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Poll: Views on economy, ISIS more negative

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto, and Fred Backus

Views on the Economy, ISIS

Americans continue to say the economy and jobs are the most important problem facing the country. But after three months of positive assessments of the economy, more Americans now say the economy is bad (53 percent ) than say it is good (45 percent ). While these views are more negative than the last few months, they are similar to views of a year ago.


In addition, most Americans continue to say the country is off on the wrong track. Just 31 percent say the country is on the right track, while 63 percent say it's on the wrong track.

On the foreign policy front, more than six in ten Americans say the fight against the militant group ISIS is going badly for the U.S. Majorities across the political spectrum think the U.S. fight against ISIS is going badly, but Republicans are especially critical -- 81 percent of Republicans surveyed hold this opinion.

President Obama and Congress

The president's overall job approval rating is similar to what it was in March: 45 percent now approve, while nearly as many, 44 percent, disapprove.

Evaluations of the president on foreign policy and the economy are also largely unchanged, with 47 percent who disapprove his handling of the economy and 45 percent who disapprove his handling of foreign policy.

Ratings of Congress are overwhelmingly negative. After a slight uptick in Congress' approval rating in March, just 12 percent of Americans now approve of the job Congress is doing.


Americans' views of both political parties are more unfavorable than favorable, but opinions of the Democratic party are more positive than those of the Republican party.

More Americans continue to disapprove than approve of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats support the law, while Republicans oppose it.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans support legal status for illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., including more than half who favor a path to citizenship. Twenty-nine percent think illegal immigrants should be required to leave the U.S.

A majority of Americans (57 percent) continue to say it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry, although that's down three points from a high reached in February. Most Democrats (66 percent ) and independents (61 percent ) think same-sex marriage should be legal, while most Republicans (61 percent ) do not.


Still, just over half of Americans (51 percent) think small business owners should be allowed to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs; 42 percent think those businesses should be required to provide those services. There are sharp partisan differences on this issue.


This poll was conducted by telephone April 30-May 3, 2015 among 1,027 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and the New York Times by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percent age points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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