8 Sep 2011

Obama rating now at lowest level

10:13 am on 8 September 2011

The job approval rating for US president Barack Obama is at the lowest level since he took office.

With unemployment stuck above 9% and political gridlock in Washington, a poll by ABC News/Washington Post says 53% of Americans now disapprove of Mr Obama's performance.

Things are even more grim on the economy - six in 10 people think he is doing a bad job there.

And 78% of political independents think the country is on the wrong track.

The ABC reports independents crucial to Mr Obama's re-election.

''The fact is almost two thirds of Americans think that the hope and change that President Obama said he'd deliver - he delivered and it doesn't work,'' said conservative talk show host Lars Larson.

A separate NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts the president's approval ratings even lower.

For the first time in that poll, Mr Obama trails a generic Republican opponent by 40% to 44%.

A Democratic pollster who helped conduct the survey says the poor results suggest the president is no longer favoured to win re-election in 2012.

Mr Obama is to deliver a speech to Congress on Thursday when he is expected to confront Republican resistance to his agenda and lay out new plans to spur job creation and economic growth.

The only consolation for the president is that Americans are just as disappointed in the opposition.

The ABC reports 68% disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their jobs. Record numbers say they do not trust either side to fix the economy.