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President Obama and Campaign 2012 Obama on the Issues

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President Obama and Campaign 2012 Obama on the Issues Powered By Docstoc
					          A    M   O N T H L Y        P    O L L    C     O M P I L A T I O N
                                                                                                          Volume 7, Issue 4 • April 2011




                              President Obama and Campaign 2012
President Obama officially launched his 2012 re-election bid this week. His approval rating is hovering around 50 percent
in most polls and about that many say he deserves to be re-elected or that they would like to see him re-elected.

Q: Regardless of how you might vote, do you think . . . ?                 Q: Do you . . . ?
                                     March         Jan.     Nov.          Job approval rating for presidents in April of their
                                     2011          2011     2010          third year in office
President Barack Obama                                                    George W. Bush                                  70%
  deserves to be reelected            50%          50%      39%           Bill Clinton                            48
Deserves to be voted out                                                  George H.W. Bush                                   79
  of office                           47           45       54            Ronald Reagan                         42
Source: AP-GfK/Roper, latest that of March 2011.
                                                                          Jimmy Carter                         40
Note: In a March 2011 Pew poll, 47 percent said they would like to        Richard Nixon                            50
see Barack Obama re-elected; 37 percent said they would prefer a
Republican candidate to win.                                              Barack Obama (March)                          47
                                                                          Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.




                                                   Obama on the Issues
Q: How important are the following issues to you personally . . . ?
Q: And please tell me if you . . . the way Barack Obama is handling each of the following issues?
                          Extremely/Very                                     Approve of the way         First asking
           important to you personally                                       Barack Obama is handling    Approve
90%                                                   The economy                             47%             58%
    86                                                  Education                                  61         61
     82                                              Unemployment                              49             59
      80                                                Health care                             52            53
       77                                               Gas prices                        36                  51
       76                                        Federal budget deficit                     41                49
        74                                                Energy                                   59         60
         73                                              Terrorism                                  61        59
          68                                               Taxes                              47              54
           68                                    The situation in Japan                                 75 N/A
           66                                       The environment                                  63       60
            64                                Relations with other countries                        62        69
               55                                      Immigration                             50             47
               55                             The situation in Afghanistan                       55           60
                 52                               The situation in Iraq                          55           59
                    44                           The situation in Libya                          54         N/A
Note: First asking for all issues was April 2009, except education, which was first asked in May 2010.
Source: AP-GfK/Roper, latest that of March 2011.




                       1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 202.862.5800 www.aei.org
                                                       Report Shorts

                                                       The Country
Q: Generally speaking, would you say . . . ?
                                              March 2011                                               March 2010
Things in the country are heading
  in the right direction                                       35%                                          38%
Heading in the wrong direction                                                    62                        54
Source: AP-GfK/Roper, latest that of March 2011.




                                                          Congress
Q: Do you . . . ?
Approve of the way Republicans in                                 Approve of the way Democrats in
 Congress are handling their job                   31%             Congress are handling their job          32%
Source: Gallup, March 2011.




                                                       Me, Personally
Q: When you think about how things are going in your own life in general, would you say you are . . . ?
                                              March 2011                                               March 2010
Very/somewhat happy                                                                           80%          80%
Neither happy nor unhappy                          5                                                        6
Unhappy                                                  15                                                13
Source: AP-GfK/Roper, latest that of March 2011.




                                             Thinking about Libya
 Q: All things considered, do you think that . . . ?           Q: How confident are you that . . . ?
 The U.S. and its allies made the right                        Extremely/very confident that the military
   decision to conduct military air strikes                      action in Libya will result in the establishment
   in Libya                                              50%     of a stable, democratic government there            7%
 Wrong decision                                          37    Somewhat confident                                   34
 Source: PSRA/Pew Research Center, March-April 2011.           Not too/not at all confident                         59
                                                               Source: AP-GfK/Roper, March 2011.
 Q: Do you think the U.S. and its allies . . . ?
 Have a clear goal in taking military action                   Q: Do you think . . . ?
  in Libya                                               30%   The United States should provide
 Do not                                                  57      Libyan rebels with weapons                         15%
 Source: PSRA/Pew Research Center, March-April 2011.           Should not                                           77
                                                               Source: Fox/Robbins/Shaw, April 2011.




