President Obama Approval Rating Among African Americans



The words at the top of the screen on could not be simpler, yet they carry an urgent message.

“Now is not the time to go backward. We’ve got to move forward.  And that’s why your support is so important.”

While these words speak of both personal and financial support, the mission is clear. As the President Obama approval rating slips, he needs the support of those who voted him into office.

As he prepares to work with newly elected Republicans in the U.S. House next year, U.S. residents are split over his job performance in the White House, according to a CNN poll released in late November.

The results of the presidential approval  poll – which asks respondents how they feel about how Barack Obama is handling his job – is used to measure the country’s opinion on the president’s performance as leader of the United States.

The poll showed that 47 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling his job and 48 percent disapprove. However, the President Obama approval rating is still above 90 percent among African Americans, according to The Financial Times.

Information from the U.S. Census reports that African Americans make up about 13 percent of the population, while Whites make up about 80 percent.

President Obama entered the White House with a 78 percent approval rating, and his supporters believe he can still lead the U. S. to positive change.

However, the President Obama approval rating has taken serious hits over his handling of the healthcare reform bill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and anger over the billions used for taxpayer bail outs.

Polls also show that Whites have become increasingly dissatisfied with the nation’s first African American president, creating a palpable racial divide in America.

But he still has his supporters like writer Cherie Webb of Oklahoma City, Okla. “I think the president is doing a good job considering what he has to deal with,” said Webb. “He has not had enough time to fix all of the problems that the previous administration left behind.”

Her husband William, agreed, and believes that the president has more support than the polls suggest.

“Those polls can be manipulated to say anything,” claimed William, a telecommunications professional. “They are used as instruments to keep people divided and fighting and the politicians in power. As far as President Obama goes, I think he’s doing all he can. The man was not in office two weeks before people started complaining that he had not done enough. It’s ridiculous.”

“Some of these people are giving him a hard time because he’s Black. That’s it in a nutshell,” claimed Wilmington, N.C. resident Edna Brown, a retired seamstress. “He’s not responsible for this mess. He didn’t fire millions of people from their jobs. I think he’s working as hard as he can.”

The president’s dwindling support is likely to affect the upcoming battles with Republicans as they take control of the U.S. House next month. Also, as the clock winds down to January, President Obama still has problems with the lame duck Congress including the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy which prevents gays from openly serving in the military and the fight over the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

With his support eroding, Washington insiders are questioning whether the President Obama approval rating is a sign that he will not be victorious and win a second term in 2012.

Civil rights activists have criticized the president for not creating a specific plan for the African American community such as addressing the 16 percent unemployment rate and continuing socio-economic problems.

“People are blaming the president for the high unemployment rate when it was already high when he took office,” said human resources manager Charlene Washington of Oakland. “How do people think he can turn things around in two years. This criticism is ridiculous. Give him four years to do his job.”

According to the Rasmussen Report, the President Obama approval rating dropped to an all-time low – 45 percent – in September. The Rasmussen Report is an electronic media company specializing in public opinion polling in politics, business and lifestyle.


Clemmons is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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