Obama’s poll numbers indicate weak support on hot-button issues

A new poll funded by CNN shows President Barack Obama’s overall favorability remains just above 50 percent, while his support on current hot-button issues is stuck well below 50 percent, and falling sharply on immigration.

He has a 45 percent approval rating on guns, and is facing 52 percent disapproval for his handling of the issue. In a January CNN poll, 46 percent of respondents approved of his handling of the issue, while 49 percent disapproved.

On immigration, he’s at 44 percent approval, and is facing 50 percent disapproval. That’s a shift of 18 points from the January CNN poll, when he had 51 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval.

On taxes, he’s at 46 percent, while 52 percent disapprove. On the economy, he’s only at 44 percent approval, while 54 percent say they disapprove of his policies.

His approval rating is being held up by strong support from progressives and minorities, and has recently been nudged up by young people and women, partly because of his gay-friendly policies.

His 51 percent approval is up four points from the previous month, according to the poll of 1,012 adult Americans conducted by ORC International on April 5-7, 2013.

But he remains underwater on current controversies, despite lengthy, expensive and intensive efforts to move the polls his way.

Obama’s ratings have been “typically boosted by positive views of him as a person rather than his policies, and that dynamic seems to be still in force in his second term,” according to Keating Holland, CNN’s polling director

On April 8, Obama flew to Hartford, Conn., to revive his flagging gun-control efforts with the aid of parents whose children were murdered at the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook school massacre.

“Your families still grieve in ways most of us can’t comprehend … many of you have mobilized, and organized, and petitioned your elected officials “with love and logic,” … as citizens determined to right something gone wrong,” he told a friendly rally at Connecticut’s University of Hartford.

But the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have rallied opposition to his plans, sharply reducing his chance of winning even a symbolic victory in the Democratic-run Senate.

The CNN poll showed his gun policies garner support from only 37 percent of independents, and opposition from 60 percent of independents.

On immigration, Obama has kept a low profile, partly to minimize latent GOP opposition to the pending amnesty and guest-work bills being drafted behind closed doors in the Senate and House.

The CNN poll showed that only 40 percent of independents support his immigration policy, while 55 percent oppose those policies.

Behind closed doors, in Washington and elsewhere, he has pushed the immigration issue strongly.