Muslims, Jews still like Obama as his approval rating slips

US President`s overall job approval ratings have been falling sharply.

Washington: Muslims and Jews in the United States remain among the most ardent supporters of President Barack Obama, whose overall job approval ratings have been falling sharply, a Gallup poll showed on Friday.

The survey which tracked opinions over a period from January 21 to July 31 showed 78 percent of Muslims and 61 percent of Jews approved of Obama`s job performance.

The President`s overall rating in the Gallup poll has slipped from 63 percent from the January-June 2009 period and 53 percent in July-December 2009, Gallup figures showed.

But Muslims and Jews -- which each represent less than two percent of the US population -- have remained largely favourable to Obama even though his ratings have fallen among all faiths.

Among Protestants, which represent a majority of Americans, Obama`s approval rating has slipped to 43 percent in the latest poll from 58 percent a year earlier.

Catholics gave Obama a 50 percent approval rating from 67 percent last year.

Just 24 percent of Mormons, who have been among the least favourable toward the President, approved of Obama`s job performance, down from 43 percent a year earlier.

"President Obama`s job approval ratings have fallen significantly between his first six months in office and this year so far, and his ratings among major religious groups have fallen in rough lock step," Gallup said.

"The pattern that pertained when Obama first took office -- high ratings among Muslims, those with no religious identity, those identifying with non-Christian religions, and Jews; and lower ratings among Protestants and Mormons -- continues today.”

"Although his standing has dropped among Americans in each of these groups, Obama has retained a little more strength among Muslims, the group giving him the highest ratings, and has lost a little more among Mormons, the group giving him the lowest ratings."

The poll comes with Obama trying to steer a course amid a controversy over plans to build an Islamic centre near the site of the World Trade Towers destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.