The Public’s View of Obama

Conservatives are fond of asserting that President Barack Obama’s “socialist” big government agenda has been a complete failure and will only get worse over time. The public does not agree. In a just-released Pew poll a plurality of Americans (47 percent) believe that most of what Obama has done in his first two years as president will be “good for the country in the long run” compared to 42 percent who think results will be bad.

What’s more, the public displays a markedly positive attitude toward President Obama when asked their impression of him on a number of different dimensions. An overwhelming 77 percent think he stands up for what he believes in; 75 percent think he is a good communicator; 70 percent describe him as warm and friendly; 64 percent think he is well informed; 60 percent believe he is someone who cares about “people like me”; 58 percent think he is trustworthy; 54 percent think he is able to get things done; and 53 percent say he is a strong leader.

These data suggest that conservatives’ attempts to demonize President Obama have a long way to go. They also suggest that conservatives’ view of the world and the public’s view are vastly different, as usual.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.