UTICA, New York — Just 36 percent of likely voters had positive feelings about the direction the U.S. is headed during the first days of President Barack Obama's new administration, but that is a dramatic increase from the 14 percent who felt the country was headed in the right direction earlier this month, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. Fewer than half (45 percent) now believe the country is on the wrong track, compared with 70 percent who said so in early January.
This post-inauguration survey finds nearly two-thirds of Democrats (62 percent) believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 31 percent of political independents and just 9 percent of Republicans who say the same. While the vast majority of Republicans (76 percent) now take a negative view of the country's direction, fewer than half of independents (45 percent) and one in five Democrats (19 percent) agree. The Zogby Interactive survey of 3,684 likely voters nationwide was conducted Jan. 22-26 and carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.7 percentage points.
Congressional job approval has received a big boost, and now stands at 20 percent, up from a paltry 4 percent of likely voters who gave Congress a job performance rating of "excellent" or "good" just a few weeks ago. Democrats are more likely to give Congress positive job ratings (39 percent), compared with political independents (15 percent) and Republicans (2 percent). One in four (25 percent) of those who never shop at Walmart approve of the job Congress is doing, compared with 16 percent of those who shop there weekly. Among NASCAR fans, 17 percent give Congress favorable job performance marks.
Just over half (52 percent) give Obama a positive job performance rating for his first official days in office, while 29 percent give his job performance a negative rating, and another 19 percent are not sure. Democrats (80 percent) and political independents (52 percent) are most likely to give Obama high job performance marks, compared with just 17 percent of Republicans. One in four Republicans (25%) and nearly as many independents (22%) were unsure about his job performance so far and did not give him a ranking, compared with half as many Democrats (13 percent). Younger likely voters, age 18-24, are more likely to give Obama positive marks (56 percent), and are most likely to have made up their minds early, with just 10 percent who are unsure about his job performance so far. Among weekly Walmart shoppers, 42 percent give the new president favorable job scores, compared to 69% of likely voters who never shop there. Just 39 percent of NASCAR fans give Obama a positive job performance rating.
The vast majority of likely voters — 85 percent — give negative ratings to U.S. economic policy, which is a decline from the 95 percent who said the same earlier in the month. Just 8 percent give the nation's economic policy a positive rating, a slight improvement from the 4 percent who said the same several weeks ago. When it comes to their personal financial situation, just 37 percent give it a positive rating, compared with 62 percent who paint their personal financial picture as "fair" or "poor." One in five (20 percent) express insecurity about their current job, which is largely unchanged from Zogby International polling in early January.
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