Obama’s Effectiveness Slips: Pew Poll

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama listens to a question during a press conference in the East Room of the White House on May 7, 2013 in Washington.

Gridlock doesn’t play well in Peoria.

President Barack Obama’s job approval — 51 percent in a Pew Research Center survey released today — has gained a few points since March, when Pew found 47 percent public support.

Yet six months after re-election, public perception of the president’s effectiveness has slipped from 57 percent to 49 percent, Pew reports in the poll released at noon.

The approval rating for Republican leaders in Congress — 22 percent — is “among the lowest approval rating for congressional leaders from either party in 20 years,” Pew reports.

In addition, a record 80 percent say the president and Republican leaders are not working together on important issues, and the public blames Republican leaders more than Obama for the gridlock by a margin of nearly two-to-one.

Six months after the president’s re-election, following the defeat of a gun safety agenda that the president pursued in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, schoolhouse shootings in December, the survey of 1,404 adults, conducted May 1-5, found the public divided over the perception of Obama as someone able to get things done — 49 percent said he is, 46 percent said he is not. Views of the president’s effectiveness have declined since shortly after re-election in November, Pew notes: More, 57 percent, viewed him as effective then.

Most people continue to say that Obama stands up for what he believes in (76 percent) and that he fights hard to get his policies passed (67 percent). Most also say Obama is a strong leader (56 percent), while 40 percent say he is not.

At 51 percent, the president’s job approval has edged up from its recent low of 47 percent in March, in Pew’s surveys. Yet it trails his 55 percent approval in early December.

Public opinion is split over which party can do a better job on key issues: 42 percent say the Republicans on the economy, 38 percent the Democrats; it’s a 38-38 split on immigration, and 42-39 in favor of Republicans on gun control.

The survey has a possible 2.9 percentage point margin of error. See the poll here.

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