Is President Barack Obama on the Right Track?

Two in five Americans (40%) give the President positive ratings for the overall job he is doing while three in five (60%) give him negative ratings. In June, 39% of U.S. adults gave the President positive ratings and 61% gave him negative marks.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,775 adults surveyed online between August 9 and 16, 2010 by Harris Interactive. The findings were released Monday, August 23.

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As President Obama ends his summer, his approval ratings end the summer almost unchanged from when it began, the survey says.

While it’s probably not surprising that nine in ten Republicans (91%) and Conservatives (88%) give the President negative ratings, the fact that three in ten Democrats (29%) and one-quarter of Liberals (25%) also give him negative marks, the Poll claims.

Coupling this with over three in five Independents (63%) and just under three in five Moderates (57%) who also give President Obama negative ratings for the job he is doing shows how widespread the dissatisfaction is with the way things are right now, says Harris Interactive.

It further says President Obama’s two “best” demographic groups appear when looking at education and region. Regionally, those in the East are divided on the President’s job – although half of Easterners (50%) give him positive ratings, half (50%) also give him negative ones.

Southerners are on the other side, as just one-third (32%) give the President positive ratings while 68% of Southerners give him negative marks.

Looking at education, those with a post-graduate education are the most likely to think the President is doing a good job, as three in five (60%) give President Obama positive marks on the job he is going.

Those with a high school education or less are more likely to think he is doing a poor job as almost seven in ten (68%) give him negative ratings.

Another area where Americans have been holding steady all summer is in the direction of the country. Just over one-third of U.S. adults (35%) say the country is going in the right direction while just under two-thirds (65%) say things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.

In June, 34% of Americans believed the country was going in the right direction and 66% said things had gotten off on the wrong track.

In less than 75 days, the midterm elections will be over and the 2012 Presidential campaign season will be in full swing. Every first term President starts office already thinking of his re-election and, unfortunately for the Obama White House, the signs right now must be troubling, believes Harris Interactive.

But, as summer vacations come to an end, the President and his staff know they have two years to convince the American electorate that they deserve another four years in office, Harris says.

Harris Interactive is a leading custom market research firm.

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Rakesh Raman