Obama Losing Support of State and Local Officials, Survey Finds

State and local government officials increasingly disapprove of President Obama and fear the country is headed in the wrong direction, a new Governing survey finds.
May 17, 2013

State and local government officials increasingly disapprove of president Obama and fear the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a new Governing Index survey.

The vast majority of officials surveyed, 62 percent, say the country is on the wrong track, up from 49 percent last year.

Results of the Governing Index survey mirror national polls, which indicated an improving national outlook late last year that has since weakened. Thirty-one percent of officials Governing recently surveyed reported the country is moving in the right direction, compared to 32 percent in a Pew Research poll and 30 percent in a Rasmussen poll of citizens earlier this month.

Similarly, support for president Obama among state and local officials has also eroded. The president’s approval rating has fallen from 54 percent last summer to 47 percent, while 41 percent of officials now disapprove of his job performance.

Obama had enjoyed fairly strong support among public officials before the election, but his approval rating has since slipped 7 percent from a Governing Index survey conducted last summer. By contrast, citizens' views of the president haven't changed much as most national polls show his approval rating fluctuated little or even increased slightly over the same time period.

Governing Index Tracking Poll Results

The Governing Index survey represents a random sample of 223 senior state and local officials who are members of the Governing Exchange research community, conducted between April 11 and May 10. Please note that survey participants are not representative of all government employees; only senior-level administrators working in state and local governments.

Prior survey results from July and August of last year are shown in parenthesis.

Would you say the country is headed in the right direction or has it gotten off on the wrong track?

Right Direction:    31% (41% last year)

Wrong Track:    62% (49% last year)

Don't Know:    6% (10% last year)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

Approve:    47% (54% last year)

Disapprove:    41% (36% last year)

No opinion:    12% (10% last year)

And would you say your state or locality is headed in the right direction or has it gotten off on the wrong track?       

Right Direction: 48% (51% last year)

Wrong Track:    49% (42% last year)

Don't Know:    4% (7% last year)          

National Citizen Polling

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