Poll: Obama approval at 43%, Congress at 12%

President Obama’s approval rating is at just 43 percent, continuing a steady slide that began in May when 57 percent had a favorable rating of his job performance, according to a new poll.

The New York Times-CBS News poll paints a bleak picture for a president seeking re-election amid a stagnant economy, high unemployment and sizable federal deficits -- factors the poll found has created a downtrodden electorate.

Eighty-six percent of those surveyed feel the state of the U.S. economy is either very bad or fairly bad. And nearly half -- 48 percent -- believe the nation is moving toward another recession.

The poll found the economy and jobs are the two issues that Americans believe are the nation’s gravest problems, with a smaller portion of those surveyed citing budget deficits as the biggest issue.

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Obama has some work to do in building confidence among voters that he can cure the nation’s economic woes.

Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, up from 47 percent about one year ago.

On jobs, the results were slightly better for Obama. Fifty-three percent expressed disapproval with his efforts to create new jobs. But more of those surveyed (40 percent) still believe Democrats are more likely to create new jobs than Republicans (32 percent).

While Obama’s approval numbers continue to slide in just about every poll, Americans’ view of Congress is far worse.

In the Times-CBS poll, 80 percent expressed dissatisfaction with how lawmakers are handling their job, while 12 percent approved. That is an improvement from the 82 percent disapproval rate from an August version of the same poll -- Congress was in recess for much of that span, however.

Both Congressional Democrats and Republicans received low marks on how participants thought they are handling their jobs. Democrats got a 63 percent disapproval rate and Republicans a 72 percent dissatisfaction rate. Both parties received worse grades than the poll showed last year.

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed participants view Texas Governor Rick Perry as the front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination race.

Perry was favored by 23 percent of participants, with former Massachusettes Gov. Mitt Romney favored by 16 percent. Rep. Michelle Bauchman (Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both favored by 8 percent; 12 percent of those polled remain undecided.

Half of those polled want more choices in the GOP race, down from 61 percent in June.

Asked whether they would like to see former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to be a national political figure for “many years to come,” 41 percent said yes.