August 12, 2009 - Obama Approval Drops In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Hopeful, But Don't Expect Obama To Help Them

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New Jersey voters approve 56 - 39 percent of the job Barack Obama is doing as President, down from 61 - 33 percent July 14, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Democrats approve 89 - 8 percent, but disapproval is 72 - 23 percent among Republicans and 48 - 45 percent among independent voters.

Voters approve 52 - 42 percent of the way President Obama is handling the economy and 51 percent say his economic policies will help the economy, while 35 percent say they will hurt the economy and 10 percent say they won't make a difference, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But only 35 percent of voters say Obama's policies will help their personal financial situation, while 35 percent say they will hurt and 27 percent say they won't make a difference.

On other questions on the economy, New Jersey voters say:
  • 92 percent that the U.S. economy is "not so good" or "poor;"
  • 91 percent that New Jersey's economy is "not so good" or "poor;"
  • 56 percent that their personal finances are "excellent" or "good," with 42 percent reporting "not so good" or "poor."
"For President Barack Obama, the bloom is fading in the Garden State as his approval rating wilts," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The President still is on the positive side when we ask about his overall job approval and his grades for handling the economy. But the trend - and that's what you always look at - is heading down."

"The national economy? In the pits. The New Jersey economy? Almost as bad."

Only 23 percent of New Jersey voters say they are better off financially than they were a year ago, while 52 percent say they are worse off and 24 percent say things are the same.

Things will get better for them in the next 12 months, 39 percent of voters hope, with 12 percent who expect things to get worse and 46 percent who don't expect any change. This is up from 30 - 15 percent February 5 and the highest confidence level ever measured in New Jersey.

Most New Jersey voters - 59 percent - say the current economic situation causes stress in their life. The biggest economic concerns are loss of a job or loss of retirement savings, at 19 percent each, followed by healthcare costs, at 17 percent, college tuition at 11 percent and mortgage or rent payments at 9 percent.

A total of 56 percent of voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year or so.

"We're an optimistic crowd in New Jersey. Most of us say our personal economic fortunes are down from last year. But 85 percent of us think things are looking up, or at least holding steady," Carroll said.

"Stressed? You bet. We see the business news. And we worry that someone close to us might lose their job."

From August 5 - 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,301 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

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

12. 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              56%    23%    89%    45%    50%    61%    45%    92%
Disapprove           39     72      8     48     45     33     49      4
DK/NA                 5      5      3      7      5      6      6      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              71%    62%    41%    63%    42%
Disapprove           23     33     54     30     55
DK/NA                 7      5      5      7      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Aug 12  Jul 14  Jun 10  May 20  Jun 10  Aug 12  Aug 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              56      61       68      67      68     56      56
Disapprove           39      33       25      27      25     39      39
DK/NA                 5       6        7       6       7      5       5
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              52%    19%    86%    42%    48%    57%    44%    83%
Disapprove           42     76     10     51     48     36     51     13
DK/NA                 6      5      3      7      5      7      6      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              67%    60%    38%    56%    37%
Disapprove           27     34     56     37     56
DK/NA                 6      5      6      7      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                     Aug 12  May 20  Apr 22  Mar 11  Feb 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              52      61      62      57      59
Disapprove           42      31      29      32      21
DK/NA                 6       7       9      12      20
 
 
29. Do you think President Obama's policies have helped the economy, hurt the economy, or haven't made a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Helped               42%    15%    68%    37%    40%    44%    35%    73%
Hurt                 24     44      5     31     29     20     30      2
No difference        29     38     23     29     28     31     32     17
DK/NA                 4      2      4      4      4      5      3      8
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Helped               54%    43%    35%    47%    34%
Hurt                 15     21     32     20     33
No difference        27     32     30     28     27
DK/NA                 4      4      4      5      5
 
 
30. Looking forward, do you think President Obama's policies will help the economy, will hurt the economy, or won't make a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Will help            51%    14%    87%    39%    44%    56%    41%    84%
Will hurt            35     66      7     42     42     28     44      6
No difference        10     17      3     12     10     10     11      1
DK/NA                 5      3      2      7      4      5      4      9
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Will help            63%    55%    42%    50%    41%
Will hurt            20     30     45     33     46
No difference        13      7      9     11     12
DK/NA                 4      7      3      5      1
 
