Washington: A majority of Americans disapproves of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy, according to a new news agency-GfK poll. The pessimism hurts his re-election chances as the November election looms, with the poll showing that Republican challenger Mitt Romney has exploited those concerns and moved into a virtual tie in the race.
Both candidates are taking their economic-focused messages today and tomorrow directly to Hispanic leaders, facing a large gathering of the increasingly influential voting bloc for the first time since immigration was thrust into the forefront of the presidential contest last week.
The new poll indicates they face a tough crowd. Months of declining job creation have left the public increasingly glum, with only 3 out of 10 adults saying the US is headed in the right direction. Five months before the election, the economy remains Obama`s top liability.
Obama has lost the narrow lead he held just a month ago among registered voters. In the new poll, 47 percent say they will vote for the president and 44 percent for Romney, a difference that is not statistically significant. The poll also shows that Romney has recovered well from a bruising Republican primary, with more of his supporters saying they are certain to vote for him now.
Still, in a measure of Romney`s own vulnerabilities, even some voters who say they support Romney believe the president will still be re-elected. Of all adults polled, 56 per cent believe Obama will win a second term.
The new poll shows about half 49 percent approve of how Obama is handling his job as president, dropping him below the 50 percent mark he was above in May. Disapproval of Obama is highest 55 percent for his handling of the economy. Still, registered voters are split virtually evenly on whether Romney or Obama would do a better job improving it.
The poll shows a majority believes Obama will still be re-elected, a shift from an even split on the question seven months ago. In December, 21 percent of Republicans said they thought Obama would win re-election; that`s risen to 31 percent now. And among independents, the share saying Obama will win has climbed from 49 percent to 60 percent. Among Democrats, it was 75 percent in both polls.