The Obama divide

The American public remains split by gender, race and age in how they view the 44th President as Barack Obama begins his sixth year in the White House and bones up for Tuesday’s State-of-the-Union speech, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.images

As the Seattle PI, summarizes, “Overall, 51 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Obama, while 45 percent share an unfavorable opinion of Obama. Michelle Obama remains more popular than her husband with a 68-24 percent advantage to the “favorables.” But then the divisions begin.

“GENDER — Obama has a 54-41 percent favorable advantage among women, but is viewed unfavorably 49 percent of men.  Just 47 percent of men have a thumbs-up view of the president.

“AGE — Obama is strongest among America’s young people, seem favorably by a 55-42 percent margin by those aged 18 to 29, with a 52-43 percent favorable margin among voters 30 to 49 years in age. By contrast, among those over 65, he gets a thumbs down from 52 percent while only 44 percent take a favorable view.

“RACE:  Obama is seem favorably by 90 percent of African-Americans polled along with 62 percent of Hispanic Americans.  Among whites, however, just 41 percent view him favorably, and 56 percent unfavorably.

“The 44th president gets lower marks on the job he is doing:  Just 43 percent approve, with 59 percent disapproving. The poll gives little comfort to the Republican opposition. By a 54-35 percent margin, Americans view Republicans as the more extreme of the two political parties, according to Pew. A 52-27 percent margin see Democrats as the party more willing to work across the aisle and get things done. On which party is more concerned with the problems of “people like me,” Democrats enjoy a 52-32 percent advantage.  They are ahead 45-37 percent in which party can better handle health care, despite the battering recently taken by Obamacare. Overall, however, the two parties are dead even on which is better equipped to manage the federal government:  41 percent chose Democrats, 40 percent picked Republicans.  The Democrats had a 45-36 percent advantage one year ago.

“The deficit has receded slightly as an issue of concern, of concern to 63 percent of those surveyed, down from 72 percent a year ago.  The poll found a sharp increase on only one issue:  39 percent of Americans put roads, ridges and public transit high on their list of concerns, up from 30 percent a year ago. The Pew Research Center Poll was taken January 15-19.  It surveyed 1,504 adult Americans by both land line and cell phones.  It has a margin of error of plus/minus 2.9 percent.”


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