Thirty percent of registered voters say that when they vote in the fall midterm elections, they will be voting to express opposition to President Obama, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The number is identical to the amount expressing that sentiment in October 2010, shortly before a decisive Republican victory in that year’s midterms. It is also just 1 point less than the level of opposition shown towards President George W. Bush in 2006, prior to a major Democratic victory that year.


Twenty-four percent of respondents said their vote would be a sign of support for Obama, a slight uptick from the 22 percent who said so in 2010. Forty-three percent said their vote was not intended to send a message.

Unsurprisingly, voter responses had an extremely partisan dimension. Sixty-four percent of Republicans said their vote was a sign of opposition of Obama, compared to 31 percent of Independents and only 6 percent of Democrats. On the other side, 54 percent of Democrats said their vote was to support Obama, against just 11 percent of Independents and a 2 percent of Republicans.

Historical polling appears to indicate that Obama has a greater importance to the midterms than his predecessor. In George W. Bush’s two midterm races, 53 and 46 percent of voters said their vote was not meant to send a message of support or opposition to Bush. During the 1998 midterms, when Gallup conducted four separate polls, no more than 47 percent ever characterized their vote as a message to Bill Clinton.

The poll was conducted from April 24-30, with a random sample of 1,336 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.