Trouble Looms for Obama, Democrats with Election Day 2014 Approaching

15 Oct

three amigos

By Gary Langer

Oct 15, 2014 7:01am

(Evan Vucci/AP Photo | Danny Johnston/AP Photo | Melinda Deslatte/AP Photo)

Barack Obama and his political party are heading into the midterm elections in trouble. The president’s 40 percent job approval rating in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll is the lowest of his career – and the Democratic Party’s popularity is its weakest in polling back 30 years, with more than half of Americans seeing the party unfavorably for the first time.

The Republican Party is even more unpopular. But benefitting from their supporters’ greater likelihood of voting, GOP candidates nonetheless hold a 50-43 percent lead among likely voters for U.S. House seats in the Nov. 4 election.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

These and other results are informed by an array of public concerns on issues from the economy to international terrorism to the Ebola virus, crashing into a long-running crisis of confidence in the nation’s political leadership. Almost two-thirds say the country is headed seriously off on the wrong track. Even more, three-quarters, are dissatisfied with the way the political system is working.

Scorn is widely cast: Among those who are dissatisfied with the political system, two-thirds say both sides are equally to blame, with the rest dividing evenly between Obama and his party, vs. the Republicans in Congress, as the chief culprits. But as a nearly six-year incumbent president, Obama – and by extension his party – are most at risk.

pelosi, obama, reid

Beyond his overall rating, Obama is at career lows in approval for his handling of immigration, international affairs and terrorism (long his best issue) in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Approval of his handling of the conflict with Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria has plummeted by percentage 15 points in the last two weeks, amid questions about the progress of the air campaign now under way.

Further, while Obama’s negative rating on handling the economy has eased, more Americans say they’ve gotten worse off rather than better off under his presidency; the plurality is “about the same” financially, for most not a happy outcome. Even with the recovery to date, 77 percent are worried about the economy’s future, and 57 percent say the country has been experiencing a long-term decline in living standards – all grim assessments as Election Day looms.

economy chart

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