Politics

Pew poll shows Obama on downward slide

Neil Munro White House Correspondent

A new Pew poll shows that President Barack Obama’s ratings have plunged downwards, while his disapproval ratings are climbing.

He’s got a thumbs-up from only 41 percent of 2,003 adults, and 53 percent disapproval.

The approval rate has fallen from 55 percent in December, and it puts him close to President George W. Bush, whose ratings for the same time-period in 2005 were only 35 percent, said the Pew report. Among registered voters, he’s got 39 percent approval, 56 percent disapproval.

Obama has even worse numbers than Bush on particular issues, such as his second-term push for increased immigration.

He’s got 32 percent support for his efforts to award 30 million green-cards to mostly low-skill immigrant workers during the next decade. But 60 percent of the respondents oppose the increased flow into the nation’s high-skill, high-unemployment economy. Even among his Democratic supporters, he faces 42 percent disapproval.

Back in February, as the immigration debate was starting, he had 44 percent support for his immigration policy.

On the economy, he’s got 31 percent approval, 66 percent disapproval.

He’s only got 37 percent approval on his highest first-term priority, health-care, and faces 59 percent disapproval amid reports of canceled policies, broken websites and rising prices.

The numbers match other recent polls. Gallup showed his support dipping this week to 39 percent approval, with 54 percent opposition. The number quickly bounced back to 42 percent, however. An NBC poll, released Oct. 30, showed his support at 42 percent.

With his polls in the dumps, Obama has gone on the 2014 campaign trail this week.

“We should fix our broken immigration system … [which would] be good for our economic security,” he claimed in a dull Nov. 8 speech in New Orleans. “This should not be a partisan issue.”

“If there’s a good reason not do it, I haven’t heard it. There’s no reason both parties can’t come together and get this done this year,” he said in a speech that included a laundry list of his second-term priorities.

Those priorities include increased immigration, increased federal control over health care, education, banking and energy, plus more spending on roads, education and science, and more picayune policies, such as dredging the New Orleans port.

The public’s dislike of the president’s immigration priorities comes as a surprise to his supporters. “The immigration number is particularly interesting, given Obama’s push for comprehensive reform seems to fall in line with what the broader electorate supports,” claimed Aaron Blake, a writer at The Washington Post.

Numeerous polls show the public is opposed to an increased inflow of foreign workers during a period of accelerating automation, declining wages and high unemployment.

Obama has repeatedly endorsed the immigration rewrite passed by the Senate in June. It would provide green-cards to 33 million immigrants by 2023, and would bring in three new immigrants and more than one new non-agricultural guest worker for every four Americans who turn 18.

Under current law, the United State provide green cards to one million immigrants per year, and temporary worker permits to roughly 700,000 non-agricultural, low-wage guest workers per year, even though fewer native-born Americans have jobs today that in 2000.

The nation’s labor force of 150 million includes 25 million working-age immigrants, plus a population of roughly one million university-educated guest workers, alongside 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans.

The unpopularity of increased immigration has strengthened the GOP’s reform wing, which argues that the GOP’s support among lower-income Americans can be increased by policies that boost workers’ wages, kids’ education and families’ health care.

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