Slight Majority Also Supports Refusing Wedding Services To Gay Couples


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 50 percent of Americans said the economy is in poor shape in a new CBS News/New York Times poll released Tuesday.

The poll also showed Americans remain pessimistic about the U.S. fight against ISIS militants, and indicated that President Barack Obama’s approval rating was stable – but below 50 percent.

In the poll taken between Thursday, April 30 and Sunday, May 3, Americans continued to say the economy and jobs were the most important problem in the country. But after three months’ worth of positive assessments of the economy, pessimism now prevails, the poll said.

A total of 53 percent of respondents said they believe the economy is bad, while 45 percent said the economy is good. In March, 51 percent rated the economy as good, and in February, 54 percent did, the poll said.

But back in May of last year, 43 percent said the economy was good, and back in May 2012, only 32 percent did – while 67 percent of respondents back then said the economy was bad.

Most Americans also said the country was on the wrong track. A total of 53 percent said the country was headed in the wrong direction, while only 31 percent said it was headed in the right direction.

More than six in 10 Americans said the fight against Islamic State militants was going poorly for the U.S. A total of 64 percent said the fight was going badly, while only 27 percent said it was going well.

Republican voters in particular rated the fight against ISIS as going poorly, at a total of 81 percent of respondents. A total of 53 percent of Democrats likewise rated the ISIS fight as going badly, as well as 65 percent of independents.

President Obama’s rating remained stable compared with March and February at 45 percent. A total of 44 percent of respondents said they disapproved of the job the president is doing.

Ratings for Congress were overwhelmingly poor. After a slight uptick in March, a mere 12 percent of Americans now approve of how Congress is doing. A total of 80 percent of respondents said they disapprove.

Americans’ views of both political parties tended toward the unfavorable – with 29 percent of respondents rating the GOP favorably, and 43 percent rating the Democrats favorably.

A majority of respondents expressed disapproval of the Affordable Care Act – at 52 percent disapproving and 43 percent approving. The polling on the subject broke down along party lines, the poll said.

A total of 68 percent of Americans support legal status for undocumented immigrants now in the U.S., and 57 percent believe there should be a path to citizenship. Only 29 percent called for deportation of illegal immigrants.

On the subject of same-sex marriage, a total of 57 percent said it should be legal – a majority, but down three points from February. While most Democrats (66 percent) and independents (61 percent) supported legalizing same-sex marriage, most Republicans (61 percent) did not.

But just over half of Americans – 61 percent – said they believed small business owners should be allowed to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples if it came into conflict with their religious beliefs, the poll said.

The poll was conducted among 1,027 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.