Poll: Majority think Obama should not win second term; approval at new low

A majority believes President Obama should not win reelection and his job approval stands at a new low, throwing into doubt his chances to earn reelection, according to a new AP/GfK poll.

More than half of those polled — 52 percent — said that President Obama should be voted out of office, a record high. Only 43 percent say he deserves a second term. Only 44 percent approve of the job Obama has done as president, with 54 percent disapproving.

Those numbers are a sharp decline from May, when 53 percent said Obama should be reelected. Only 38 percent of independents approve of the job the president is doing, and only 39 percent of all voters approve of Obama's handling of the economy.

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Only 26 percent said the United States was headed in the right direction, and less than a third of respondents said they supported the president's signature healthcare reform legislation.

But while those general metrics betray discouraging signs for the president, there is some reason for hope for the White House.

More people think the economy got better in the last month than worse — the first time respondents have answered that way since May. Forty-five percent approve of the president's handling of the unemployment crisis, up from 40 percent in October. 

The number who described the economy as "very poor" fell from 43 percent in October to 34 percent now. 

Respondents also generally like Obama personally, with a majority of Americans rating him with a positive personal favorability.  

And in head-to-head match-ups with hypothetical Republican opponents, Obama still leads. Forty-seven percent of respondents favored Obama over Mitt Romney, who earned 46 percent; pitted against Newt Gingrich, Obama leads 51 percent to 42.