Poll: Weak economy hits Obama approval rating

A new poll finds President Obama’s approval rating hitting a low thanks to growing anxieties among voters on the state of the economy’s recovery.

Forty-seven percent of Americans surveyed approve of Obama’s job performance in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, down from 50 percent in the same survey last month. The poll finds 63 percent believe the country is on the wrong track, up 6 points from May.

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Those concerns about Obama’s economic policies have hurt him head-to-head against Romney, with the presumptive GOP nominee closing the gap to 1 percentage point. Romney now trails Obama 45 percent to 44 among registered voters, the poll finds.

Romney leads Obama 46 percent to 43 on which candidate would be better on creating jobs and on the economy generally. 

The results come in a month where the president’s reelection team has been forced to play defense on the economy, after a disappointing May jobs report and a comment from Obama that the private sector was “doing fine.” While Obama quickly clarified the remark, Republicans have continued to use it to hammer him as being out of touch.

“The economy is going through a rough patch, and that more than anything is going to determine President Obama's future,” said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson in a statement announcing the polling data.

"People's unhappiness with the economy carries over pretty directly to the president's numbers, and we see those weakening."

Obama’s weakness on the economy particularly hurts him among independents, where his approval plummeted to 35 percent from 48 percent. 

"Independents are especially susceptible to economic pressures, which is why we see them bouncing all over the place in their approval of the president," Jackson said. "The finding that he is not doing that well with them this month is something for Obama to worry about."

But Obama’s strategy of blaming a do-nothing Congress for hampering his efforts to boost the economy might be resonating with voters. The poll finds 70 percent think Congress has done more harm than good on the economy. Fifty percent say Obama has done more to help the economy than hurt it, with 44 percent saying his efforts have mostly harmed the recovery. 

The Reuters/Ipsos poll has a 3 percent margin of error. 

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