Washington Post Poll

This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone August 9, 2011, among a random national sample of 601 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York.

*= less than 0.5 percent

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

              -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No   
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
8/9/11        44       18         26      46        9         37        10
7/17/11       47       25         22      48       14         35         5
6/5/11        47       27         20      49       13         37         4
5/2/11        56       29         27      38       14         24         6
4/17/11       47       27         21      50       12         37         3
3/13/11       51       27         24      45       12         33         4
1/16/11       54       30         23      43       15         28         3
12/12/10      49       24         25      47       15         32         4
10/28/10      50       27         23      45       11         34         5
10/3/10       50       26         24      47       13         34         3
9/2/10        46       24         22      52       14         38         3
7/11/10       50       28         22      47       12         35         3
6/6/10        52       30         22      45       12         33         4
4/25/10       54       31         23      44       11         33         3
3/26/10       53       34         20      43        8         35         3
2/8/10        51       29         22      46       12         33         3
1/15/10       53       30         24      44       13         32         2
12/13/09      50       31         18      46       13         33         4
11/15/09      56       32         23      42       13         29         2
10/18/09      57       33         23      40       11         29         3
9/12/09       54       35         19      43       12         31         3
8/17/09       57       35         21      40       11         29         3
7/18/09       59       38         22      37        9         28         4
6/21/09       65       36         29      31       10         22         4
4/24/09       69       42         27      26        8         18         4
3/29/09       66       40         26      29        9         20         5
2/22/09       68       43         25      25        8         17         7

2. How satisfied are you with the way this country’s political system is working – would you say very satisfied, mostly satisfied, mostly dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

           ---- Satisfied ----   --- Dissatisfied --     No
           NET   Very   Mostly   NET   Mostly   Very   opinion
8/9/11     21      2      19     78      33      45       1
11/23/09   38      4      34     61      30      31       1
6/3/07     34      5      29     64      34      30       1

3. In general, do you think the federal government is (mostly focused on the right things), or (mostly focused on the wrong things)?

           Focused on       Focused on       No
          right things     wrong things    opinion
8/9/11         19               71           10 
10/3/10        39               55            6

4. (IF WRONG THINGS) Who is to blame for the government’s focus on the wrong things – (mainly Obama and the Democrats) or (mainly the Republicans)?

         Obama and                 Both equally   Neither     No
         Democrats   Republicans      (vol.)       (vol.)   opinion
8/9/11       30           30            32            6        2

[Questions 5 and 6 rotated.]

5. Thinking about the major problems facing the country, would you say the Republican leaders in Congress have made progress toward solving these problems, tried but failed to solve these problems, not addressed these problems, or made these problems even worse?

            Made     Tried but     Not          Made           No
          progress    failed    addressed   problems worse   opinion
8/9/11       10         38         13            35             4
10/30/95*    20         40         14            21             5
*Pew Research Center

6. Thinking about the major problems facing the country, would you say Obama has made progress toward solving these problems, tried but failed to solve these problems, not addressed these problems, or has made these problems even worse?

           Made     Tried but     Not          Made           No
         progress    failed    addressed   problems worse   opinion
8/9/11      19         42          7            28             4

Compare to:

Thinking about the major problems facing the country, would you say President (George W.) Bush has made progress toward solving these problems, tried but failed to solve these problems, not addressed these problems, or made these problems even worse?

                      Made     Tried but     Not          Made           No
                    progress    failed    addressed   problems worse   opinion
12/8/08  Bush*         13         34         11            37             5
1/7/01   Clinton       52         27          9             6             6
9/8/98   Clinton       45         34          9             9             3
10/30/95 Clinton       24         50         11            12             3 
*2008 and previous Pew Research Center. 2001: “the Clinton administration”; 1998 and 1995: “President (Bill) Clinton”

Thinking now about the economy,

7. In general, when the government in Washington decides to solve economic problems, how much confidence do you have that the problem actually will be solved: A lot, some, just a little, or none at all?

