What Americans Really Think About Obama

Poll analysis divides Americans into five sharply divided groups
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2010 8:07 AM CST
Crowds gather to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama, in this Jan. 20, 2009 file photo, on the west side of the Capitol.   (AP Photo/Scott Andrews, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – Since his inauguration, Barack Obama’s approval rating has plummeted from 67% to just 50%. But to add some nuance to the numbers USA Today broke respondents down into five profiles. They are:

  • Sunny Side Up (33%): This diverse, optimistic group overwhelmingly believes the economy will improve, and gives Obama a 71% approval rating.
  • Right Man for Hard Times (18%): This group has lower incomes and pessimistic economic outlooks, but they’re Obama’s biggest fans—81% approve of him, and 100% say he “shares their views.”

  • Upbeat, Downbeat (10%): They’re upbeat on the economy, but only 15% approve of Obama. The reason? This is the oldest, most conservative and most religious group; only 3% believe Obama shares their values.
  • Not Up to the Job (18%): This group wants a president who manages the government well, and doesn’t think Obama is it. Only 20% approve of him, blaming him for the weak economy.
  • It’s All Bad (19%): Only 6% of these consummate pessimists believe the economy will improve, and only 21% approve of Obama. Many see themselves as independents of the tea party variety.

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