A majority of voters think President Barack Obama's handling of the oil spill is the same or worse than President George W. Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, according to a new Marist poll.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the response to the BP spill was at least as bad as Katrina. That includes 34 percent who said it was the same, and 23 percent who said it was worse.

Marist also found that for the first time since Obama took office, more voters think Obama has fallen short of their expectations than surpassed them:

Half of voters — 50% — believe Mr. Obama has fallen short. 44%, on the other hand, report Mr. Obama has met or exceeded their expectations. 6% are unsure.

Public opinion has turned on this question. In March, a slim majority — 51% — said the president either reached their level of expectation or went above and beyond it. 45%, however, reported he missed the mark. 4% were unsure.


While there has been little change among Democrats and Republicans here, dissatisfaction has grown among independent voters. Nearly six in ten — 58% — report the president has disappointed them, and 34% view the president as meeting their expectations or going above and beyond them. 8% are unsure.

In Marist’s March survey, 48% within this key voting block thought the president was not living up to their standards while 45% reported he either met or surpassed them.