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Positive Outlook On Obama's Second Term As Inauguration Day Approaches

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As President Barack Obama prepares for his second inauguration, findings from a recent Harris Poll show that a slight majority of Americans are feeling hopeful about the President's second term. Just over half (52%) of U.S. adults describe themselves as very or somewhat happy about Obama beginning his second term, considerably more than indicate being very or somewhat upset (39%). Similarly, nearly half of Americans (47%) believe things will be better for the country at the end of the President's second term, putting this sentiment well ahead of feelings that things will be much or somewhat worse (35%) or exactly the same (18%). Responses largely fell along party lines, as anticipated; political independents were evenly split on these questions, but were more divided on specific issues including jobs, gun control and education.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,166 U.S. adults surveyed online between January 7 and 9, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

Four More Years

While Independents fall evenly across both camps, amongst Republicans and Democrats feelings about the President beginning his second term are squarely split by party policy:
  • 86% of Democrats agree they are very or somewhat happy.
  • 83% of Republicans report feeling very or somewhat upset.
  • Political independents are evenly split, with 43% conveying happiness and 44% in the camp of very or somewhat upset.
  • Independents are also divided as to whether things will be better (41%) or worse (39%) for the U.S. at the end of Obama's second term, with one in five (20%) expecting things will remain exactly the same.

Ratings have largely improved for the President over the past two years in terms of how well Americans feel he is tackling hot button topics. Issues where Obama's combined "Excellent" + "Pretty good" overall job ratings show the most dramatic improvements include:
  • Jobs (29% in February 2011 to 39% in January 2013),
  • Education (39% to 47%),
  • Healthcare (37% to 43%) and
  • The economy (33% to 39%).

The Road Ahead

When asked which two domestic issues from a provided list they would like to see the Obama administration focus on first, the economy tops the list at 61%, followed by jobs (45%) and more distantly by healthcare (28%).

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