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Some Upticks In Attitudes On The Economy And Direction Of The Country

President Obama and some specific issues

While attitudes on how President Obama is handling the economy are slowly improving, it is not the same on other issues. In looking at 9 other issues, a majority of Americans gives the President negative ratings for his handling of 8 and the public is split on the ninth issue. With terrorism, just under half give the President both positive (47%) and negative (49%) ratings. Two in five U.S. adults give President Obama positive ratings for his handling of education (41%, down from 47% in January), the environment (41%, down from 44%), his handling of the situation in North Korea (40%) and healthcare (39%, down from 43%). Just under two in five give the President positive marks for his handling of jobs (37%, down from 39%) and 35% each give him positive ratings on his handling of the unrest in the Middle East (down from 40%) and immigration (up slightly from 34%). The only place President Obama shows a marked increase is in his handling of gun control; that was a positive rating of 27% in January and is now at 33%).

The President is just four months into his second term and, by all accounts, is not having an easy time of it. Luckily for the White House, the economy's improvement, while still not as robust as many Americans would like, is still sputtering upwards and people are taking notice of it. However, this may not be all good news for the economy. If people are no longer as worried about the economy, they may start looking at other issues in the news – and there are three keeping the White House up at night right now.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room .


This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 8 and 13, 2013 among 2,240 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

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