April 24, 2009

As first 100 days come to an end, Carolinians give President Barack Obama mixed reviews

North and South Carolinians believe that the United States is on the wrong track but generally approve of President Barack Obama’s performance during his first 100 days in office, according to the latest Elon University Poll. In particular, Carolinians are divided on the way Obama is handling the economy.

The poll, conducted April 19-23, surveyed 662 North and South Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. North Carolinians tended to give more favorable marks to Obama than respondents in South Carolina, where opinions on his performance were more critical.

Fifty-two percent of residents approve of the way Obama is handling his job. When asked about handling issues facing the country:
50 percent believe Obama is trying to address too many issues at once
39 percent indicate he is focusing on the right number of issues
7 percent think he is focusing on too few issues.

Forty eight percent of residents disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy while 47 percent approve. Sixty percent of respondents believe Obama’s economic policies have yet to take effect, while an equal number of residents believe they have made economic conditions either worse or better (19 percent each).

Respondents disapprove of the way Obama is handling certain issues:
Budget deficit: 55 percent disapprove / 35 percent approve
The auto industry: 55 percent disapprove / 37 percent approve
The financial crisis: 49 percent disapprove / 44 percent approve
The mortgage crisis: 46 percent disapprove / 43 percent approve
Taxes: 46 percent disapprove / 43 percent approve

(** Figures exclude "don't know" answer)

Fifty-six percent of Carolinians also believe that too much money has already been spent on the economy.

“As the president struggles with the toughest first 100 days in recent history, his support may be beginning to wane as the public grows less patient and more divided over the direction of the country,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll.

Carolinians have distinct opinions regarding the future of the economy:
46 percent say the economy has leveled off, but has not started to improve
35 percent believe the worst is yet to come for the economy
17 percent think the economy has started to improve

 


Respondents were asked their opinions on how Obama is handling a variety of issues:
Iraq War: 57 percent approve, 34 percent disapprove
Afghanistan: 55 percent approve, 30 percent disapprove
Education: 50 percent approve, 26 percent disapprove

Respondents are generally satisfied with the amount of attention Obama is dedicating to a number of issues. Respondents were asked whether issues received too much attention, too little attention, or the right amount of attention:

Too Much Attention:
Auto Industry: 38 percent

Too Little Attention:
Immigration: 49 percent
Budget Deficit: 40 percent
Health Care: 40 percent

Right Amount of Attention:
Iraq War: 61 percent
Afghanistan: 60 percent
Economy: 57 percent

When asked about their confidence level of a variety of institutions, respondents indicated they have no confidence in Wall Street, Congress, labor unions or television news. Conversely, Carolinians said they have a great deal of confidence in the military and small businesses.