The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s poll confirmed that voters are frustrated, divided and that a slim plurality is willing to give Democrat Hillary Clinton a chance. But while two-thirds of voters said the country was on the wrong track, it appears many aren’t blaming the nation’s leader for the problems.
Exactly 50 percent of Georgia voters gave President Barack Obama a favorable approval rating as he enters the final stretch of his presidency, according to the AJC poll. That’s one point above the total he netted in the AJC’s January poll, and much higher than previous surveys of Peach State voters that had him in the low-40s or high-30s.
Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of Democrats had a positive outlook on Obama. But he also fared decently with independents, a typically conservative bunch. That bloc split down the middle on Obama, with 46 percent giving him a favorable review, 46 percent giving him an unfavorable review, and the other 8 percent undecided.
How could that influence Georgia’s presidential race? At last month’s Democratic National Convention, Clinton wholeheartedly embraced Obama’s legacy, and the president said he was ready to “pass the baton” to her. On a national scale, his approval ratings now stand at nearly the highest level of his second term, and Clinton backers hope that spills over to her campaign.
But she also plays the Obama card at her peril in Georgia. Republican Donald Trump has been eager to brand the former secretary of state as a “third term” for Obama, and he remains wildly unpopular with GOP partisans. Some two-thirds of white voters, and 87 percent of Republicans, gave him a poor rating.