Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the direction of the country, its government, and its leaders, according to a new Pew Research centre survey released today.The poll found that a full 79% of Americans are discontented with the conditions in the country and 86% say they are “frustrated or angry” with the federal government.
Here are some other highlights from the survey:
- President Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are the lowest of his presidency—49% disapprove of his job performance, compared to 43% who approve.
- Obama’s leadership image has taken a beating since Osama bin Laden was killed in early May—the percentage of Americans who view him as a strong leader has fallen from 58% to 49% and the portion of people who think he can get things done has dropped from 55% to 44%.
- Only 22% of Americans approve of Congressional Republicans’ job performance, down from 36% in February. The GOP’s favorability rating has dropped to 34% from 43% in February.
- Democrats are a little bit better off at 29% approval, although the party’s approval rating has fallen slightly, to 43% from 47% in February.
Despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s addition to the 2012 GOP field, voters are still not psyched about the Republican presidential candidates. Only 26% of those polled have a good impression of the candidates, and 64% said the field is “fair or poor.”
Like other recent polling, the Pew survey found that Perry is now the frontrunner to win the Republican nomination. Nearly half of voters who had heard of Perry (47%) said there is a “good chance” they would vote for the Texas Governor, although the same portion of people said there was no way they would vote for him. Voters felt less strongly about Romney, with 38% saying there was “some chance” they would vote for him.
Perry has stronger support among the Republican base—40% of likely Republican voters said they would vote for him, compared to Romney’s 37%. Nearly half of Tea Party voters said they would support Perry, while only 29% said they would support Romney.
Those findings echo yesterday’s Gallup survey, which had Perry beating the former Massachusetts governor by 12 points. The numbers should alarm the Romney team—Perry is leading Romney in every Republican subgroup except liberal GOP voters and Republicans in the Northeast—two groups that are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs.
Although Obama is still in a dead heat against a generic Republican presidential candidate, the poll does have a little bit of good news for the president. The majority of Americans still see him as principled (71%), caring (63%), and trustworthy (59%).