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Most Voters Express Little Knowledge of Obama's Energy and Education Secretaries

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

President Obama’s agenda includes an emphasis on education and utilizing clean energy, but most voters don’t know the Cabinet members the president is depending on to lead policy in these areas.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 19% of Likely Voters have a favorable opinion of Steven Chu, the secretary of Energy.  Twenty percent (20%) have an unfavorable view of him.  These findings include five percent (5%) with a Very Favorable opinion of Chu and nine percent (9%) with a Very Unfavorable one. But a solid majority (61%) doesn’t know the Nobel Prize winner well enough to offer a strong opinion of him. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In June 2010, at a time when he was a key player in the federal response to the massive Gulf oil leak, 27% had a favorable opinion of Chu, and just as many (27%) had an unfavorable view of him.  At that time, he was slightly better known then he is now:  46% were not sure how they viewed him.

Voters share the same sentiments of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as they do of Chu.  Seventeen percent (17%) of voters share a favorable opinion of Duncan, while 21% view him unfavorably.  These findings include one percent (1%) Very Favorable and nine percent (9%) Very Unfavorable. Like Chu, 61% are not sure what they think of the former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 


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