President Barack Obama is on a roll these days. Completing a trip to Argentina, preceded by an historic trip to the island nation of Cuba, the appreciation for him is growing. The latest Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed American voters give President Obama a split 49 – 48 percent job approval rating, his best net score in almost three years. The last time Obama was at this level, above water, was an approval rating of 48 – 45 percent in a May 1, 2013 survey by the independent Quinnipiac poll. Not surprising, the ups and downs of Obama are based on gender, race, age and partisan gaps. Men disapprove 53 – 43 percent while women approve 54 – 43 percent.
Even more stark, white voters disapprove 57 – 40 percent, while non-white voters approve 75 – 21 percent. Young people like him too. Voters 18 to 34 years old approve 62 – 35 percent. As the age rises, the approval slips to 51 – 44 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old, and then to a negative 44 – 53 percent among voters 50 to 64 years old, to a negative 37 – 61 percent among voters over 65 years old. And of course, party differences too. Democrats approve an overwhelming 92 – 7 percent, while Republicans disapprove 89 – 8 percent. Independent voters disapprove 50 to 44 percent, but even that number is improving.
In this election year, American voters dislike Democrats in Congress a lot less than they dislike Republicans. Democrats get a negative 32 – 62 percent job approval rating, their best rating since a negative 32 – 60 percent score October 1, 2013. Republicans get a negative 15 – 81 percent job approval rating, virtually unchanged since December.
“Let’s face it: Both parties are deeply unpopular, but the Democrats are the least reviled,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “And for President Barack Obama, some end-of-term numbers that may warm the heart in this ugly political season.”
In another poll, American voters say 62 – 33 percent that the U.S. Senate should consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court rather than wait until there is a new president. Supporting action are Democrats 87 – 8 percent and independent voters 63 – 31 percent, with Republicans opposed 62 – 33 percent. There is support for Senate consideration of Garland among men and women and among all age and racial groups listed.
Voters approve 48 – 27 percent of the nomination of Judge Garland. Again, Republicans are the only listed group opposed. “He may never get the job or even get a chance to tell his story, but Americans think Judge Merrick Garland is the right person for the Supreme Court,” Malloy said. Only 29 percent of American voters are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the way things are going in the nation today, while 70 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”
From March 16 – 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,451 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.