Nearly as many Tennesseans now disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as approved of it a year ago, according to the latest statewide poll from Middle Tennessee State University.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said they object to the job Obama is doing as president. As well, a majority of those identifying themselves as independents now disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issues of the day, particularly the economy.
The poll, taken in mid-February, asked 634 residents about Obama’s major initiatives, from the economy and health care to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The majority of those polled said they lack confidence in the administration’s ability to right the economic ship and complete a health care reform package. But they expressed confidence in the administration’s ethical standards and foreign policy moves, saying Iraq was a mistake that seemed to be going well, while Afghanistan was a necessary war that does not seem to be progressing smoothly. Both of those overall majorities are slim, although only 35 percent of those polled are confident about health care reform.
Tennesseans were of mixed opinion on whether it is Obama or the Republican congressional minority throwing up roadblocks on major legislation in Washington. Their responses were dependent, in part, on where they get their news; for instance, those who watch the conservative Fox News Channel were more likely to blame the administration for the congestion on Capitol Hill.
The poll also found public uncertainty about the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The controversial decision extended free-speech rights to corporations, allowing companies to spend more directly in elections. Forty-seven percent of those polled disapprove, but 38 percent refused to answer the question or said they weren’t sure how to answer.
MTSU conducts the nonpartisan poll twice a year under faculty supervision. Students conduct the interviews. Click here  to read the full results.