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Obama's disapproval rating hits new high

By the CNN Political Unit
President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has reached a new high of 55%, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.
President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has reached a new high of 55%, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Overall, 55% of Americans say they disapprove of how Obama is doing as president
  • 39% think Obama's policies kept the economy from getting worse; 9% say they made it better
  • 37% think his policies have made the economy worse

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has reached a new high of 55% while the number of Americans who think he is a strong leader has dropped to a new low, 48%, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.

And a familiar pattern in public opinion on Obama again asserts itself: Americans don't like his track record on major issues while they continue to like him personally. Nearly eight in 10 respondents say Obama is likeable; large majorities believe he is compassionate, hard-working, and has a vision for the country's future. Three-quarters think he fights for his beliefs.

But only 39% approve of how he is handling unemployment, and just 36% approve of the way he is handling the economy, not surprising when more than eight in 10 think the economy is in poor shape.

Opinion on Obama's economic track record is mixed, however. While fewer than one in 10 (9%) think his policies have made the economy better, about four in 10 (39%) credit them with preventing the economy from being even worse than it is today. On the other side, 37% say Obama has made economic conditions worse. Fifteen percent think his policies have had no effect.

Overall, 55% now say they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president. That's one point higher than the 54% disapproval rating he routinely hit in polls taken in July and August. Forty-three percent now say they approve of how Obama is handling his job overall. That is not an all-time low for him; he hit 42% a year ago. Six in 10 say Obama has fallen short of their expectations.

Obama: What are we waiting for?

Those numbers are not great, but they're way better than the 15% who approve of how Congress is handling its job.

One piece of good news for Obama is that his standing among the Democratic base has turned the corner after a drop in the wake of the debt ceiling agreement. The number of Democrats who wanted the party to renominate Obama dropped to an all-time low of 70% in early August, but it rose to 72% in the previous poll and 76% in the current survey.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International September 9-11, with 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The sampling error for the question asked only of Democrats is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

 
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