Saturday, June 3, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Gallup: Obama Approval Plummets in Hawaii, Down to 56.1%
By Selected News Articles @ 1:32 PM :: 7089 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

Obama Approval Above 50% in 10 States and D.C. in 2011

District of Columbia, Hawaii most approving; Utah, Idaho, least

by Jeffrey M. Jones,

PRINCETON, NJ -- In 10 states plus the District of Columbia, a majority of residents approved of the job Barack Obama was doing as president last year, according to aggregated data from 2011. His greatest support came from District of Columbia, Maryland, and Hawaii residents, while Utah and Idaho residents gave him his lowest levels of support -- below 30%.

Top States, Obama Job Approval, 2011Bottom States, Obama Job Approval, 2011

Explore complete state data >

These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking data from 2011, which include interviews with just under 180,000 U.S. residents and no fewer than 500 residents in any state (the sample for the District of Columbia was 356). State samples are weighted so they are demographically representative of the population of each state. Full data for each state appear on page 2.

Eastern states largely make up the list of those with the highest approval ratings of Obama -- those above majority approval. Eight of the top 11 are from the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic areas of the country. The exceptions are Obama's birth state of Hawaii, his home state of Illinois, and California.

The states with the lowest approval ratings are more regionally diverse, with the greatest number -- five, including Alaska -- in the Western part of the United States.

Obama Approval Ratings Down in Most States

Overall, Obama averaged 44% job approval in his third year in office, down from 47% in his second year. His approval rating declined from 2010 to 2011 in most states, with Wyoming, Connecticut, and Maine showing a marginal increase, and Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, and Georgia showing declines of less than a full percentage point. The greatest declines were in Hawaii, South Dakota, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

Change in Obama Approval Rating by State, 2010 vs. 2011

With the average state showing a 3.2-point drop in approval between 2010 and 2011, the number of states showing majority approval of Obama did not change much between the two years, moving from 12 states and the District of Columbia in 2010 to 10 states plus D.C. in 2011. Washington state and Rhode Island were the two states that dropped below 50% approval last year.

However, Obama was on pace to show an increase in majority approval states -- to 16 plus the District of Columbia -- midway through 2011. But his lower approval ratings in the third and fourth quarters of the year resulted in a net decline in the number of states above 50% approval by the time the year was complete.


Obama's approval rating at the state level provides some insight into his chances to win an Electoral College majority. He would seem to be well-positioned in the states in which his approval rating was above 50% last year, including three of the larger states in California, New York, and Illinois. The states with majority approval of Obama in 2011 account for 159 electoral votes. Obama won all of those states' electoral votes in the 2008 election.

On the other hand, states in which his approval rating was below 40% seem less likely to recover enough to allow Obama to claim their electoral votes this fall. Those states account for 153 electoral votes. All except New Hampshire voted for John McCain in 2008.

Thus, the key to Obama's winning a second term lies in the states whose approval rating is in the 40% range, which account for the remaining 226 electoral votes and include traditional "swing states" such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Obama won the vast majority of these states in 2008.

Gallup and USA Today have identified 12 swing states that will be vitally important in this year's election, and Obama's job approval rating within those states ranges from 39% in New Hampshire to 48% in Michigan.

His approval rating is a key indicator of his electoral vote chances, but it alone will not dictate his success in a given state's vote. The electorate in each state represents a smaller share of the population than the larger pool of all state residents on which his approval rating is based, so turnout among his supporters and opponents will be important. Also, state residents' electoral choice will be shaped in part by the choice voters have between Obama and his Republican opponent, and potential third-party candidates.

Gallup will update Obama's state-by-state approval ratings in July. To date in 2012, his job approval rating remains just about where it was in 2011, with an average 45% approval rating for the week of Jan. 23-29. That makes his re-election prospects uncertain, but within striking distance of the historical minimum approval (48% by George W. Bush in 2004) a winning president has had at the time of his re-election vote.


Gallup's "State of the States" series reveals state-by-state differences on political, economic, and wellbeing measures Gallup tracks each day. New stories based on full-year 2011 data will be released throughout the month of February.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii