STATE — President Obama’s approval rating slid among New Jersey voters as they become more pessimistic about the direction of the country, according to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™.
The president’s approval declined five percentage points to 49% from 54% at the end of March. He now stands at 49% approving and 40% disapproving compared to 54% and 37% in the last measurement, a nine-point advantage, compared to a 17 point advantage.
Republicans and Democrats are mirror images with three-quarters of Democrats approving (78%) and three-quarters of Republicans disapproving (75%). But there are also significant differences between men and women and between white and non-white voters. Among men, Obama runs behind (42-49) but among women he is strongly ahead (56-32). Among white voters the president is upside down (40-49) and among non-white and among African American voters he is strongly approved of (74-15 and 80-8).
“The numbers are not exactly the aid and comfort Tea Partiers seek,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “The president’s base is still strong in this state and his core supporters remain enthusiastic.”
But voters’ assessment of the direction in which the country is moving is now identical to their view just before the president’s inauguration in January 2009. Now, as then, one-third (34%) say the country is moving in the right direction while half (52%) say the country is on the wrong track.
“Uncertainly about employment and the economy is enough to make many people feel the country is on the wrong track,” said Woolley. “But domestic worries are compounded by worries about Europe’s problems, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, oil spills, bailouts, debt, and North Korean saber rattling. The list seems to have gotten a lot longer.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 654 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone from May 19, 2010, through May 23, 2010, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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