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Obama's sky-high popularity dips: Polls

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 16:03 IST

AFP
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President Barack Obama's job approval rating dipped in his first month in office amid ongoing economic woes and partisan battles over government spending plans, polls published on Friday showed.

Obama, who entered office on January 20 amid high expectations prompted by his positive election campaign, saw his star dull in a CNN and Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted between February 18-19 that said 67 per cent of Americans approved of his handling of the job.

The approval is down nine points from 76 per cent 11 days earlier.

Almost a third of those polled disapproved of Obama's handling of the job, while 23 per cent said he had fallen short of expectations.

Another poll by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics poll showed that Obama's job approval rating stood at 60 per cent on February 17-18, down from 65 per cent three weeks earlier.

The president's personal favorability rating also dipped according to the survey, with 68 per cent of Americans holding a favorable opinion of him compared to 76 per cent a month ago.

While Obama's approval ratings do remain relatively high, politicking over the 787 billion dollar stimulus plan passed by Congress on February 13 appears to have eaten into his previously stratospheric popularity.

Faced with strong Republican opposition to the plan, which cut taxes and increased government spending, Obama was forced to pin his name to the bill -- launching campaign style rallies around the US to urge its passage.

But while lawmakers in Washington were almost completely split along party lines -- with just three Congressional Republicans backing the plan -- Americans appear more positive.

According to the CNN poll 60 per cent were in favor of the bill, while 39 per cent were against.

Almost half of the 1,047 people polled said its passage constituted a major victory for Obama, despite little evidence that respondents thought it would benefit them directly.

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