President Barack Obama has hit an all-time low in approval ratings, thanks in large part to the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act website aimed at signing up people for coverage, according to a new poll.
Just 42 percent approve of Obama while a record high of 55 percent disapprove, according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey released Tuesday. His approval rating is down 6 percentage points in the last month and 13 percentage points so far this year, compared with similar surveys.
Obama is now also upside down in the public's eye when it comes to personal ratings: More than 50 percent say he's not a strong leader, does not understand 'people like me' and is not honest and trustworthy.
The president recently apologizing for repeatedly saying that people could keep their current health insurance under the new law, as millions received cancellation notices. He also gave an extensive press conference last Thursday and said those who lost their insurance could sign up again on similar plans – which don't meet the health law's minimum standards – if their insurance company wanted to re-issue them and their state insurance commissioner approved them.
While 52 percent of the public says Obama was saying what he thought was true at the time, 44 percent think he was purposefully misleading.
The poll also showed 56 percent of the public said Obama is not a good manager, following the troubles with healthcare.gov, the online marketplace for buying insurance that was riddled with bugs and overwhelmed by volume since its Oct. 1 launch.
Overall, 57 percent say they oppose the Affordable Care Act, up from a month ago when the public was split about evenly. About 63 percent say they disapprove of Obama's handling of the law and 70 percent say Obama should delay the requirement that individuals all buy health insurance.
But 58 percent say they support the health law's requirement that companies with 50 or more employees provide health insurance, a provision that has already been delayed for a year after protests from the business community.
Obama is undoubtedly aware that his presidential legacy – and ability to govern the rest of his second term – rest heavily on how the rest of implementation of his signature domestic policy plays out.
Monday night he was on a conference call with supporters – the group Organizing for Action, which is a former campaign arm – asking them to help get people signed up for insurance.
"As we go into this holiday season, we got to remember the conversations we have around the dinner table, when we are talking to coworkers at Christmas parties, when we are out there in communities, our churches, our synagogues," Obama said to a reported 200,000 volunteers.
"Despite all the noise out there, despite all the criticism, despite all the setbacks we've experienced throughout this process, I have never lost faith in our ability to get this done and mainly that's because of all of you. You guys have lifted me up and lifted each other up at every step of the way."
While the president has kept the support of most Democrats and long been opposed by Republicans, it's a wide swath of independents and moderates who have soured on him that is driving the plummeting numbers.
The poll surveyed 1,006 adults via phone between Nov. 14-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.