Obama’s polling support drops to level with House GOP

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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More Americans trust the congressional GOP to manage the economy than trust President Barack Obama, according to a year-end poll released Dec. 17 by the Washington Post and ABC.

The poll also showed that 60 percent of 1,005 adult respondents support a one-year delay in Obamacare’s requirement that all people buy healthcare insurance, only 13 months after Obama swept to victory in November 2012.

Obama and House Republicans receive equal support, 41 percent, on dealing with the main problems facing the nation.

On the economy, the GOP gets the approval of 45 percent of the population, vice 41 percent for Obama, despite other questions showing that only 24 percent of people approve of the congressional GOP, says the poll.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said the GOP could set the right balance between useful and wasteful government spending. Only 40 percent said Obama could find the right balance.

Forty-four percent said the GOP “has better ideas about the right size and role of the federal government.” Obama’s score was 43 percent, marking a major loss of support for his progressive rule-by-experts policy. However 14 percent of people didn’t pick a side, showing that either side can yet gain a major lead.

The poll also shows Obama’s approval among registered voters at 43 percent, and his disapproval at 55 percent. Only 50 percent of people say Obama is honest and trustworthy. Seventy-nine percent of respondents say the country is still in a recession.

Much of the poll focused on Obamacare.

Only 32 percent support “the way Obama is handling implementation of the new health care law,” the Post reported. The approval number might be lower still if the Post had described the law as “Obamacare.”

Forty-seven percent say their health-costs are increasing because of Obama’s health-care takeover.

Only 19 percent of people believe the health-care system is improving. That’s terrible for Obama, but 31 percent said the system is about the same, leaving him a chance to double his support number during the next year, if Obamacare can be salvaged.

Obama’s strongest advantage showed when the respondents were asked who would do a better job protecting the middle class.

Forty-six percent said Obama, and only 40 percent said the GOP, partly because the GOP is traditionally associated with “big business,” which is increasingly distrusted by the voters.

The gap has been narrowed since 2009, partly because independents are now evenly split on the issue.

Obama’s middle-class advantage exists because he’s still got solid support among Democratic-leaning groups.

Forty-eight percent of women, 51 percent of people under age 40, 47 percent of people without any college training, 67 percent of non-whites, and 50 percent of post-graduates trust Obama to help the middle-class.

But 50 percent of whites, 41 percent of people aged 40 to 64, plus 43 percent of people with some college, trust the GOP more to aid the middle-class.

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