The Washington Post

Economic pessimism skyrockets as Obama approval rating declines

Fully 60 percent of Americans say the economy is in a downturn and getting worse in a new CNN poll, up from 36 percent in April and the highest in polls since early 2010. And President Obama faces a freshly worried public with some of his worst approval ratings to date.

Half of all Americans disapprove of the president compared with 42 percent who approve in Gallup’s latest tracking numbers from Thursday to Saturday. Obama’s approval numbers are near their worst in the most recent national polls by Gallup, CBS/NYT, Pew, CNN, and Post-ABC, and his ratings on the economy and deficit are weaker still: 57 and 60 percent disapproved of his handling of the economy and deficit, respectively, in the most recent Post-ABC poll, compared with 48 percent disapproval for the way he is handling his job overall.

The last time Obama addressed such immediate panic on Wall Street was in September 2008 amid the collapse of Lehmann Brothers. That period marked a turning point in the race as Obama gained a clear advantage in Post-ABC polls over GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), leading to victory on Election Day.

Scott Clement is the polling manager at The Washington Post, specializing in public opinion about politics, election campaigns and public policy.

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