A plurality of likely voters believes President Barack Obama will lose his re-election bid next year, according to a new poll by The Hill
. The survey showed 46 percent of respondents think Obama will lose, while 41 percent believe he will win.
Among independents, who will likely determine the election’s outcome, 43 percent see Obama getting re-elected and 40 percent don’t. That 3-percentage-point gap matches the poll’s margin of error.
Given those numbers, it’s not too surprising that voters don’t give the president high marks for his first term. A majority 51 percent of respondents regard Obama as either a failure (37 percent) or not very successful (14 percent). Meanwhile, 48 percent say he was either very successful (16 percent) or somewhat successful (32 percent).
Among the key category of independents, 54 percent view the president’s first-term performance as unsuccessful, with 36 percent saying it has been a failure and 18 percent saying it hasn’t been very successful. Meanwhile, 45 percent of independents see Obama as a success, with 11 percent saying he has been very successful and 34 percent saying he has been somewhat successful.
Perhaps Obama’s strongest support comes from African-American and female voters. A hefty 79 percent of blacks believe he’ll be re-elected, and 94 percent view his tenure in the White House as a success. As for gender, 52 percent of women say Obama has been successful, compared with only 44 percent of men who feel the same way.
In another piece of bad news for Obama, a whopping 92 percent of likely voters view the choice of president as important in determining the country’s economic strength, with 66 percent saying it’s very important, and 26 percent saying it’s somewhat important. Given that other polls show voters are unhappy with Obama’s handling of the economy, that has to be a discomforting sign for the president.
The poll shows a divided view among voters when asked about their sense of optimism, with 41 percent saying America’s best days are in the past and 40 percent saying the best lies ahead. Young voters are more optimistic than older voters: In the 18-39 demographic, 42 percent say our best days lie ahead, while 35 percent say they’re over. Among those in the 40-64 group, 39 percent say the best is yet to come, and 45 percent say our best days are behind us.
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