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US: National Survey (Fox 5/4-5)

Topics: National , poll

Fox News / Opinion Dynamics
5/4-5/10; 900 registered voters, 3% margin of error
366 Democrats, 5% margin of error
331 Republicans, 5% margin of error
159 independents, 8% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Fox News: Offshore drilling, Terrorism)

National

Obama Job Approval
48% Approve, 43% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 85 / 9 (chart)
Reps: 11 / 82 (chart)
Inds: 38 / 45 (chart)

Do you favor or oppose increasing offshore drilling for oil and gas in U.S. coastal areas?
60% Favor, 33% Oppose

Do you approve or disapprove of how the Obama administration is dealing with the oil spill in the gulf coast?
50% Approve, 29% Disapprove

Party ID
41% Democrat, 37% Republican, 18% independent (chart)

 

Comments
ethano:

I guess this puts the nail in the coffin of the Right-Wing-Fringe myth that the BP oil disaster is Obama's Katrina. Heckuva job Rush.

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Woodrow:

I don't see how this can be good news for liberals. Even after an oil spill that has received widespread publicity, the majority view seems to be "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

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Farleftandproud:

You know, obama truly is between a rock and a hard place on off shore drilling. Surprisingly, I honestly have no problem with it. There are some environmental groups who are meticulous about not allowing offshore drilling, but I think that is the wrong approach. I was pleased when Obama made his announcement about offshore drilling and disappointed when the tanker exploded.

I hope that crude will not be something we are dependent on, and am hoping the scientists can be as superb at perfecting ethanol and more hybrid cars and solar energy, as man has been at breakthroughs in computers and electronics.

I can understand the commercials from the Vote Vets that encourage offshore drilling, and want to stop us from buying oil from Middle Eastern regimes who want to destroy us.

You probably never thought you would hear it from me but for now, "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

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Woodrow: First, no real damage has as yet occurred onshore, so it's not surprising that public opinion has not as yet changed. Second, people in a situation like this don't do a U-Turn immediately or automatically. They have to put 2+2 together and the media hasn't shown them how to do that yet.

Of far more significance is the fact that the American public approve of the Administration's response to the spill, as well as the fact that Obama's job approval is positive in a Fox News Opinion Poll.

That's great news!

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Farleftandproud:

Obama said something similar to that in the campaign...If we can put a man on the moon our nation can find a way to utilize alternative energy sources.

It seems like it is easier said than done.

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obamalover:

@FarleftandProud

When you drill for oil in the U.S. that oil doesn't stay in the U.S. It goes all over the world. When people say that drilling for oil here will reduce our dependence on foreign oil it is a ludicrous statement. Because that oil gets added to the global oil market; not just U.S.'s market. It will do nothing to decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

Bush's energy department estimated drilling in ANWR in Alaska would save Americans between 3 and 4 cents on gas. Furthermore the National resource defense council estimates equal savings by expanding drilling offshore.

There is no good reason for any of this other than putting off the inevitable and causing more pollution through green house gasses, oil spills, etc.

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iVote:

This is a +5% bump from the last Fox News poll.

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Farleftandproud:

Well energy is a worldwide crisis and finding new solutions or breakthroughs has simply not happened. Vermont has some of the least expensive gas prices in the country; NH may be cheaper. If anyone travels here, you'll save a lot on fuel.

California when I was out there was $1 higher per gallon and in Eastern Canada it is even higher.

In Europe, you couldn't even imagine what people pay for gas. It is ridiculous. The bottom line is that there is more research that has to be perfected to reach the mass markets.

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obamalover:

@Farleftandproud

And offshore drilling would do anything to end the world wide crisis, especially since estimates say it would bring down the price of gas only a few cents?

Anyhow, I thought we were discussing how this would end our dependence on foreign oil. How does offshore drilling do that?

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jamesia:

The party ID is all screwed up... and that huge margin of error? Up to 8% for Indies?? And still, a FOX poll with Obama +5%? Crazy.

The reason we pay so little for gas is because the Federal government subsidizes it for us. Our government does lots of corporate welfare that even the GOP won't touch.

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Farleftandproud:

Well what Obama lover is saying has a lot of merit and I am not an expert on energy or fuel so I am open to ideas. If we don't drill off shore and don't import oil from hostile regimes, what is your solution?

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obamalover:

@Farleftandproud

Well we have to import from hostile regimes. That is not an option at this point. But drilling offshore will do nothing to change that and it will do very little to bring down prices, so it is a pointless endeavor.

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RW:

I personally see no problem with drilling offshore. It may not be an immediate (or even mid range/long term) fix, but it really isn't hurting anything. Additionally, it creates some jobs for workers in the oil and gas industry. So far offshore drilling has been a relatively safe endeavor for us with minimal accidents, aside from the recent events. I guess I am basically saying that I agree with FL completely and with OL somewhat (in that offshore drilling is really no kind of fix for the energy problems of the US).

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tjampel:

I think that everyone should take a look at today's comments from Scott Rassmussen regarding trends in Obama's recent job approval ratings. Please keep in mind that Scott considers the spread between strongly favorable and strongly unfavorable as the bellwether when examining Presidential job approval ratings:

"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10 (see trends).

