Accessibility links

Obama’s Weak Poll Ratings Worry Democrats


President Barack Obama listens to a question as he spoke about the situation in Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, July 18, 2014.

President Barack Obama listens to a question as he spoke about the situation in Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, July 18, 2014.


This is a congressional election year in the United States. Some Democratic Party candidates are concerned about President Obama’s unpopularity

In public opinion surveys, about 40 percent of people approve of the way Mr. Obama does his job. That could hurt the Democrats’ chances to keep control of the Senate.

Illegal immigration has been a central news issue in the recent past. But, Mr. Obama is talking mostly about the economy and Congress’ failure to pass legislation.

“Whenever and wherever I have the power, the legal authority to help families like yours, even if Congress is not doing anything, I will take that opportunity. I will try to make something happen.”

Republican Party lawmakers plan to take legal action against Mr. Obama. They say they will ask a judge to order him to stop using some presidential powers.

“You hear some of them, ‘Sue him!’ ‘Impeach him!’ Really? Really? For what? You are going to sue me for doing my job?”

Republicans blame the president for not doing more to secure the southern border of the United States. Speaker of the House John Boehner is among those critics.

“This is a problem of the president’s own making! He has been president for five and one-half years. When is he going to take responsibility for something?”

Some Democrats also are pressuring the president. Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez wants to protect children who are illegally entering the United States.

“I plan to support the president’s budget request, but we must make sure we do not short-circuit justice for the children.”

Charlie Cook is a U.S. political expert. He says the president’s weak public opinion ratings will make it difficult for Democrats to get elected in November.

“Whenever you have a president and a midterm election where the president’s approval rating is well below 50 percent and whose disapproval ratings are above 50 percent, at or above 50 percent, it is a problem.”

John Fortier is a political expert at Bipartisan Policy Center. He says Republicans could control both the House and Senate next year.

“They need six seats to take to make the majority, but they have got a good shot, at least a 50-50 shot, of taking the Senate and probably even gaining a few seats in the House.”

Mr. Cook says the second term in office is often difficult for American presidents.

“You get into years six, seven and eight and they kind of run out of gas and bad things typically happen.”

Mr. Obama appears to be ready to campaign for Democratic Party candidates. But it is not clear how many of them believe his support would help them. Some of them think it would hurt, so they are staying away from the president.

I’m Caty Weaver.

This story is from a VOA News report by Jim Malone in Washington.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG