CBS News/New York Times PollFor release: March 12, 20126:30 PM ET
The November Election, The President, and the Economy
March 7-11, 2012
Rising gas prices may be weighing on President Obama’s approval ratings: after toppingoff at 50% approval just last month, his rating has dipped to 41% today, the lowest of hispresidency. 47% now disapprove.
As has historically been the case, a majority of Americans (54%) believes a Presidentcan do a lot to control gas prices.
In November matchups, President Obama maintains his lead among registered votersover all would-be Republican challengers - by three points over Mitt Romney and fourover Rick Santorum – but those gaps have narrowed, coinciding with the dip in Obama’sapproval.
Part of Barack Obama’s advantage in those head-to-heads is being seen asunderstanding peoples’ needs and problems. 55% of registered voters say he does – butonly 31% think Mitt Romney does. 40% say Rick Santorum does.
Americans divide over whether the U.S. should get involved in any military conflictbetween Israel and Iran over nuclear weapons. 47% want the U.S. to support Israel inany action it might take; 42% don’t want to get involved.Rising gas prices may be taking a bite out of Americans’ wallets, and perhaps a toll onPresident Obama’s approval ratings. Though his approval rating reached 50% last month for thefirst time since the killing of Osama bin Laden last May, it has now plunged nine points to an all-time low of 41%.
President Obama’s Overall Job Rating
Now 2/2012 12/2011 11/2011 5/2011 1/2011Approve 41% 50% 47% 43% 57% 49%Disapprove 47 43 44 47 37 39Most Americans believe gas prices are something a President can do a lot about – 54% say so.Whether correct or not, Americans have historically felt this way about a President’s control overgas prices. They also felt this way when gas prices spiked during the administration of formerPresident George W. Bush.
Are Gas Prices Something a President Can do a lot About?
Now 2/2012 3/2011 7/2008 5/2006 5/2004Yes 54% 54% 50% 65% 63% 58%No 36 34 41 29 30 33