Obama more popular than his predecessors after first 100 days in office

April 27th, 2009 - 1:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr.27 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has emerged more popular than any of his recent predecessors in his first 100 days in office, according to opinion polls.

Barack Obama currently has a 63 per cent job approval rating, reports The Telegraph.

Two major opinion polls showed on Sunday that Obama remains as popular as the day he came to office, with about two-thirds of Americans approving of the job the young Democratic leader is doing in the White House, despite war weariness, an enduring recession and a row over torture.

Obama’s 63 per cent job approval rating at this stage in his first term beats his predecessors George W Bush, at 56 per cent in 2001, Bill Clinton on 55 per cent in 1993 and George Bush Senior on 58 per cent in 1989, according to the US pollsters Pew.

But he comes in lower than Ronald Reagan’s 67 per cent in 1981 and equals Jimmy Carter’s figure from 1977, according to the survey, which had an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.

A Washington Post poll found that 69 per cent approved - strongly or somewhat - of his performance so far, with 58 per cent approving of his handling of the economy and rising numbers feeling confident about the nation’s economic future.

The president’s first three months have been dominated by efforts to put the economy back on track. He has passed a 787 billion dollar stimulus bill and proposed a 3.6 trillion dollar budget, prompting Republicans to accuse him of socialism or bankrupting future generations by high government spending.

So far those criticisms have not registered with the public, according to both polls.

Public opinion is however much more divided on the issue of torture and prosecution of US officials who may have approved it or engaged in it, the first issue that has unravelled beyond Mr Obama’s control.

Just over half of respondents supported the president’s decision to release Justice Department memos that provided legal justification for “enhanced interrogation techniques” that critics claim are torture.

There was a similar split on the question of whether or not Bush officials should be investigated for breaking laws regarding torture, with 51 per cent in favour and 47 against in the Washington Post poll.

Obama appears to have met the public’s expectations, with 61 per cent saying he was done as well as they expected and 25 per cent saying he has done better, and nine percent saying he has done worse, said Pew. (ANI)

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