Buyer’s Remorse: Obama Now Rated Worst Modern President

This Quinnipiac poll, released today, is getting a lot of press. Understandably so: Quinnipiac polled 1,446 registered voters nationwide, and a plurality of 33% tagged Barack Obama as the worst president since World War II. Such historical ratings are always biased toward the recent past, of course; 28% said George W. Bush was the worst. In a head-to-head comparison with Bush, 40% say Obama is worse, while 39% think Obama is better than his immediate predecessor.

In a re-run of the 2012 election, 45% now say the country would be better off if Mitt Romney were president, while 38% think we are better off with Obama. Now they tell us.

Obama gets low marks pretty much across the board, with voters disapproving of his performance on the economy (55%-40%), health care (58%-40%) and foreign policy (57%-37%). Actually, when you look at the trends in this poll, the striking fact is that this poll isn’t particularly bad: Obama has been unpopular for quite a while. His overall approval rating was worse in December 2013.

This finding isn’t surprising, but it always mystified me. People–including Democrats!–have little or no trust in the federal government. Click to enlarge:


What I don’t get is, why do people who don’t trust the federal government nevertheless want to give it more money and power? It is one of the central paradoxes of our political life. I suppose a partial answer, at least, is that most of those who want to give the government more money know that it won’t be coming from them.

The demographics of the Quinnipiac poll won’t give the Obama administration any comfort: respondents were 26% Republican, 31% Democrat, and 35% independent. It reminds us once again that independents tend to think much more like Republicans than Democrats.