 
31. Do you think President Obama's policies have helped your personal financial situation, hurt your personal financial situation, or haven't made a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Helped               16%     7%    29%    10%    16%    17%    13%    30%
Hurt                 22     39      6     26     22     22     27      5
No difference        60     53     64     62     61     59     59     62
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      2      1      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Helped               19%    23%     7%    15%    14%
Hurt                 14     18     37     20     22
No difference        64     57     56     63     64
DK/NA                 3      2      -      1      -
 
 
32. Looking forward, do you think President Obama's policies will help your personal financial situation, will hurt your personal financial situation, or won't make a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Will help            35%     6%    64%    24%    29%    40%    25%    68%
Will hurt            35     62      8     45     41     29     45      3
No difference        27     28     26     29     28     26     27     26
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      2      5      3      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Will help            43%    38%    27%    39%    26%
Will hurt            24     30     51     26     44
No difference        30     27     21     30     27
DK/NA                 2      5      1      5      3
 
 
33. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      -      1%     -      -      1%
Good                  7      4     10      6      5      8      5     17
Not so good          47     41     55     46     49     45     46     56
Poor                 45     55     35     48     45     45     48     24
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      -      1      -      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      -      3%
Good                  7      8      5      5      6
Not so good          55     52     42     42     42
Poor                 35     39     53     52     50
DK/NA                 2      1      -      1      -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                             EXCLNT+ GOOD..
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 12  Apr 22  Mar 11  Feb 5   Feb 21  Aug 5   Mar 11
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2004    2009
 
Excellent             1       -       -       1       1       2       -
Good                  7       6       2       2      15      40       2
Not so good          47      45      24      27      45      40      24
Poor                 45      49      74      70      38      17      74
DK/NA                 1       -       -       -       1       1       -
 
 
34. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             -      1%     -      -      -      -      -      -
Good                  7      5     10      5      6      8      5      9
Not so good          46     38     58     42     45     47     47     48
Poor                 45     56     32     51     47     44     47     40
DK/NA                 1      1      -      2      2      1      1      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      -      -
Good                  6     10      5      6      6
Not so good          47     53     42     42     41
Poor                 45     36     53     51     50
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      2
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? (*Low also 7% on 02/05/2009)
                                                             EXCLNT+ GOOD...
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 12  Apr 22  Mar 11  Feb 5   Jun 16  Oct 18  Aug 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2006    2001    2009*
 
Excellent             -       -       -       -       3       3       -
Good                  7      10       8       7      42      54       7
Not so good          46      48      43      43      38      37      46
Poor                 45      40      48      50      16       5      45
DK/NA                 1       1       1       -       2       2       1
 
 
35. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in New Jersey will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Get better           43%    27%    63%    34%    42%    44%    38%    66%
Get worse            15     19      7     19     17     13     15      7
Stay the same        39     50     29     44     38     40     43     24
DK/NA                 3      4      1      4      3      4      4      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Get better           47%    46%    38%    42%    40%
Get worse            13     11     14     22     16
Stay the same        36     40     45     34     40
DK/NA                 4      3      3      2      4
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in New Jersey will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Aug 12  Jun 22  Mar 9
                     2009    2004    2004
 
Get better           43      31      31
Get worse            15       9      12
Stay same            39      56      53
DK/NA                 3       4       3
 
 
36. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as - excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             5%     4%     5%     7%     7%     3%     5%     3%
Good                 51     51     53     50     54     48     52     49
Not so good          31     33     30     28     28     33     31     31
Poor                 11     10     11     13     10     12     10     15
DK/NA                 2      2      1      2      1      3      2      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Excellent             5%     7%     7%     3%     3%
Good                 42     52     51     52     53
Not so good          35     29     28     30     34
Poor                 15      9     11     13      9
DK/NA                 4      3      3      1      1
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Aug 12  Apr 22  Mar 11  Feb 4   Nov 20  Oct 8   Apr 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2001    2001
 
