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Obama, Republicans battered in two new polls

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 – Public support for both President Barack Obama and the US Congress has hit news lows, as a pair of polls Tuesday reflected Americans’ frustration with the stalled economy and rancorous partisan squabbling.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll, released just days ahead of Obama’s planned major address on job creation, found that 53 percent disapprove of his job performance and 77 percent think the country is on the “wrong track.”

The poll found 35 percent of Americans believe they have become worse off financially under Obama’s presidency, the highest since the 1980s.

The poll found that 34 percent of Americans believe his efforts have done more harm than good for the economy, compared to 17 percent who believe the opposite, reflecting the main line of attack of Republicans hoping to take back the White House in next year’s elections.

However, the poll also found anger aimed at Republicans, with 68 percent of those surveyed disapproving of the job performance of Republican lawmakers, 15 points higher than Obama’s disapproval rating.

And on whom Americans trust to handle the economy, job creation and the federal deficit, Obama and the Republicans poll about evenly, at around 40 percent for all three.

Meanwhile an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also showed Obama’s approval rating had fallen sharply.

The poll found the percentage of Americans who view Obama negatively at an all-time high 51 percent, while the percentage holding positive feelings, 44 percent, is at its lowest point since late 2007, when he was still a presidential candidate.

The same poll found that 82 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, the highest percentage ever of disaffection for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The survey found that approval of the president’s handling of the economy at a low of 37 percent, while only 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, the lowest mark of his presidency.

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The dismal poll numbers raised the stakes for Obama’s major address to be delivered before a joint session of Congress Thursday, at which he is to announce a new plan to get the economy back on track and try to chip away at the country’s stubborn nine percent unemployment.

In a rare bright spot for the president, the ABC/Washington Post poll found that 62 percent of Americans approve of his battle against terrorism, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and four months after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

That poll was conducted Aug. 29-September 1, surveyed 1,001 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which had a 3.1 percent sampling error, was taken between August 27 and August 31 and surveyed 1,000 adults.

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