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               1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036 202 .862.5800 www.aei.org                              2
           Earth Day 2011: What Americans Think About Energy,
                Nuclear Power, Global Warming, and More
Many pollsters release updates on public attitudes about the environment and energy before the annual April 22nd Earth
Day celebration. Given concerns about high gas prices and turmoil in the oil-rich Middle East, it isn’t surprising that
Americans give priority today to developing energy resources. It’s also no surprise that President Obama’s rating on
handling energy policy in Gallup’s polls is lower than his rating on handling the environment.
   Most polls conducted after the Japanese tsunami and problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor show more
support than opposition for using nuclear power to generate electricity. But the public remains skeptical of building new
power plants in the United States.
   As for global warming, the proportion saying they worry a great deal or somewhat about it is similar to what it was last
year (25 percent in 2011 and 28 percent in 2010), but down sharply from earlier years. Although most Americans believe
global warming is real, slightly more than four in ten believe it is exaggerated in the news, a conviction that has risen
sharply over the past decade. There are strong partisan differences. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans compared to
22 percent of Democrats say its seriousness is exaggerated in the news.

Mega-Watt Concerns about Energy
Q: With which one of these statements about the environment and energy production do you most agree—protection
of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies—such as oil, gas
and coal—which the United States produces, or development of U.S. energy supplies—such as oil, gas and coal—
should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent?


            70


            60                          Protection of the environment
                                        should be given priority
            50                                                                                                                                                                                  50%


            40                                                                                                                                                                                  41%

                                       Development of U.S. energy supplies
            30                         should be given priority

            20


            10


             0
                 Mar 2001

                            Nov 2001

                                        Jul 2002

                                                   Mar 2003

                                                              Nov 2003

                                                                         July 2004

                                                                                     Mar 2005

                                                                                                Nov 2006

                                                                                                           Jul 2006

                                                                                                                      Mar 2007

                                                                                                                                 Nov 2007

                                                                                                                                            Jul 2008

                                                                                                                                                       Mar 2009

                                                                                                                                                                  Nov 2009

                                                                                                                                                                              Jul 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                         Mar 2011




Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.




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           1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036                                                                          202 .862.5800                        www.aei.org              3
(continued from the previous page)

Q: As you may know, after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government banned new offshore drilling pro-
jects until new safety regulations could be put in place. The federal government has lifted the ban and is allowing new
offshore drilling projects. Do you . . . ?
                                                         Natl.                                          Rep.        Dem.      Ind.
Support allowing new offshore drilling projects                                              67%        86%         52%       69%
Oppose                                                                  28                              11          44        27
Source: Quinnipiac, March 2011.


Q: To combat rising gasoline prices, some have urged President Obama to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
the government’s oil stockpile set aside for emergencies and shortages. Some say that gasoline prices don’t justify tapping
the reserve at this time. Others say gas prices are high enough that the reserves should be used. Do you . . . ?
                                                         Natl.                                          Rep.        Dem.      Ind.
Support releasing oil from the
  Strategic Petroleum Reserve                                                38%                        38%         40%       37%
Oppose                                                                                  56              54          54        60
Note: In a March 2011 CNN/ORC poll, 56 percent favored “using the U.S. government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to put more oil and gas
on the market to combat the increase in fuel costs.” Thirty-eight percent were opposed.
Source: Quinnipiac, March 2011.


Q: Do you think . . . ?                                               Q: And please tell me if you approve, disapprove or neither
Barack Obama is                                                       approve nor disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling
  doing a good job                                                    each of the following issues. How about . . . ?
  improving the nation’s                                              The environment
  energy policy                                         41%              Approve                                              63%
Poor job                                                  47             Disapprove                            35
Note: A late March Quinnipiac poll found that 35 percent approved     Energy
of the way Barack Obama is handling energy policy, while 47 percent      Approve                                            59%
disapproved.                                                             Disapprove                               40
Source: Gallup, March 2011.                                           Gas prices
                                                                         Approve                               36%
                                                                         Disapprove                                           63
                                                                      Source: AP-GfK/Roper, March 2011.