Excellent             5       6       5       4       6      10       8
Good                 51      45      39      42      49      66      64
Not so good          31      34      39      38      30      19      21
Poor                 11      14      15      15      13       4       6
DK/NA                 2       2       2       2       1       1       1
 
 
37. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better off           23%    16%    29%    20%    25%    21%    18%    36%
Worse off            52     61     45     55     49     54     57     31
SAME(VOL)            24     23     25     24     24     23     24     31
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      2      1      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better off           28%    23%    25%    26%    13%
Worse off            44     49     56     51     59
SAME(VOL)            26     27     17     21     26
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      2
 
TREND: Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Aug 12  Feb 5   Nov 20  Jun 22  Mar 9   Apr 2
                     2009    2009    2008    2004    2004    2003
 
Better off           23      21      20      36      38      32
Worse off            52      57      59      37      37      43
SAME(VOL)            24      21      20      25      23      24
DK/NA                 1       1       1       2       2       2
 
 
38. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Get better           39%    28%    52%    34%    40%    39%    32%    67%
Get worse            12     14      5     18     10     13     14      2
Stay the same        46     53     42     46     46     45     51     30
DK/NA                 3      5      1      3      4      3      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Get better           47%    41%    35%    39%    36%
Get worse             8     11     13     15     11
Stay the same        41     45     50     45     47
DK/NA                 4      3      2      1      7
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same? (*financial situation)
                     Aug 12  Feb 5   Nov 20  Feb 21  Oct 18
                     2009    2009    2008    2008*   2001*
 
Get better           39      30      28      23      35
Get worse            12      15      22      20       8
Stay the same        46      52      45      55      54
DK/NA                 3       4       5       2       3
 
 
39. Is the current economic situation a cause of stress in your life, or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  59%    62%    58%    59%    57%    61%    60%    53%
No                   40     37     41     41     42     38     39     45
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      1      1      -      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  59%    61%    60%    57%    56%
No                   40     38     40     43     42
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      1
 
 
40. (If YES q39) Is it a cause of serious stress, or stress, but not serious?
                     YES Q39...............................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Serious stress       33%    36%    34%    29%    33%    33%
Not serious stress   67     64     65     71     67     66
DK/NA                 -      -      1      -      -      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Serious stress       39%    31%    37%    25%    35%
Not serious stress   61     69     63     74     64
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      1
 
 
41. What is your biggest personal economic concern right now - food costs, healthcare costs, mortgage or rent payments, energy bills, credit card or loan payments, college tuition, retirement savings, or loss of a job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Food costs            3%     2%     2%     5%     3%     3%     3%     1%
Healthcare costs     17     19     17     15     13     20     18     17
Mortgage/rent         9     10      9      8      9      9      9     10
Energy bills          6      8      6      6      6      7      7     11
Credit card/loan      8      8      8      8      7      9      7      6
College tuition      11     10     14      7     13      8      9     11
Retirement savings   19     19     15     23     18     19     23      7
Loss of a job        19     13     24     20     20     18     16     29
DK/NA                 8     10      5      8     10      7      8      8
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Food costs            4%     2%     3%     2%     5%
Healthcare costs     17     14     23     18     15
Mortgage/rent         6      7      7     12     14
Energy bills          2      7      6      8      6
Credit card/loan      6      7     11     10      7
College tuition      10     14     10     10      5
Retirement savings   12     21     20     16     21
Loss of a job        29     19     15     18     14
DK/NA                14      9      3      5     11
 
 
42. How concerned are you that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year or so - very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very concerned       26%    22%    26%    29%    23%    29%    24%    36%
Smwht concerned      30     30     32     28     29     30     30     30
Not too concerned    21     23     21     20     22     20     21     12
Not concerned at all 19     21     17     18     23     15     20     12
HAVE LOST JOB(VOL)    3      3      4      3      3      4      3      6
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very concerned       33%    23%    25%    32%    22%
Smwht concerned      27     32     27     28     31
Not too concerned    20     21     21     17     27
Not concerned at all 13     19     25     19     18
HAVE LOST JOB(VOL)    5      5      1      3      2
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      -