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Voters Less Critical of Obama’s Leadership

President Obama's job approval ratings have been on the rise, and now voters show less negativity toward both his leadership abilities and style.

In a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey conducted two nights before the president’s State of the Union speech, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters rate him as a good or excellent leader. Thirty-three percent (33%) describe the president’s leadership ability as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

While positive ratings for the president’s leadership are up five points from December, they show little change from October. But the number who now the president poor marks is at its lowest level since September 2009. Right after Obama’s State of the Union speech last year, 47% rated his leadership as good or excellent, while 37% gave him a poor rating.

Not surprisingly, there’s a large partisan gap on this question. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Democrats give Obama’s leadership positive ratings, but 56% of Republicans view it as poor. Voters not affiliated with either major political party are more closely divided: 42% give the president good or excellent marks, while 36% rate him as poor.

When it comes to the president’s leadership style, 24% of all voters say he is too confrontational, while 27% believe he is too cooperative. A plurality (39%) says Obama’s leadership style is about right, up eight points from December.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 23-24, 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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