Polls indicate economy hurting Obama

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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A poll released by CNN Wednesday shows the President Obama’s approval ratings have slipped six points since late May, when he seemed to be enjoying a bump in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Just 48 percent of those polled said they approve of how Obama is handling his job as president, down from 54 percent approval late May of this year.

The results are similar to those found in a Washington Post/ABC poll released on Tuesday, which showed Obama’s approval dropping from 56 percent to 47 percent since May 2.

Obama’s falling approval numbers are likely a reflection of the economic times. 48 percent of respondents to the CNN poll said they believed another Great Depression was likely to occur in the next year, and 51 percent said that the economy was extremely important to their vote for president. Of the top five issues listed as extremely important, four relate to the economy: unemployment, gas prices, and the federal deficit. Health care is listed as the third most important issue.

(It’s not the economy, it’s you, says Obama)

The prominence of economic issues coupled with high unemployment seems likely to hurt Obama. A Gallup poll also released Wednesday has 60 percent of people disapproving of the way Obama is handling the economy. Though Obama gets high marks on dealing with terrorism, and approval from over 50 percent of respondents on dealing with Afghanistan and foreign affairs, it is clear that voters are not weighting those issues as heavily at this point.

How this will affect Obama’s chances at reelection remains to be seen. A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found American’s split on whether or not the president deserved to be reelected. 46 percent said he did deserve to be reelected, while 48 percent said he did not deserve to be reelected.

Nonetheless, the Quinnipiac poll had Obama beating each of the possible Republican contenders in a head-to-head race, including frontrunner Mitt Romney 47 percent to 41 percent. The Washington Post-ABC poll showed Romney beating Obama 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. But it should be noted that such a slim margin falls within the 3.5 percent margin of error of the poll, so they are not statistically significant.

(Economists say slow economic growth evidence by jobs report is becoming more problematic)

The CNN poll is based on telephone interviews conducted with 1,015 adult Americans between June 3 and June 7. The Quinnipiac poll is based on cell phone and landline interviews with 1,946 registered voters between May 31 and June 6. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percent. The Gallup poll is based on cell phone and landline interviews with 1,024 adults over age 18 living in the United States conduted May 12 and May 15. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. The Washington Post/ABC poll is based on cell phone and landline interviews with 1,002 adults between June 2 and June 5.

In dealing with the results, it is important to note that the Quinnipiac poll looks only at registered voters, while the others deal with all adults of voting age. It should also be taken into account that the Gallup poll was conducted two to three weeks before the other polls.