With just one exception, the President’s Approval Index rating has stayed between -8 and -15 since the passage of the health care law. Prior to that, it had generally been in the -14 to -21 range for several months.

The gains for the President result primarily from increased enthusiasm among Democratic voters. Prior to the passage of the health care law, the percentage of voters who Strongly Approved of the President’s performance was in the low to mid-20s. Since then, Strong Approval has generally been in the high-20s to low-30s.

This is just one more piece of evidence suggesting that passage of the health care law has boosted Democratic enthusiasm for the mid-term elections even though a majority of voters still favor repeal of that law. Thirty-three percent (33%) of voters now believe the country is generally heading in the right direction. That’s up from 26% before passage of the health care law. All of the gains have been among Democrats. In terms of enthusiasm, it is also worth noting that just 38% of voters now Strongly Disapprove of the President’s performance. That’s the lowest total in nearly three months. In the coming weeks, it will be worth watching to see if this signals a new trend or is a temporary aberration."

Now the strong disapproval ratings are mostly coming from conservatives (of both parties and independents too). The hard right "base", the one which gives Rubio most of his votes in FL, for example, is probably in the high 30s. Everyone else is center right, center, center left, or left.

So my interpretation of this 38% mark is that few center right people (many of them are independents) have the same level of dislike for Obama (or Scott would definitely be tapping into it...he's a pro at that).

This doesn't have any bearing on the midterm elections...yet. But, just as there are certain segments of the economy that may be said to be leading indicators and others that are lagging ones (employment), the same is true for election cycles. An easing in the level of distrust/dislike for the President may not move the generic ballot immediately but it tends to show a general softening in the electorate, a kind of recalibration, if you will, in the minds of moderates and center-right voters. Now it's too early to tell if this is really a trend. The negatives could go right back up tomorrow; but it's encouraging that Scott is seeing what I've been pointing out for a while now.

I'm claiming NOTHING with regard to the probable outcome of the 2010 cycle. I expect big Republican gains. They may take back the House. But I see a slight lessening in anger and fear an frustration perhaps, and I'm thinking that those politicians in individual races that offer some original ideas (right or left); those seen as problem solvers and consensus builders rather than pure ideologues will do well.

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RW:

@tjampel

I know that I have seen first hand what you are talking about. Now that health care is settled (for the time being) I have noticed a measurable drop in anger towards the President. I have also noticed a trend (confirmed in many polls) against not only incumbants but also establishment candidates. Personally I think this will be, or at least could be, a very healthy thing for the republic.

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tjampel:

DeMint's repeal effort in the Senate still hasn't managed to round up a majority of repubs. I mean...this was supposed to be a kind of loyalty test and only 20 have signed on.

On taxes..I think around half the Tea Party people say their own taxes are fair, so there is anger at the tax system in general but there haven't been specific increases for most people which would make them livid; for most their taxes were lower this year. So I haven't seen a huge degree of anger about taxes; more about spending and deficits (see below)

There's no anger directed by the right towards Obama on foreign policy that I can see. They support him generally, no matter what right wing pudits say. There's a feeling his not tough enough with terrorists by those on the right but it's not been expressed through any anger that I've seen either.

And, as for financial reform, whatever anyone things of this bill, there's the appearance that Dems and Repubs are working together and many Republican ideas have been incorporated into the bill. For example a bi-partisan derivatives provisions which is tougher than anything Obama had put forth co-authored by Grassley. Corker and Shelby ha both had a lot of input. I think that if Freddie and Fannie are addressed most people will feel pretty good about the final sausage product. This bill may reassure people that it is possible to have real cooperation across part lines. I personally feel some small ray of hope that this kind of process can be repeated in other important policy areas.

Immigration is an issue that can generate some anger but it will be primarily in border states and I think that the amount of anger generated against Dems may be offset by the anger generated against Repubs who call for more "reasonable suspicion to check papers" types of bills. Overall it's a winner for Repubs but it's scope is limited to certain states, and potential blowback is possible from minority communities in those states, should they vote in decent numbers (that's why I am not jumping up and down about Hispanics running to Dems...not sure they will vote this year)

Lastly people may be feeling just a little more secure economically and hopeful about the future. Those are the trends I am seeing from Gallup and other polls. There's still a long way to go but people are generally starting to agree that the recession is over at least (it ended sometime in the 3rd Q of last yr according to most economists). There are still many unemployed people. If we continue to have modest gains in employment I think anger caused by economic uncertainty will abate.

Lastly there is anger resulting from the massive spending of the past 9 years. Most of it was done by W; some by Dems in 2009, but that's added far less to the deficit than the Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D plus the Iraq war. That's well over 2 trillion alone right there. Growth in entitlements added most of the rest. There is anger at Gov spending. Dems really need to find a winning way of explaining where the deficit came from. Not sure they can pull it off; it's not a good issue for them

I'm still not so hopeful about 2010. I think Dems will lose 30-35 seats in the House and 5-6 in the Senate.

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Paleo:

Those are the numbers I'm seeing now, although it could be more in the House and less in the senate.

This is about the sixth poll in a row where Obama has a positive job approval rating. After hitting a low around mid-April, he appears to have bounced back to some degree.

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