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Wednesday
Aug172011

Obama Approval on Economy Plummets to 26 Percent, a New Low

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s approval rating on the economy has plummeted 11 points since May to a new low for his presidency, according to a new Gallup survey.
 
Just 26 percent of Americans now think Obama is doing a good job handling the economy, down from 37 percent in mid-May -- a sharp departure from the past 18 months, when the number had hovered around the 35-39 percent range.
 
The same poll, which was conducted Aug. 11-14, finds 71 percent disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, a new high.  The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.
 
The figures underscore the challenges facing Obama following a bruising political battle over the debt ceiling, first downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, wild swings on Wall Street and persistent unemployment above nine percent.  
 
When asked about what disillusionment over the economy might mean for his chances of a second term, Obama told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday that he’s going to appeal to the American people for patience -- and enlist their help in urging Congress to act.
 
“When I came into office, I knew I was going to have a big mess to clean up and, frankly, the mess has been bigger than I think a lot of people anticipated at the time,” Obama said. “We have made steady progress on these fronts, but we're not making progress fast enough.”
 
“Ultimately, the buck stops with me.  I'm going to be accountable,” he said. “I think people understand that a lot of these problems were decades in the making.  People understand that this financial crisis was the worst since the Great Depression.  But, ultimately, they say, look, he's the president, we think he has good intentions, but we're impatient and we want to see things move faster.
 
“I understand that, I'm sympathetic to it and we're going to just keep on putting forward ideas that are going to be good for the country. We're going to need a partner from Congress, and we're going to need folks to move off some of these rigid positions they've been taking in order to solve these problems.”
 
The president has said he plans to roll out a new, “specific” plan to grow jobs and the economy shortly after Labor Day when Congress returns to Washington.
 
His overall approval rating, according to the most recent Gallup daily tracking poll, stands at 39 percent.

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