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Registered Voters Give President Obama 50 Percent Approval Rating

11.19.2012

High Point University PollHIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 19, 2012 – A new HPU National Poll fielded on the High Point University campus finds that 50 percent of registered voters in the United States approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance – three percentage points more than in a similar national poll fielded prior to the presidential election.

The poll also found that a majority – 56 percent of national registered voters – see the country as being on the “wrong track” rather than going in the “right direction.”  The pre-election national survey had found that 58 percent of registered voters in the U.S. felt the country was going in the wrong direction.

“Our first presidential job approval reading after the election shows no deterioration in the president’s rating and may even show a slight improvement,” said HPU Poll director Martin Kifer. “We’ll be watching in the coming months to see what direction President Obama’s approval ratings move as he starts his second term. The president’s standing with the public holds implications for, among other things, his ability to negotiate with Congress over some relatively high stakes issues.”

This is the first national survey fielded by student interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center.

Presidential job approval – Latest results/registered voters

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

Approve – 50 percent

Disapprove – 46 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 4 percent

(registered voters surveyed Nov. 8 and Nov. 10–15, n = 566 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 4.2 percent)

Presidential job approval – Previous results/registered voters

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

Approve – 47 percent

Disapprove – 48 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 5 percent

(registered voters surveyed Oct. 22–30 , n = 805 and margin of sampling error = +/- 3.5 percent)

Country direction – Latest results/registered voters

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 39 percent

Wrong track – 56 percent

Don’t know/refused – 5 percent

(registered voters surveyed Nov. 8 and Nov. 10–15, n = 566 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 4.2 percent)

Country direction – Previous results/registered voters

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 34 percent

Wrong track – 58 percent

Don’t know/refused – 8 percent

(registered voters surveyed Oct. 22–30, n = 805 and margin of sampling error = +/- 3.5 percent)

“Over the past months, we have seen some improvement in how Americans, including North Carolinians, feel about the direction of the country,” said Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll.  “But even if marginal changes have occurred, we are a ways off from seeing a majority of Americans pleased with where the country is headed.”

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Nov. 8 and Nov.10–15,2012. The responses for this national sample of all 50 states came from 677 adults with landline or cellular telephones. This release is based on data from 566 registered voters within the larger sample. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire these samples. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.2 percentage points. The data are weighted when appropriate toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, region of the country, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu/

The previous survey was fielded by the Telephone Centre, Inc of Greensboro, NC on behalf of High Point University Survey Research Center from Oct. 22 to Oct. 30, 2012. The responses for the National Sample came from 805 registered voters with landline or cellular telephones. The survey had a margin of sampling error of approximately 3.45 percentage points. More information about the methods used to field the survey and its findings are at http://acme.highpoint.edu/~mkifer/src/19memoC.pdf

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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