WASHINGTON, Sept 6 President Barack Obama's job
approval ratings plunged to a new low ahead of his major
economic speech on Thursday, with widespread discontent among
Americans over his handling of the economy and jobs, according
to a spate of polls released on Tuesday.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 1,000 U.S. adults
showed Obama's overall job approval rating at a low of 44
percent, down 3 percentage points since July, while his
handling of the economy stands at 37 percent.
A Democratic pollster who helped conduct the survey said
the poor results, which contain a 3.1 percentage-point margin
of error, suggest Obama is no longer favored to win re-election
An ABC News/Washington Post poll of U.S. adults showed that
six in 10 Americans rate the president's job on the economy and
jobs negatively, while one in three say they are now worse off
financially since Obama entered the White House. It has a 3.5
percentage point margin of error.
A third poll of 1,000 likely voters by Washington-based
Politico and George Washington University found that 72 percent
of voters believe the country is either strongly or somewhat
headed in the wrong direction, a jump of 12 percent since last
May. That survey's results have a 3.1 percentage point error
The polling, conducted last week, offers grim news for the
president after a summer spent wrangling with Republicans in
Congress over the debt ceiling and the budget in a rancorous
debate that ended with Standard and Poor's unprecedented
downgrade of the U.S. triple-A credit rating.
The polls also come three days ahead of his widely
anticipated presidential speech to Congress, in which Obama is
expected to confront Republican resistance to his agenda for
creating jobs and spurring economic growth.
The package is expected to include projects for rebuilding
roads, bridges and other infrastructure across the country, an
approach Republicans who control the House of Representatives
reject as wasteful spending.
New job figures, showing zero U.S. employment growth in
August and a national jobless rate stuck at 9.1 percent, have
stoked fears the U.S. economy could slide back into recession.
Obama's ability to reignite the economy could determine
whether he keeps his own job in the White House after 2012.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed the president
leading Republican front-runner Rick Perry, the Texas governor,
by 47 percent to 42 percent and former Massachusetts Governor
Mitt Romney by 46 percent to 45 percent.
But for the first time in that poll, Obama lost out to a
generic Republican candidate by 44 percent to 40 percent, which
could suggest a serious campaign obstacle given the bleak
"Obama is no longer the favorite to win re-election," said
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the NBC/Wall
Street Journal survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Jackie Frank)