Half in state disapprove of Obama's performance for first time since election

  • Article by: JIM SPENCER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2014 - 10:07 PM
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President Obama in Minneapolis in February 2013.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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President Obama’s job approval rating has turned negative for the first time since 2009, according to the Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, with fully half of Minnesotans saying they disapprove of his performance as president. Obama’s job approval rating in the new poll has fallen to 43 percent.

The numbers are a sharp change from April 2009, when 62 percent of those polled said they liked how Obama was running the country. The president had a 44-44 approval-disapproval split in the Star Tribune’s July 2010 Minnesota Poll. Otherwise, more Minnesota Poll respondents have approved than disapproved of Obama’s performance in six polls since he was first elected in 2008.

Obama’s falling ratings mirror national sentiment about the president, whose performance ratings have slipped markedly since his re-election in 2012.

Minnesota’s opinion of the president contrasts sharply with how it views its top state officeholder, Gov. Mark Dayton. The DFL governor enjoys a 58 percent job approval rating in the latest Minnesota Poll — the highest of his tenure.

Teresa Fogerty, of Waconia, approves of how Obama is doing overall, but believes the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act played a role in the president’s poor ratings.

“Absolutely, that has hurt him,” she said.

Obama continues to generate strong support in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, where 61 percent approved of the job he’s doing and just 29 percent disapproved. But his approval slipped to 41 percent in the Twin Cities suburbs, while the disapproval rating rose to 50 percent. Outside the metro area, roughly two out of three people polled disapproved of how the president is running the country.

Opinions of the president suggested is a gender gap. More than half of women still like the job the president is doing, while 60 percent of men disapprove.

The young are sticking by the president, with 59 percent approving of his performance and 35 percent disapproving. No other age group gave Obama a job approval rating higher than 39 percent.

More people with incomes less than $50,000 per year approved of the president’s performance than disapproved. But the margin was relatively slim, 48 percent approving, 42 percent disapproving.

Those numbers basically flipped for people making more than $50,000 per year: 42 percent approved and 51 percent disapproved.

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