Attitudes on Pollution
Q: Do you think Barack Obama is doing a good job or a poor job in handling each of the following issues as president?
How about . . . ?
Protecting the nation’s environment
                                                 March 2011                                                         March 2009
Barack Obama is doing a good job                                                                           55%         79%
Poor job                                                                           33                                  14
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.



                                                                                                          (continued on the next page)




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           1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036                       202 .862.5800          www.aei.org                   4
(continued from the previous page)

For almost all major environmental issues, concern has decreased since Gallup first made inquiries. Those who worry a
great deal about the pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs has dropped 26 points since 1989.
Q: I’m going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry
about this problem . . .?
                                           Worry a great deal about                                 First time asked
Pollution of drinking water                                                                51%      65% (1990)
Contamination of soil and water
  by toxic waste                                                                       48           69     (1989)
Pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs                                           46             72     (1989)
Maintenance of the nation’s supply
  of fresh water for household needs                                                 46             50     (2002)
Air pollution                                                               36                      63     (1989)
The loss of tropical rain forests                                         34                        42     (1989)
Extinction of plant and animal species                                    34                        45     (2000)
Urban sprawl and loss of open spaces                                 27                             42     (2000)
Global warming                                                     25                               35     (1989)
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.


Steaming on Nuclear Power
Even in the wake of Fukushima Daiichi, people believe that nuclear power is safe. But most still wouldn’t want a plant
built in their community.
Q: Would you approve or disapprove of building more nuclear power plants to generate electricity? Q: Would you
approve or disapprove if a nuclear power plant to generate electricity is built in your community?

              80                      Approve of . . .

              70


              60

                                           Building more nuclear power plants
              50                           to generate electricity

                                                                                                                                                                     43%
              40
                                                                                                                                                                     35%
              30

                                                                                A nuclear power plant
              20                                                                in your community

              10


              0
                                                                                                                                                             March 2011
                   July 1977


                               July 1980


                                            July 1983


                                                        July 1986


                                                                    July 1989


                                                                                   July 1992


                                                                                               July 1995


                                                                                                           July 1998


                                                                                                                       July 2001


                                                                                                                                   July 2004


                                                                                                                                               July 2007


                                                                                                                                                              July 2010




Source: CBS/New York Times, latest that of March 2011.                                                                                                     (continued on the next page)




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           1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036                                                              202 .862.5800                   www.aei.org                   5
(continued from the previous page)

Q: And what about existing nuclear power plants in this country that have already been built and are currently in opera-
tion? Do you think any of the existing nuclear power plants in this country should be permanently shut down or do you
think all of them should continue to operate?
Q: [Asked of those who were in were in favor of shutting them down] Do you think all nuclear power plants in this
country should be permanently shut down, or do you think only some should be shut down while others should con-
tinue to operate?
Favor shutting down all nuclear plants                                                 10%
Favor shutting some down                                                                  17
Continue to operate                                                                                                                                       68
Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, March 2011.


Q: All in all, from what you have heard or read, how safe are . . . ?
                                                                       Mar. 2011                                                                                                 Mar. 1999                   Apr. 1979
Nuclear power plants that produce
 electric power are safe                                                                                                                                              79%              81%                          67%
Not so safe                                                                                        20                                                                                  17                           30
Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, March 2011.

Q: In your opinion, are nuclear power plants in the United States designed to be . . . ?
Safer than the ones in Japan                                                                        24%
Less safe                                                                              10
About as safe                                                                                                                       53
Source: PSRA/Pew Research Center, March 2011.