          --- Confident ----   -- Not confident --     No
          NET   A lot   Some   NET   Little   None   opinion
8/9/11    26       5     21    73      34      39       1
10/3/10   47      10     37    52      32      21       1
9/6/02    58       9     49    41      27      14       1
1/27/02   63      11     52    37      31       6       *

8. How much confidence do you have in [ITEM] when it comes to making the right decisions about the country’s economic future – a great deal, a good amount, just some or none at all?

a. Obama
          ------- Confident -------    ---- Not confident ---      No
          NET   Grt.deal   Good amt.   NET   Just some   None    opinion
8/9/11    33       15         18       67       31        36        1
1/17/11   43       19         24       55       31        24        2

b. Republicans in Congress 

          ------- Confident -------    ---- Not confident ---      No
          NET   Grt.deal   Good amt.   NET   Just some   None    opinion
8/9/11    18        4         13       81       47        33        2
1/17/11   35       12         23       62       37        25        3

9. (Obama), (the Democrats in Congress) and (the Republicans in Congress) recently agreed to cut more than two trillion dollars from the federal budget over 10 years, and to increase the amount of money the government can borrow to avoid defaulting on its obligations. Given what you’ve heard or read about it, do you support or oppose this budget agreement?

         -------- Support --------   --------- Oppose --------     No   
         NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
8/9/11   37        6         32      54       21         33         9

10. How much if anything, have you heard about the move by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) to downgrade the U.S. government’s credit rating, indicating the company sees United States government bonds as no longer among the safest investments in the world? Have you heard a lot, a little or nothing at all?

         A lot   A little   Nothing at all   No opinion
8/9/11     45       36            19              *

11. Do you think S&P’s downgrading of the U.S. credit rating is (a fair) or (an unfair) assessment of the country’s financial situation?

         Fair   Unfair   No opinion
8/9/11    52      34         14

12. In its downgrade announcement, S&P said the country’s political system has become weaker and government policies have become “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” Do you see this as (a fair) or (an unfair) assessment of the country’s political situation?

         Fair   Unfair   No opinion
8/9/11    71      25         4

13. Who do you think is mainly to blame for the S&P credit rating downgrade: (Obama and the Democrats in Congress) or (the Republicans in Congress)?

          Obama             Both    Neither   Blame S&P     No
         and Dems   Reps   (vol.)   (vol.)      (vol.)    opinion
8/9/11      31       36      22       4           *          6 

14. Do you think the country's current financial situation is a crisis, a serious problem but not a crisis, a problem but not a serious one, or not much of a problem at all?

              ------ Problem -------   --------- Not a problem -------
                             Serious         Not serious   Not much of    No
              NET   Crisis   problem   NET     problem      a problem    opin.
8/9/11        92      48       44       7         4             3          1
12/14/08      90      54       36      10         7             3          *
9/29/08  RV   94      52       43       5         4             *          1

15. On another subject: Thinking about the next election in November 2012, right now, are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress, or are you inclined to look around for someone else to vote for?

