By Justin Sink
President Obama's approval rating is in a summer swoon, according to a new poll from Fox News released Wednesday night, with just 42 percent of Americans approving of his job performance.
That's down 4 percentage points from the same Fox survey taken in the middle of July, and 7 percentage points from his 2013 high, in early February. More than half, 52 percent, of all Americans say they disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president.
The data suggests that the White House's recent push on the economy has been unable to slow a falling approval widely attributed to a number of recent controversies, from revelations about top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs to political targeting by the IRS.
In recent weeks, Obama has traveled the country for a series of economic addresses, claiming credit for the economy recovery, attempting to build support for his budget proposal and hammering Republicans for pursuing "phony" scandals.
But, according to the survey, only 24 percent say that the best way for Obama to solve the nation's problems is traveling the country and making policy speeches. By contrast, 63 percent would prefer Obama to lock himself in a room with Republicans and work out a solution.
Only 20 percent of those polled think Obama has proposed new ideas to aid the economy, while 71 percent say the president is recycling ideas he's talked about for the past few years.
Obama's slip comes despite approval ratings remaining steady for Congress. According to the survey, 32 percent approve of the job Democrats on the Hill are doing — matching their June numbers — while 24 percent approve of congressional Republicans, up a single percentage point from June.
That said, voters are much more likely to sympathize with the president's upcoming vacation to Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Those polled were evenly split, 48 percent to 48 percent, on whether the president had been working long enough to take his weeklong vacation. But when voters were asked if Congress had been working hard enough to deserve taking the summer recess, only 14 percent said yes, with 82 percent of respondents saying no.
The poll of 1,007 registered voters carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.