Public pessimism about the direction of the country has jumped to its highest level in nearly three years, erasing the sense of hope that followed President Barack Obama’s inauguration and pushing his approval ratings to a record low, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.More than 60% of those surveyed, say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43% now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53% disapprove, a new high.
As part of a reinvigorated effort to regain momentum as he heads toward the 2012 election year, Obama travelled to Detroit on Monday for a Labour Day appearance that served as a prelude to his speech on Thursday to a joint session of the Congress in which he will unveil new proposals to create jobs.
The urgency for Obama to act is driven not just by the most recent unemployment report, which showed no job growth in August and the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1%, but also by the depth of the political hole in which the president finds himself. Even more than two-thirds of those who voted for Obama say things are badly off course.
By this time in their presidencies, approval ratings for both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — who also suffered serious midterm setbacks during their first term — had settled safely above the 50% mark. Both then stayed in positive territory throughout their reelection campaigns.
Nonetheless, the current trends are highly unfavourable for Obama. By 2 to 1, more Americans now say the administration’s economic policies are making the economy worse rather than better.
The percentage of Americans disapproving of how the president is doing when it comes to creating jobs spiked 10 percentage points higher since July.
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