Q: As I read some
                          90                         Favor . . .
possible government
policies to address
                          80
America’s energy                                     Increased funding
supply, tell me                                                                                                                                                                                                               74%
                          70                         for research on wind,
whether you would                                    solar and hydrogen
favor or oppose                                                                                                                 Allowing more
each. First, would        60                                                                                                    offshore oil and                                                                              57%
you . . . ?                                                                                                                     gas drilling
                          50
Source: PSRA/Pew
Research Center, latest
                          40                                                                                                                                                                                                  39%
that of March 2011.                                   Promoting the
                                                      increased use
                          30
                                                      of nuclear power

                          20


                          10


                           0
                               Sep 2005

                                          Jan 2006

                                                      May 2006

                                                                 Sep 2006

                                                                            Jan 2007

                                                                                        May 2007

                                                                                                   Sep 2007

                                                                                                              Jan 2008

                                                                                                                         May 2008

                                                                                                                                    Sep 2008

                                                                                                                                               Jan 2009

                                                                                                                                                           May 2009

                                                                                                                                                                      Sep 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                  Jan 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                             May 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sep 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Jan 2011




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           1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036                                                                           202 .862.5800                              www.aei.org                                     6
Cooling on Global Warming
Most Americans believe that global warming is happening and it’s man-made, but they are also increasingly likely to
saying its seriousness is exaggerated.
Q: Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of global warming will begin to happen . . . ?
                                                      2011                                                     1997
Effects of global warming have already begun/
  will start happening within a few years                                                     53%               51%
Within your lifetime                                          9                                                 14
Not within your lifetime, but they
  will affect future generations                                    17                                          19
Will never happen                                                   18                                           9
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.


Q: Do you think . . . ?
                                                      2011                                                     1998
Global warming will pose a serious threat
  to you or your way of life during your lifetime                             32%                               25%
Will not                                                                                                67      69
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.


Q: And from what you have heard or read, do you believe . . . ?
                                                      2011                                                     2003
Increases in the Earth’s temperature over the
  last century are due more to the effects
  of pollution from human activities                                                         52%                61%
Natural changes in the environment that are not
  due to human activities                                                              43                       33
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.


Q: From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting
warmer over the past few decades, or not?
                                                                  Natl.        Rep.          Dem.         Ind.
Solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth
  has been getting warmer over the past few decades               59%          38%           79%          56%
Source: PSRA/Pew Research Center, October 2010.


Q: Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view is the . . . ?
                                                             2011                                              1997
Seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated                                        43%              31%
Generally correct                                                                26                            34
Generally underestimated                                                          29                           27
Source: Gallup, latest that of March 2011.


Q: [Asked of those who said global warming is a very serious/somewhat serious/not too serious problem = 90 percent.] Do
you think . . . ?
                                                                                 Natl.      Rep.     Dem.     Ind.
Global warming is a problem that requires immediate government action            46%        24%      68%      44%
Source: PSRA/Pew Research Center, October 2010.




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           1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036               202 .862.5800       www.aei.org                 7
                                         Tax Reform, 1986 and Today
When Ronald Reagan set an ambitious timetable for a tax reform blueprint in his 1984 State of the Union address, mem-
bers in the chamber laughed. But two years later, President Reagan signed a sweeping tax reform measure into law. Presi-
dent Obama has also called for fundamental tax reform. What are the similarities and differences in the public opinion
climates? Ronald Reagan’s approval was on the upswing in 1984 as the country emerged from a deep recession. The
country felt better about itself in the mid-1980s than it had in a long time. Writing in the spring 1985 issue of AEI’s mag-
azine Public Opinion, sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset noted that “the last two and a half years of the Reagan adminis-
tration have been characterized by a sharp upswing in the indicators that are used to measure the confidence, trust, and
faith Americans have in their leaders and institutions.” Additionally, attitudes about federal income taxes were more neg-
ative in 1986 than they are today.
    Throughout the 1986 debate, slightly more people were in favor of than opposed to the bill, although significant num-
bers had no opinion. In most polls, people felt that the reform would make the tax system fairer than the existing system
and simpler, too.
Q: Do you consider the amount of federal income tax you have to pay as . . .?
                         2010                                                                                      1985
Too high                                                                                         48%                63%
About right                                                                                 45                      32
Too low                         3                                                                                    1
Source: Gallup, latest that of April 2010.


Q: If Ronald Reagan’s tax changes become law, do you                 Q: If the new tax bill is passed, do you think . . . ?
think you would . . .?
                                                                                                            September 1986
                                                 July 1985           The amount of taxes you now
Pay more                                            41%                pay will go up                               41%
Pay less                                            13               Stay about the same                            30
Pay about the same as you pay now                   40               Go down                                        18
Source: CBS/New York Times.                                          Source: Gallup.



