President Obama's approval rating has ticked up in recent months and continues to hold "a substantial advantage" over Republican leaders in Congress, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday. The survey found Obama's job approval at 51%, which has increased from 47% in March but still lags behind his 55% approval rating a month after his re-election victory in early December.
The approval rating for congressional leaders is among the lowest with just 22% of participants approving the job performance of Republican congressional leaders and 68% disapproving, which has changed little since December of 2012 when their job approval was at 25%.
The poll also found that just 42% of Republicans approve of the job of GOP congressional leaders, and 51% disapprove. In contrast, 60% of Democrats approve of their party leaders, while 32% disapprove.
While Republican leaders suffer a poor job rating, and more Republican leaders are blamed than the president for the Washington gridlock, the polling also found that both parties rank fairly evenly on the three key issues the country is currently facing—the economy, immigration, and gun control.
“Despite GOP leaders’ poor job ratings, the Republican Party runs about even with the Democrats on leading issues such as the economy, immigration and gun control,” the polling analysis states. “Overall, 42% say the Republican Party could do the better job dealing with the economy, while 38% say the Democratic Party. The public is similarly divided over which party could better handle gun control policy and immigration policy."
The Pew Research Center found that a record-high 80% say that Obama and Republican leaders are not working together, but 42% blame Republican congressional leaders for the gridlock as opposed to 22% blaming Obama. This percentage number blaming Republican has gone up 11 points since February 2011, while the percentage blaming Obama has remained the same since then.
Shortly after Obama's second inauguration, 57% of those surveyed viewed the president was able to get things done. But that number has gone down to 49% and 46% believe he is not able to get things accomplished.
A large majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents view Obama as a fighter "to get his policies passed" and that he "stands up for what he believes in." Seventy-six percent say that the president stands up for what he believes in and 67% say he fights hard for legislative action.