WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s approval rating plunged to 41 per cent in a new poll yesterday, underlining that despite improving jobs data, his prospects for November’s election remain uncertain.
After several months in which signs of economic recovery appeared to enhance his political standing, Obama again appears to be facing a tough political environment, possibly due to rising gasoline prices.
In the New York Times/CBS News survey, Obama’s approval hit 41 percent, down nine percent from the 50 percent threshold — which incumbent president’s generally need to win reelection — recorded just a month ago.
Forty-seven percent of those asked disapproved of the job Obama was doing.
However, Obama fared better against potential Republican presidential candidates, beating the party’s front runner Mitt Romney by 47 percent to 44 percent and another Republican Rick Santorum by 48 percent to 44 percent.
Earlier, a Washington Post/ABC News poll also registered a drop in Obama’s approval rating, though the decrease was not quite so severe.
Only 46 per cent of those asked approved of the way Obama is handling his job and 50 per cent disapproved as he took a hit from rising gas prices.
The situation was a reversal from early February when 50 per cent approved of the president’s performance and 46 per cent disapproved.
Two-thirds of those asked said they disapproved with the way Obama was handling rising pump prices which now average nearly four dollars a gallon (3.8 liters).
Obama has repeatedly acknowledged that the rising price of gasoline is causing new pain for many American families still hurting following the deepest recession since the Great Depression, but says there is no “quick fix”. (AFP)