DURHAM, N.H. – President Barack Obama’s job performance rating in New Hampshire remains low, with his handling of the economy the most significant factor in dragging down his popularity, according to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Five hundred and sixteen (516) randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by telephone between June 21 and July 1, 2011. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.3 percent.
“The continuing economic problems facing the country continue to impact Obama’s job approval ratings in New Hampshire,” said Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center.
In the most recent Granite State Poll, 46 percent of New Hampshire adults say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president, 49 percent disapprove, and 6 percent are neutral. These figures are similar to his national ratings; a recent Gallup poll (June 28-30) showed 44 percent of U.S. residents approved of the job Obama is doing as president and 47 percent disapproved.
Obama’s approval rate has slipped in recent months among Democrats, but it rose among independents and Republicans.
Obama’s personal favorability ratings have remained unchanged for much of the past year. Obama is currently viewed favorably by 48 percent of New Hampshire adults, 45 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 6 percent are neutral or don’t know enough about him to say. Obama’s net favorability rating, the percentage having a favorable opinion minus the percentage having an unfavorable opinion, is +3 percent, up from -4 percent in April.
New Hampshire Democrats continue to like Obama, with 86 percent having a favorable opinion of him, while 41 percent of political independents and 12 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the president.
As economic problems linger, approval of the Obama Administration’s handling of the economy has stayed low. Currently, only 40 percent of New Hampshire adults approve of how Obama is handling the economy, 56 percent disapprove, and 4 percent are neutral. This rating is unchanged since April.
“As with other approval measures, there is a considerable partisan gap. Most Democrats -- 75 percent -- approve of Obama’s handling of the economy while only 31 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans approve,” Smith said.
Obama’s handling of health care also remains a problem. Currently, only 40 percent of New Hampshire residents approve of Obama’s handling of health care policy, 54 percent disapprove, and 6 percent are neutral. Approval by Democrats (76 percent) has slipped slightly while approval by Republicans (6 percent) and independents (30 percent) has remained largely unchanged.
Most New Hampshire adults continue to oppose the health care legislation passed in early 2010. In the most recent Granite State Poll, only 33 percent of New Hampshire adults favor the legislation, 53 percent oppose it, and 14 percent are neutral or don’t know enough about it to say.
Support for the health care reform law continues to decline among Democrats and independents, but has increased slightly among Republicans since April. Less than two-thirds of Democrats (62 percent) favor the health care reform law, down from 77 percent in February, only 20 percent of independents favor the legislation (38 percent in February), but support among Republicans (10 percent) is the highest recorded.
A small majority of New Hampshire adults continue to think Congress should repeal the health care law that was passed last year – 51 percent favor repeal of the law, 41 percent believe Congress should let it stand and 8 percent are unsure. There has been no change in this measure since February.
Granite Staters are very pessimistic about the direction the county is heading. Currently, only 35 percent of New Hampshire adults think things in this country are generally going in the right direction, 59 percent think things are seriously off on the wrong track, and 6 percent don’t know.
Democrats are still most optimistic about the county’s direction, with 56 percent saying the country is going in the right direction, while only 26 percent of independents and 17 percent of Republicans believe this.
For complete tabular results, visit http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/news/pdf/gsp2011_summer_presapp070611.pdf.
The UNH Survey Center has conducted survey research projects at the University of New Hampshire since 1976. The center has grown rapidly during the past 30 years and now conducts approximately 40 to 50 major survey projects each year.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center.