Editor’s note: This is another in a series of monthly “WND/WENZEL POLLS” – polls conducted exclusively for WND by the public opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
A new poll marking Barack Obama’s one year as president reveals Americans are questioning his legitimacy to hold the office, fear his plans and doubt even his friends.
“Typically, a political figure in trouble from pursuing a radical agenda generally tacks to the political center, but there is no evidence that Obama is interested in following conventional wisdom on this point. Democrats nationwide may face the fallout in November,” warned Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies.
The poll revealed if the 2012 election were held today, Obama would come in second to an unspecified opponent.
The WND/Wenzel poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 14-17 using an automated telephone technology calling a random sampling of listed telephone numbers nationwide. The survey included 30 questions and carries a 95 percent confidence interval. It included 823 likely voters and has a margin of error of 3.65 percentage points.
Wenzel said voters have advanced in their opinions of the issue of Obama’s legitimacy from some six months ago when most Americans said they were aware of the questions being raised.
When asked if they consider Obama a “legitimate president,” 32.6 percent said no, and another 15.8 percent said they were not sure. Barely half of the voters, 51.5 percent said they do consider Obama a legitimate president even though he has yet to produce a long-form birth certificate that would prove he was born in the U.S.
Even 14.6 percent of the Democrats said they do not consider him a legitimate president, along with 52.2 percent of the Republicans. Significantly, 31.8 percent of the independents said no.
Those who were uncertain included 12.1 percent of the Democrats, 21.3 percent of the Republicans and 14.3 percent of the independents.
Also, asked whether they were more or less likely to believe in Obama’s legitimacy, only 40.1 percent said much more. Some 27.9 percent said much less, with a significant 12 percent unsure.
“A lingering doubt about his legitimacy as president continues to dog Obama,” Wenzel said. “Barely half – 52 percent – said they believe that, in light of the fact he has not yet presented a long-form birth certificate that would prove he was born on U.S. soil, while 33 percent said they do not consider him to be a legitimate president. Another 16 percent were unsure on the question. While some try to marginalize those who continue to call for Obama to release his birth certificate, it is clear many don’t think this is a settled matter.
“As he loses public support for his agenda, the risk grows that this unaddressed issue could come back to haunt Obama, perhaps at a time when he can least afford it. Evidence of this stems from this latest WND/Wenzel Strategies poll – where support for Obama’s legitimacy drops to 48 percent when respondents are asked to consider not only the birth certificate issue but also Obama’s legislative agenda during his first year,” Wenzel said. “The percentage who question his legitimacy also increases when his agenda is considered as part of the equation.”
The poll revealed voters are split 39.4 percent to 36.3 percent on whether Obama’s performance has been poor or excellent.
“Voters are split on whether Obama has met their expectations. While 49 percent said they felt he has done better than they expected he might, while 47 percent said he has done worse than expected,” Wenzel said.
But the alarming news to members of Congress is that Obama comes in second to “someone else” in a 2012 presidential race and that status very well may drag down members of the Democratic Party.
Asked who they would choose if the next election were held today, only 44.3 percent of the voters said they would vote for Obama while another 45.1 percent said they would choose an unspecified “someone else.” Another 10.6 percent were unsure.
“His agenda may also have an impact on the future make-up of Congress, as 41 percent said they planned to vote for the congressional candidate in their home district who would oppose Obama’s agenda, compared to 34 percent who said they would vote for a congressional candidate who would support the Obama agenda,” Wenzel said.
“That said, the ‘generic ballot’ congressional question shows that Democrats and Republicans are evenly split – with 38 percent saying they would vote for the Democrat and 36 percent saying they would vote for the Republican,” he said.
“A danger signal for Obama – 64 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents said they believe he is trying to turn America into a socialist country,” Wenzel said. “Even 27 percent of Democrats agreed.”
“This is a reflection of how deeply some people fear what Obama might do to the foundation of the country if given a chance,” he said.
“Overall, this has been a rough year in public opinion for Barack Obama, whose job approval rating has dropped from 69 percent the day after his inauguration to a low of 41 percent in last month’s Wenzel Strategies survey. While it has bounced back to 46 percent positive in this month’s survey, he still faces a difficult road ahead,” Wenzel said.
On another question, 35.6 percent said they were “more hopeful” about America since Obama’s election, and 35.3 percent said they were “less hopeful.”
On Obama’s campaign theme of “change,” 22.1 percent of the voters said his changes have made the nation much better, while 32.6 percent said the result is “much worse.”
See detailed results of survey questions:
Thinking about his performance in office and his agenda for the country, and knowing about the ongoing questions about his birth certificate, are you more or less likely to believe in his legitimacy as president?