Q: Do you think the new tax bill will make for a . . . ?                                 Q: Would you describe Ronald Reagan’s
                                                                                         tax proposals as . . .
                                             June       August     September
                                             1986        1986         1986                                              July 1985
Fairer distribution of the tax load                                                      Very/Somewhat fair                61%
  among all taxpayers                        25%             33%      27%                Somewhat/Very unfair              30
One that’s less fair                         17              24       20                 Note: Forty-eight percent of Democrats described
Won’t be much different from                                                             them as fair and 44 percent as unfair.
  the present system                         40              30       36                 Source: CBS/New York Times.

Source: Gallup, latest that of September 1986.


Q: From what you have heard or read about it, would you say you . . . ?
                         Approve of the tax reform bill                                            Disapprove             No opinion
June 1986                                                                        38%                   36%                  26%
August 1986                                                                        40                  34                   26
September 1986                                                                    39                   33                   38
Source: Gallup, latest that of September 1986.




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            1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036                        202 .862.5800        www.aei.org                     8
                                                The Royal Wedding
Later this month, all eyes will be focused on Westminster Abbey as Prince William weds Kate Middleton. The British public
seems to like the couple. When the engagement was announced, Prime Minister David Cameron said it was “a great
moment for national celebration.” Cameron told the press that he had camped out with friends in London in 1981 to join
the festivities surrounding Prince Charles’s wedding. As the trend below shows, most Brits want to keep the monarchy.
Q: Would you . . . ?
                                              2007                                                               1993
Favor Britain becoming a republic                            16%                                                  18%
Remaining a monarchy                                                                         76                   69
Source: For 1993, Ipsos/MORI (UK); for 2007, Populus (UK).


Q: Looking forward to the future, do you think Britain will have a monarchy in . . . ?
                                              In 10 years                                                     In 50 years
Britain will have a monarchy                                                                      82%             41%
Will not                                              11                                                          40
Source: Ipsos/MORI (UK), April 2006.

Q: Thinking about the future of the monarchy, which of             Q: How excited or otherwise do you feel about the royal
the following would you prefer?                                    wedding?
Prince Charles should succeed as King                              Very excited                                          3%
  after Queen Elizabeth II                     45%                 Fairly excited                                       18
Prince William should succeed as King after                        Largely indifferent                                  46
  Queen Elizabeth II instead of Prince Charles 37                  Couldn’t care less                                   32
Neither—there should be no monarch
                                                                   Source: ICM Research (UK), March 2011.
  after Queen Elizabeth II                     13
Source: YouGov (UK), February 2011.                                Watching the Royal Wedding
Q: Please say whether you . . . ?                                   � Two point four billion people (35 percent of the
Agree, Kate Middleton will be a good                                  world’s population) are expected to follow the
  addition to the Royal Family if                                     wedding via TV, web-streaming, and radio.
  she marries Prince William                             51%
                                                                    � Fifty people from the “Today” show are flying
Disagree                                                 18
                                                                      to London to cover the wedding.
Source: Populus (UK), December 2007.
                                                                    � Some networks have had a balcony across the street
Q: Do you think the marriage of Prince William and Kate               from Westminster Abbey on reserve for 10 years.
Middleton . . . ?
                                                                    � Four hundred CNN staffers are working in London
Will increase the public’s respect for                                on wedding coverage.
 the royal family                                        51%
Decrease it                                               1         � Seven hundred fifty million people watched
Make no difference                                       41           Charles and Diana’s wedding.
Source: YouGov (UK), November 2010.                                Source: Wall Street Journal, March 2011.




                                         AEI POLITICAL REPORT CONTRIBUTORS
  Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow; John Fortier, Research             Research Assistants: Jennifer Marsico, Editor; Andrew
  Fellow; Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar;                       Rugg, Editor.
  Michael Barone, Resident Fellow.                                 Interns: Greg Brooks, Julia Goldstein, Matt Hoyt.




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                 1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W Washington, D.C. 20036 202 .862.5800 www.aei.org                                9

				
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