President Obama faces historic lows in poll numbers

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Devastating poll numbers met President Barack Obama Tuesday morning, indicating that although fall is just around the corner, the summer of discontent is far from over.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that more than half of Americans disapprove of Obama’s job performance. And more than one-third of Americans say they are worse off since Obama took office — a question first posed by presidential candidate Ronald Reagan during his successful 1980 campaign against incumbent President Jimmy Carter.

Seventy-seven percent said the country is headed on the wrong track. That number is up 17 percentage points since George W. Bush left office. In addition, 34 percent said the Obama administration has done more harm than good for the nation’s floundering economy. Only 17 percent said the president has done more good. (RELATED: Obama pitches partisan Labor Day message)

The poll also shows that only 15 percent strongly approve of Obama’s performance, which is a record low for the president.

The White House isn’t the only branch that was hit with low approval numbers Tuesday morning. The poll also showed that 68 percent disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress have been doing their jobs. That number is only one point below the record high in 1994.

Taken together, more than a third of Americans simultaneously disapprove of Obama and Congressional Republicans.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also released on Tuesday has Obama’s job approval rating at a low 44 percent — down from 47 percent in July. The poll also shows only a 37 percent approval rating for his handling of the economy.

The NBC poll had still another stark number for the president: 54 percent believe he is facing a longer-term setback — one he’s not likely to recover from. In January, only 39 percent of respondents agreed with that sentiment.

The low poll numbers come after this summer’s fierce face-off over the debt ceiling between the president and congressional Republicans. The political battle dragged on for weeks, leaving a politically weary public. The subsequent Standard & Poor’s credit downgrade, coupled with stubbornly high unemployment numbers, have also impacted poll numbers.

In an attempt to allay public anxiety and address unemployment, which stands at over 9 percent, Obama has convened a rare joint session of Congress this Thursday night to lay out his jobs plan.

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