December 23, 2009 - U.S. Voters Believe In Global Warming, Mixed On Treaty, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Obama Under 50% As Support For Afghan War Drops

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American voters believe 59 - 34 percent that the earth is getting warmer, but most voters say the U.S. should not sign a treaty promising to reduce greenhouse gases, or should not sign such a treaty unless other nations do the same, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Among voters who believe in global warming, 57 percent believe it is caused by human activity.

American voters approve 46 - 43 percent of President Barack Obama's overall job performance, virtually unchanged from a 46 - 44 percent approval in a December 9 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Handling issues, President Obama gets:
  • A split 40 - 40 percent approval on his handling of global warming;
  • A near split 46 - 44 percent for handling foreign policy;
  • A narrow 47 - 43 percent approval for his handling of the war in Afghanistan.
The U.S. should sign a treaty to reduce greenhouse gases only if other nations make the same commitment, 30 percent of voters say, while 33 percent say the U.S. should sign such a treaty even if other nations don't match America's commitment. Another 28 percent say the U.S. should not sign such a treaty, no matter what other nations do.

The Obama Administration is "going too far in protecting the environment at the expense of American jobs," 38 percent of voters say, while 36 percent say the administration is striking the right balance between jobs and the environment and 8 percent say it is too focused on protecting jobs, at the expense of the environment.

"President Barack Obama's job approval remains below 50 percent, but for now has stabilized," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The President continues to have sizable gender, racial and age gaps in his support, and smaller income gaps."

Men disapprove of him 49 - 42 percent; women approve 50 - 38 percent. Whites disapprove 50 - 38 percent; blacks approve 91 - 5 percent. Voters 18 to 34 years old approve 53 - 35 percent while older voters disapprove 46 - 44 percent. Approval by income group ranges from 47 - 40 percent among those making less than $50,000 per year to 46 - 44 percent among those making $50,000 to $100,000 to a negative 45 - 48 percent among those making more than $100,000.

Obama's job approval had been on an incremental decline since the summer and dropped under 50 percent for the first time last month. He retains the confidence of Democrats, 80 - 12 percent, but gets a 79 - 13 percent disapproval from Republicans and a 46 - 41 percent thumbs down from independent voters.

Meanwhile, the lead that Democrats in Congress held over Republicans in how the two parties are judged in their job performance has significantly narrowed from earlier this year. Now voters disapprove of the Republicans 62 - 29 percent, and the Democrats 59 - 32 percent.

"Roughly twice as many Americans disapprove as approve of the job performance of lawmakers of both parties. Since March, the Democrats have lost 13 points in their approval rating," Brown said. "For the most part, it's not that Republicans in Congress have improved that much, since GOP remains a four-letter word in much of America. It's more that the Democrats have sunk to the Republican level in the eyes of voters."

American voters say 51 - 41 percent that the U.S. is doing the right thing fighting in Afghanistan, down from 57 - 35 percent December 8, in the wake of Obama's West Point announcement that he was sending 30,000 more troops to fight there.

Republican support, 68 - 27 percent, is little changed in two weeks. Democrats went from a 47 - 46 percent split December 8 to 52 - 39 percent opposed today. Independent support has dropped from 58 - 34 percent to 51 - 40 percent.

From December 15 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,616 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              46%    13%    80%    41%    42%    50%    38%    91%
Disapprove           43     79     12     46     49     38     50      5
DK/NA                11      8      8     13      9     12     11      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              53%    44%    44%    47%    46%    45%    72%    55%    24%
Disapprove           35     46     46     40     44     48     17     33     68
DK/NA                12     10     10     13     10      7     11     12      8
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              46%    47%    21%    31%    39%    39%    44%
Disapprove           44     42     68     60     51     53     46
DK/NA                11     11     11     10     11      8     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? (*High also 59% Mar 2009 / **Low also 46% Dec 9 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 23  Dec 9   Nov 18  Oct 8   Aug 6   Jun 4   Dec 23
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2009**
 
Approve              46      46      48      50      50      59      46
Disapprove           43      44      42      41      42      31      43
DK/NA                11      10      10       9       9      10      11
 
