident; and 24% are "not confident at all".
I would say the public is split. [A Bloomberg poll had the public skeptical of the jobs bill by 51 to 40.]
Both news outlets provide some lighter moments. Here is CBS reporting on public sympathy for the grave burden Obama bears:
But half the public sees economic conditions as generally out of a president's hands - 53 percent now say the condition of the national economy is beyond any president's control and 41 percent of Americans have faith that the economy is something a president can do anything about. As a comparison, when this question was asked back in October 1992, 59 percent said the economy was something a president could do something about (35 percent said no).
In other words, just before Bush 41 was dumped 59% of the public agreed with Democratic Presidential nominee Bill Clinton that Bush ought to have been doing more to boost the economy. By way of comparison, in early August 2008, 67% of respondents thought the President could "do a lot", while only 26% thought the economy was beyond Bush's control (Question 21, p. 10). I'm only guessing that the press is more inclined to clamor for the President to "do something" when the President is a Republican. Fueling my parnoia are columns like this from Nick Kristof, ruminating about whether the media missed the big story on unemployment.
And what about He Who Must Not Be Named? CBS and the Times offer perspective on Obama's approval rating. From CBS:
With just over a year before Mr. Obama faces voters again for re-election, it should be noted that Mr. Obama's overall approval rating is similar to that of Bill Clinton's (43 percent) and Ronald Reagan's (46 percent) about a year before their presidential elections when they won re-election. Conversely, George H.W. Bush had a 70 percent approval rating about a year before the presidential election but then lost his bid for re-election.
And the Times:
The poll found a 43 percent approval rating for Mr. Obama. It is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency, according to the Times and CBS News poll, which showed Ronald Reagan with an approval of 46 percent and the elder George Bush at 70 percent.
So Obama is better doing than Carter and about the same as Clinton or Reagan. Not so bad! And we all know Bush 41 went on to defeat. Odd that both outlets overlooked the man Obama blames for all his difficulties. Since you ask, here is a Times story from Sept 23 2003 reporting on a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll:
The poll also found that Mr. Bush's overall approval rating was the lowest since he became president, falling to 50 percent. In August, the poll found that 59 percent of American's approved of his job performance, and in April the figure was 71 percent.