                                       Depends
               Re-elect   Look around   (vol.)    No opinion
8/9/11   All      17          69           6            7
8/9/11   RV       18          67           7            7
7/17/11  All      30          63           2            5
7/17/11  RV       32          63           2            3
6/5/11   All      34          55           4            6
6/5/11   RV       37          53           4            6
10/28/10 All      32          50           7           11
10/28/10 RV       35          52           7            6
10/28/10 LV       40          49           6            5
10/3/10  All      29          55           9            7
10/3/10  RV       31          55           8            6
9/2/10   All      31          58           5            6
9/2/10   RV       33          57           5            5
7/11/10  All      25          60           6            8
7/11/10  RV       26          62           6            6
6/6/10   All      29          60           5            6
6/6/10   RV       30          59           5            5
4/25/10  RV       32          57           7            4
2/8/10   ALL      36          56           4            4
2/8/10   RV       37          56           5            3
11/15/09 All      38          50           6            5
5/15/06  All      35          55           6            4
5/15/06  RV       37          54           6            3
6/5/05   All      40          50           8            3
2/21/02  All      40          48           7            6
2/21/02  RV       43          47           7            4
10/31/99 RV       43          47           9            2
9/28/98  LV       52          42          NA            6
7/12/98  All      42          44           5           10
7/12/98  RV       46          43           5            6
1/19/98  All      47          41           7            4
1/19/98  RV       49          41           7            3
8/27/97  All      34          52           9            5
11/6/94  RV       37          47           7            8
10/31/94 RV       37          56           2            5
10/23/94 RV       34          58           4            5
9/11/94  RV       39          52           4            5
6/26/94  All      35          54           6            5
6/26/94  RV       38          53           6            3
3/27/94  All      32          56           6            7
3/27/94  RV       34          55           6            5
1/23/94  All      32          46          10           12
1/23/94  RV       35          44          10           10
11/14/93 All      38          52           5            5
11/14/93 RV       40          51           5            4
8/21/92  RV       35          48           5           12
7/8/92   All      34          54           3            9
7/8/92   RV       36          54           3            6
6/7/92   All      36          53           4            7
6/7/92   RV       39          53           4            5
4/9/92   All      33          56           3            8
4/9/92   RV       35          56           3            7
3/18/92  All      35          56           3            5
3/18/92  RV       36          56           4            4
3/11/92  All      36          54           3            7
2/2/92   All      38          51           4            7
2/2/92   RV       41          49           4            5
10/21/91 All      31          55           7            6
10/21/91 RV       32          56           8            5
6/2/91   All      37          49           5            9
11/4/90  LV       41          50          NA            8
10/14/90 All      36          57           "            7
5/21/90  All      43          50           3            3
5/23/89  All      45          44           4            6  

16. As you may know, Obama has announced that he is running for re-election in 2012. Would you say you will definitely vote for him, you’ll consider voting for him, or you definitely will not vote for him?

            Definitely     Will     Definitely     No 
               will      consider    will not    opinion
8/9/11          20          33          44          2
8/9/11     RV   21          30          46          2
6/5/11          24          29          45          1
6/5/11     RV   25          27          47          1
4/17/11         28          25          45          2
4/17/11    RV   30          23          46          1
12/12/10*       26          30          43          2
12/12/10*  RV   26          28          44          2
11/23/09**      24          31          41          4
*”If Obama runs...would you...”
**"Thinking ahead to 2012, at this point would you..."

17. Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: Whatever its faults, the United States still has the best system of government in the world. Do you agree or disagree?

            Agree   Disagree   No opinion
9/8/11       77       21          2
10/3/10      77       21          2
12/19/07*    81       17          1
12/15/00     89       11          *
5/6/96**     83       15          2
4/9/95**     85       14          1
9/1/94**     84       13          3
*ABC News/Facebook; **ABC News	

901. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or what? IF NOT DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN: Do you lean more towards the (Democratic Party) or (Republican Party)?

                                                             --Non-Partisans-
                                                             Lean  Lean   No
           Democrat  Republican  Independent  Other  No op.  Dem.  Rep.  Lean
8/9/11        32         25           37        5      1      16    17     9
7/17/11       32         26           34        6      2      17    16     9
6/5/11        31         25           39        4      1      18    17     9
4/17/11       32         22           41        4      *      17    18     8
3/13/11       33         24           37        5      1      17    14    11
1/16/11       33         23           38        5      1      17    17     9
12/12/10      31         26           38        5      1      18    17     7
10/28/10      34         24           34        5      2      17    16     6
10/3/10       33         23           39        4      1      15    19     9
9/2/10        31         25           39        4      1      17    21     6
7/11/10       31         24           40        3      1      18    18     9
6/6/10        32         24           39        3      1      19    19     6
4/25/10       34         23           38        4      1      19    17     6
3/26/10       34         24           38        3      1      17    17     7
2/8/10        32         26           39        3      *      17    19     6
1/15/10       32         23           38        7      *      17    20     9
12/13/09      32         26           37        5      1      13    18    11
11/15/09      35         21           39        4      1      19    17     8
10/18/09      33         20           42        4      1      20    19     8
9/12/09       32         21           43        4      *      19    20     9
8/17/09       35         25           34        6      1      15    14    11
7/18/09       33         22           41        4      *      20    16     9
6/21/09       35         22           37        7      *      17    16    10
4/24/09       35         21           38        5      *      18    16    10
3/29/09       36         25           33        5      1      15    16     8
2/22/09       36         24           34        5      1      18    13     9
1/16/09       35         23           36        5      1      20    12    11
12/14/08      37         24           35        4      1      16    13    10
11/3/08       35         26           30        6      2      13    10    15
10/11/08      36         26           31        4      2      15    12    10
9/29/08       34         26           31        8      2      17    12    12
9/22/08       36         26           31        5      2      18     9    11
9/7/08        35         26           33        5      2      15    14    11
8/22/08       36         23           34        6      1      16    14    10
7/13/08       37         24           33        6      1      16    14    10
6/15/08       38         24           34        4      1      16    14     8
5/11/08       34         28           34        4      1      19    11     8
4/13/08       35         29           30        5      1      15    13     8
3/2/08        40         28           28        3      1      15     8     9
2/1/08        37         26           32        4      1      16    11    10
1/12/08       39         27           29        5      1      13     9    12

