Obama’s support slides: survey

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 7:47 EDT
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WASHINGTON (AFP) – US voters’ trust in President Barack Obama’s ability to get his job done well has slid to a new low, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday found.

“Four months before midterm elections that will define the second half of his term, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy,” the report said.

More than one third of voters surveyed — 36 percent — said they had “no confidence or only some confidence” in the president, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans, the poll found.

The tough assessment of Obama’s performance comes as he struggles with military action abroad, lingering high unemployment at home, weak stock and housing markets, and the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

That could be bad news for his Democrats in Congress in this fall’s midterm elections. And if they lose ground, Obama could end up a lame duck in the second half of his term in the White House.

“Just 26 percent of registered voters say they are inclined to support their representative in the House this fall; 62 percent are inclined to look for someone new,” the Post-ABC report said.

“Among those who say they are sure to cast ballots in November, 49 percent side with the (Republicans) and 45 percent with Democrats,” it added.

“Overall, a slim majority of all voters say they would prefer Republican control of Congress so that the legislative branch would act as a check on the president’s policies,” the report said.

Specifically on the economy, 43 percent of those surveyed said they approve of Obama’s performance, the poll found.

Obama meanwhile has argued that he has made the tough decisions that staved off a second Great Depression.

“This is a choice between the policies that led us into the mess, or the policies that are leading out of the mess,” he said in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Those comments were echoed on Sunday by senior White House aide David Axelrod, who suggested that the Republicans were likely to come in for tougher scrutiny, particularly over their handling of the economy, when the vote comes.

“They turned a 237 billion dollar surplus that Bill Clinton left into a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit. And they’re running on the same policies.

“So people have to decide,” Axelrod told ABC television. “Do they want to go forward or do they want to go back?”

Though Democrats fear the elections, much remains uncertain about polls which will see nearly a third of the Senate and the entire 435-seat House up for grabs.

But given the anger sweeping the country, incumbents of all stripes, and not just Democrats, have reason to look to the voters with trepidation.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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