Obama approval on economy reaches new low in poll

Americans’ approval of President Obama’s handling of the economy reached a new low this week, the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll showed.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they disapprove of his handling of the economy as opposed to 42 percent who approve of it. Obama’s numbers are down from CNN’s last survey in March, when Americans registered their disapproval at 55-44 percent. 

In August of last year, 49 percent of voters said they approved of his handling of the economy, as opposed to 51 percent who disapproved. 

The poll numbers came as the president signed into law two measures designed to bolster the economy both in the short-term and the long-term; an extension of unemployment benefits and a sweeping reform of the country’s financial regulations. 

But the jobless rate is still hovering at 9.5 percent despite six straight months of private sector job growth. Obama has said his economic agenda, which includes the $787 billion stimulus, is putting the economy back on track. But he has said he will not be satisfied until more people are put back to work. 

Forty-seven percent rated the economy as the most important issue facing the country, putting it in front of all other issues. 

The Wall Street bill and the benefits extension were top priorities of the Obama administration, but the controversy surrounding the firing of a black USDA official, Shirley Sherrod, over a speech she made on race partially overshadowed the legislative victories. 

The poll was taken between July 16-21 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.