Public Opinion of Obama Firmly Lukewarm, Polls Indicate

| by Allison Geller

New polling numbers indicate that approval for Obama’s executive abilities is still on a downward trend, while his personal image has fared better.

A new Associated Press-GfK Poll of about 1,000 randomly selected Americans found that 58 percent of people surveyed considered Obama “somewhat likeable,” up from 49 percent in October after the government shutdown.

As far as his presidency goes, however, forty-two percent called Obama “below average or poor,” while about a third assessed him as “outstanding or above average” and a quarter said he was just “average.” And 70 percent of respondents said they were pessimistic about unemployment.

"He would probably be a guy I would like to hang out with if he wasn't president," explained Joshua Parker, a 37-year-old small businessman in Smyrna, Tenn. "But I like a lot of people who are not qualified to be president."

When Obama was first sworn in, Americans had high hopes—two-thirds expected him to be an outstanding or above-average president.

Though more than half of those surveyed thought Obama seemed like a nice guy, about half also doubted his honesty and didn’t find him “inspirational.”

A recent Fox News poll, also of about a thousand randomly chosen individuals, also found that Americans harbor negative feelings towards the president and the economy. About three-quarters said they still feel the country is in a Recession. Only a third said they like Obama as person and as president.

As Obama prepares to address Americans Tuesday for his sixth State of the Union address, the Fox poll found a sizeable jump in disapproval for Obama’s politics since the month before his 2012 re-election—62 percent from 51 percent.

And finally, a CBS poll found that his approval rating was struck down the middle—46 percent of survey respondents said they approve of Obama, and 47 said they disapprove.

The president can expect to greet a tough crowd when he goes life for his State of the Union address, on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 9 PM ET.

Sources: Associated Press, Fox News, CBS