                     INDEPENDENTS.........................................
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 23  Dec 9   Nov 18  Oct 8   Aug 6   Jun 4   Dec 9
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              41      37      43      45      45      57      37
Disapprove           46      51      46      44      45      30      51
DK/NA                13      11      11      11      10      13      11
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling their job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              32%    12%    61%    20%    26%    37%    26%    60%
Disapprove           59     86     28     69     67     51     65     31
DK/NA                 9      3     11     11      6     12      9      9
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              43%    27%    29%    35%    27%    35%    52%    35%    18%
Disapprove           47     65     60     54     63     62     38     55     76
DK/NA                10      8     11     11     10      3     10     10      6
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              32%    31%    20%    20%    25%    24%    28%
Disapprove           57     62     72     72     67     68     61
DK/NA                10      7      8      7      8      8     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling their job?
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 23  Dec 9   Nov 19  Oct 8   Aug 6   Mar 4   Dec 23
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              32      33      36      33      35      45      32
Disapprove           59      56      55      56      55      45      59
DK/NA                 9      11       9      11      10      10       9
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              29%    56%    17%    22%    29%    28%    29%    19%
Disapprove           62     37     76     67     65     59     61     71
DK/NA                 9      7      8     11      5     13      9      9
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              35%    27%    26%    30%    28%    25%    16%    25%    40%
Disapprove           53     66     65     59     66     69     77     65     52
DK/NA                12      8      9     11      6      6      8     10      7
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              31%    22%    38%    31%    32%    29%    29%
Disapprove           58     73     52     59     60     62     60
DK/NA                11      6      9     10      8      8     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 23  Dec 9   Nov 19  Oct 8   Aug 6   Nov 19  Oct 8
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              29      30      31      25      29      31      25
Disapprove           62      58      58      64      59      58      64
DK/NA                 9      12      11      11      12      11      11
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - foreign policy?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              46%    23%    70%    43%    43%    49%    43%    70%
Disapprove           44     68     19     48     50     38     48     15
DK/NA                10      9     11      9      7     12      9     15
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              54%    44%    44%    44%    51%    48%    70%    58%    24%
Disapprove           37     47     44     42     44     48     26     31     65
DK/NA                 9      9     12     14      5      4      5     11     11
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              43%    55%    26%    34%    48%    38%    44%
Disapprove           45     40     63     55     44     51     48
DK/NA                12      5     10     11      8     10      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - foreign policy? (*Low also 46% Dec 9 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 23  Dec 8   Nov 18  Oct 7   Aug 6   Apr 29  Dec 23
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*
 
Approve              46      46      49      49      52      57      46
Disapprove           44      45      42      37      38      32      44
DK/NA                10       9       8      13      10      11      10
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Afghanistan?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              47%    41%    55%    44%    51%    44%    46%    67%
Disapprove           43     50     37     45     42     45     44     21
DK/NA                10      8      9     10      7     12     10     12
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              44%    50%    47%    41%    54%    56%    47%    54%    42%
Disapprove           49     42     40     46     40     40     46     38     48
DK/NA                 8      8     13     13      6      4      7      8     11
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              45%    52%    39%    44%    46%    43%    38%
Disapprove           44     42     50     46     47     47     52
DK/NA                11      6     11     11      7      9     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Afghanistan?
                     Dec 23  Dec 8   Nov 18  Oct 7
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              47      45      38      42
Disapprove           43      45      49      40
DK/NA                10      11      12      17
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - global warming?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              40%    16%    64%    37%    36%    44%    37%    62%
Disapprove           40     65     16     44     51     30     45     16
DK/NA                20     19     20     19     13     26     19     22
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Approve              44%    38%    40%    42%    37%    41%    62%    50%    21%
Disapprove           32     43     41     35     46     45     19     27     63
DK/NA                24     19     19     23     17     14     19     22     16
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Approve              38%    45%    22%    28%    41%    34%    34%
Disapprove           40     40     57     53     40     48     43
DK/NA                22     15     22     19     19     18     23
 
 
28. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Right thing          51%    68%    39%    51%    62%    41%    57%    34%
Shldn't be involved  41     27     52     40     33     48     36     55
DK/NA                 8      5      9      9      5     10      7     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Right thing          39%    57%    52%    44%    58%    64%    39%    54%    56%
Shldn't be involved  53     36     38     49     33     31     52     40     36
DK/NA                 8      6     10      7     10      5      9      6      8
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Right thing          46%    63%    55%    57%    61%    56%    47%
Shldn't be involved  44     32     36     33     34     36     46
DK/NA                 9      4      8      9      6      8      7
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     Dec 23  Dec 8   Nov 18  Oct 7
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Right thing          51      57      48      52
Shouldn't be inv     41      35      41      37
DK/NA                 8       8      11      11
 
