BAD ECONOMY, GOOD PRESIDENT: POLL FINDS 86% OF AFRICAN
AMERICANS GIVE OBAMA FAVORABLE RATING
• Bad Economy Blamed on President George W. Bush, Congress and Wall Street;
Disapproving Respondents Don’t Look to Another Presidential Alternative
Los Angeles, CA – August 22, 2012 – With many citing the economy as the most important issue for the
2012 presidential election, Loop21.com, a leading digital source of emergent Black culture, and a
coalition of top black civic, entertainment and media organizations, conducted The State of the Black
Economy (SOBE) survey, a study of African American public opinion on the issue. The study,
conducted from July 9th to July 27th, tapped into a panel of more than 5,000 regular African American
visitors to the Loop21.com website.
According to polling results released today, Loop21.com’s African American panel respondents are more
pessimistic about the national economy than they are on their own personal finances, however, 86%
approve of President Obama’s performance on the economy. While overall the president’s economic job
approval number have been hovering around the mid to low 40s; African Americans see him as doing
much better than the public at large. The panel respondents tend to blame the current economic problems
on former President George W. Bush, Wall Street, and Congress, more so than President Obama. Panel
respondents also tend to think that President Obama’s race influences the public criticism he receives
when people speak about his economic job performance.
When panel respondents who disapproved (14%) of the President’s performance on the economy were
asked who could do better than President Obama the most common response suggested no one. The
second most common response among disapproving respondents was that a Democratic Congress could
do better. The distant third most common response (9%) was a third-party Presidential candidate. The
list of responses—panel respondents could only check one—included a Republican President (1%), the
Republican Congress (<1%), a Democratic other than Obama (6%), a Democratic Congress (20%), a non-
Democrat or non-Republican president (9%), a different African American (1%), none of the above
(44%), and unsure (17%).
Asked specifically about how much President Obama “cares about the needs of Black people” compared
to “past presidents” and compared to “former President Bill Clinton,” respondents said that Obama cared
more than past presidents, but equal amounts said he cared “the same” as or “more” than former President
Panelists also offered opinions about job policy priorities. When asked about the issue of jobs in the
United States, a majority of panel respondents say job creation should be more important than reducing
the deficit and that tougher immigration enforcement would not lead to more job opportunities. The panel
respondents were split on the issue of whether tax decreases for business would stimulate job growth.
Panel respondents also preferred “issue targeted” policies over “race targeted” policies.
On the issue of race, (70%) of the panel respondents see “African Americans” as sharing more common
experiences than “Americans” in general, (55%). The survey also found that panel respondents perceive
more racial bias for other African Americans than they experience in their own daily lives; yet, list
“workplace discrimination” among their greatest concerns for job security.
Racial perceptions influenced African Americans panel respondents’ assessment of criticism leveled at
President Obama. The overwhelming majority of respondents hold the view that all “Americans” and
“African Americans” hold President Obama to a “higher standard than other presidents.” When asked
why, nearly 9 out of 10 responded that both “Americans” and “African Americans” hold President
Obama to a higher standard “because of his race”.
The findings from the 2012 “State of the Black Economy” (SOBE) study, which took place from July 9th
through July 27th, reflect the collective self-reported views of over a thousand African American panel
respondents. The panel is a diverse mix of individuals across a range of demographics. For more
information on the results, go to http://www.Loop21.com/politics/sobe-2012-stats. Loop21.com commissioned
the survey in an effort to better understand the economic priorities of African Americans and the
perceptions behind the racial disparity that exists in today’s economy.
Founded on the dual principles of strength in diversity and informed empowerment, Loop21.com delivers
keen insight to an enlightened audience seeking a contemporary interpretation of today’s evolving global
society. Through original, in-depth features, comprehensive cultural reporting, and contemporary
lifestyle tips, Loop21.com is an authoritative source on emergent Black culture. For more information
Martine Charles, 206-295-9114