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Obama up and down in polls

world Updated: Mar 13, 2012 23:57 IST
Yashwant Raj

Is President Barack Obama's approval rating crashing or surging? The answer depends on the poll you trust or don't.

A New York Times/CBS poll on Monday joined an earlier Washington Post/ABC poll to show Obama crashing, at 41%.

The same day, Gallup showed the President surging to 49%.

This will give no comfort to Republican presidential hopefuls on the eve of crucial primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

Mitt Romney, the shaky frontrunner, went "y'all" to sound southern to southern voters, but with little promise.

In simulated head-to-head contests, both Romney and Rick Santorum appeared statistically close to Obama.

Gingrich and Paul have fared badly, consistently.

But can Obama do worse?

Soaring gas prices appear to be his chief problem now - floating up close to the $5 mark in many parts of the country.

And Obama is being held directly accountable for them, according to a majority of respondents in the Times/CBS poll.

Republican candidates such as Gingrich believe they have found a vulnerability that could be the end of Obama. The former House speaker is drilling that hole with a promise of $2.50 a gallon for gas.

The narrative gets complicated for the Obama campaign as it has come at a time when the economy is looking good. While joblessness remains unchanged, the number of jobs created in February remained high.