 
29. How concerned are you about global warming or climate change - very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very concerned       29%    13%    45%    27%    24%    35%    25%    46%
Smwht concerned      30     26     34     30     28     31     30     31
Not too concerned    17     19     15     19     15     18     18     14
Not concerned        23     41      6     23     32     15     27      9
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      1      2      1      -
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Very concerned       38%    28%    25%    32%    26%    27%    51%    31%    16%
Smwht concerned      31     30     28     27     32     32     33     38     22
Not too concerned    14     17     19     17     16     16     10     17     19
Not concerned        17     25     25     22     25     25      5     12     42
DK/NA                 -      1      2      2      1      -      -      1      1
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Very concerned       28%    34%    13%    18%    24%    26%    33%
Smwht concerned      30     30     26     28     35     22     26
Not too concerned    18     13     23     20     15     20     17
Not concerned        23     22     37     32     26     31     24
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      -      -      -
 
 
30. Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  59%    41%    75%    57%    54%    63%    56%    70%
No                   34     52     17     37     40     30     37     22
DK/NA                 7      7      7      6      6      8      7      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Yes                  68%    57%    54%    59%    60%    61%    85%    69%    37%
No                   28     38     35     33     36     36     11     27     54
DK/NA                 5      5     10      8      3      3      4      4      9
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Yes                  56%    66%    47%    52%    52%    52%    59%
No                   36     30     46     42     40     41     35
DK/NA                 8      4      7      6      8      8      6
 
 
31. (If yes q30) Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer - mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, or mostly because of natural patterns in the earth's environment?
                     BELIEVE EARTH IS GETTING WARMER Q30........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Human activity       57%    32%    69%    56%    53%    60%    58%    42%
Natural patterns     33     55     25     32     38     30     33     46
DK/NA                10     13      6     12      9     10     10     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Human activity       67%    51%    55%    54%    57%    66%    79%    56%    34%
Natural patterns     28     39     32     38     30     26     15     32     56
DK/NA                 5     10     13      8     13      9      6     11      9
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
Human activity       51%    70%    41%    50%    65%    56%    56%
Natural patterns     39     20     51     38     28     34     38
DK/NA                 9     10      8     12      7     10      6
 
 
32. As you may know, representatives of governments from all over the world have been meeting in Denmark to seek agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Do you think the U.S. should sign a treaty to reduce greenhouse gases; A) only if other major countries, such as India and China, agree to make similar economic sacrifices or B) should the U.S. sign a treaty even if these other countries do less or C) should the U.S. not sign a treaty to reduce greenhouse gases, no matter what other countries do?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A)If others do same  30%    32%    30%    32%    34%    27%    31%    30%
B)If others do less  33     17     47     33     26     38     31     35
C)Shld not sign      28     42     14     29     36     21     30     21
DK/NA                 9     10     10      6      4     13      8     14
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
A)If others do same  26%    30%    35%    32%    28%    33%    30%    35%    27%
B)If others do less  48     30     25     32     38     33     56     37     18
C)Shld not sign      21     33     28     25     30     29      8     21     46
DK/NA                 5      7     13     10      4      6      6      7      9
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
A)If others do same  29%    33%    31%    33%    34%    23%    27%
B)If others do less  31     38     21     22     33     34     36
C)Shld not sign      29     25     37     34     29     35     29
DK/NA                11      4     12     11      3      8      8
 
 
33. Which comes closer to your point of view about the Obama Administration; A) It is striking the right balance between helping reduce greenhouse gases and protecting American jobs, B) It is going too far in protecting the environment at the expense of American jobs or C) It is going too far protecting American jobs at the expense of the environment?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A)Right balance      36%    14%    58%    32%    35%    37%    33%    48%
B)Too far on env     38     59     18     39     45     31     40     26
C)Too far on jobs     8      8      8     10      8      8      9      8
DK/NA                18     19     16     19     12     23     17     18
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
A)Right balance      45%    34%    33%    34%    40%    42%    64%    42%    17%
B)Too far on env     31     42     37     37     38     37     15     28     60
C)Too far on jobs     9      7      8     10      5      9      4     10      9
DK/NA                15     17     21     19     17     12     18     20     14
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn               Mltry  JobLoss
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   HsHlds HsHldsQ18
 
A)Right balance      33%    45%    23%    28%    33%    31%    32%
B)Too far on env     40     32     53     47     37     42     41
C)Too far on jobs     9      7      9      7     15     10      9
DK/NA                19     16     15     18     15     17     18