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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 30

Saturday, November 30, 2013

No wonder men age so noticeably in the job. Things are pretty rough for President Obama these days.

Negative reviews of his leadership continue to rise and now stand at their highest level in over three years. Forty-four percent (44%) of Likely U.S. Voters consider the president's leadership poor, while 40% think he's doing a good or excellent job.  

As problems continue to surround the rollout of the new national health care law, the president's job approval ratings for over two weeks now have been running at the lowest levels of his entire presidency.

[Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.]

Just 36% of voters now have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, the lowest finding this year. Sixty-one percent (61%) predict that the cost of health care will go up under the new law. That’s the highest level of pessimism since early March 2011.

Only 43% have a favorable opinion of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the government official in charge of implementing the health care law.  

Democrats lead again by one point on the Generic Congressional Ballot, but they were ahead by seven in early October during the government shutdown. Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle health care, in addition to the economy which is their number one concern.

On the economic front, 49% of consumers said the country is still in a recession going into the big Black Friday sales period.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of all Americans think now is a good time for someone in their area to sell a house.  That's up from 16% a year ago but down from 39% in September, the highest level of optimism in regular surveying for over four years.

Homeowner confidence in the short- and long-term future of housing values is down slightly from last month's highs but remains relatively steady. 

Fifty-eight percent (58%) now believe their home is worth more than the amount they owe on their mortgage.

Looking overseas, the president's team is negotiating a deal that would end some sanctions on Iran in exchange for verifiable cutbacks in the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Voters are almost evenly divided over that idea: 41% favor a deal with Iran, while 43% are opposed. Two weeks earlier, 52% favored a deal with Iran.

The United States has proposed a security deal to Afghanistan that would leave some U.S. troops in that country after next year, but 51% of voters want all troops out of Afghanistan by then.

In other surveys last week:

-- Forty percent (40%) of Americans say they or someone they know are responsible for the care of at least one parent. Nearly as many (37%) have at least one parent living with them or know someone who does.

-- Eighty-five percent (85%) think they have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

-- Most Americans planned to eat their Thanksgiving dinner at home or at a relative's house again this year. 

-- Although an early winter storm threatened much of the East Coast, more Americans planned to travel this Thanksgiving, compared to last year.

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Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.

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