908a. Would you say your views on most political matters are liberal, moderate, or conservative?

                                                     Don’t think in      No
            Liberal    Moderate    Conservative    those terms (vol.)    op.
8/9/11         24         37            36                  1             2
7/17/11        23         40            35                  1             2
6/5/11         22         36            40                  1             1
4/17/11        21         39            36                  2             2
3/13/11        23         37            36                  1             2
1/16/11        22         38            36                  2             2
12/12/10       19         39            38                  2             2
10/28/10       21         39            37                  1             2
10/3/10        21         43            34                  2             1
9/2/10         19         37            40                  3             1
7/11/10        22         35            39                  2             1
6/6/10         23         39            36                  1             1
4/25/10        22         40            35                  1             2
3/26/10        24         32            42                  1             2
2/8/10         24         36            37                  2             1
1/15/10        25         34            38                  1             1
12/13/09       23         35            41                  1             1
11/15/09       19         41            38                  1             1
10/18/09       23         36            38                  2             1
9/12/09        24         39            36                  *             1
8/17/09        20         40            37                  2             1
7/18/09        20         39            38                  2             1
6/21/09        22         40            36                  1             *
4/24/09        23         39            35                  2             2
3/29/09        20         38            38                  2             2
2/22/09        23         38            37                  1             1
1/16/09        24         42            32                  *             1
12/14/08       22         37            37                  1             2
10/11/08 RV    22         44            34                  *             1
9/29/08 RV     19         44            34                  1             1
9/22/08 RV     23         41            32                  2             1
9/7/08  RV     22         39            36                  1             2
8/22/08        22         41            33                  2             2
7/13/08        19         43            35                  2             1
6/15/08        21         43            33                  1             2
5/11/08        24         39            34                  2             1
4/13/08        24         38            35                  1             2
3/2/08         19         48            30                  2             2
2/1/08         25         38            34                  2             1
1/12/08        24         36            36                  2             1
12/9/07        24         38            36                  1             1
11/1/07        24         41            32                  1             1
9/30/07        24         45            30                  1             1
9/7/07         20         39            39                  1             2
7/21/07        25         39            32                  3             1
6/1/07         24         36            37                  2             1
4/15/07        24         42            32                  1             1
2/25/07        23         40            35                  1             1
1/19/07        23         41            33                  1             1
12/11/06       23         42            33                  2             1
11/4/06        19         42            36                  2             1
10/22/06       22         42            32                  2             2
10/8/06        21         43            33                  1             1
9/7/06         24         39            33                  2             2
8/6/06         18         42            38                  1             1
6/25/06        21         41            35                  1             1
5/15/06        19         48            31                  1             1
5/11/06        18         49            33                  *             *
4/9/06         21         41            35                  2             1
3/5/06         22         42            33                  2             1
1/26/06        21         40            37                  1             1
1/8/06         20         40            37                  2             1
12/18/05       22         42            34                  1             1
11/2/05        23         44            32                  1             *
9/11/05        22         44            31                  2             2
8/28/05        20         44            34                  2             1
6/26/05        21         44            33                  1             1
6/5/05         23         40            35                  1             *
4/24/05        20         47            30                  1             1

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