Obama's Approval Dives as Gas Prices Rise

Nearly two-thirds polled disapprove of way the president is handling gas prices.

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President Obama isn't home free in his quest for a second term despite a run of relatively good economic news. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that disapproval of Obama's handling of the economy is getting worse as a result of rising gasoline prices.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gas prices.]

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the issue of rising gasoline prices, and only 26 percent approve of his work on the issue, the poll finds. Most Americans say higher gas prices are hurting their family finances.

The price per gallon of regular has risen above $3.80 per gallon nationally, with prices going up 3.4 cents per gallon over the last weekend alone, according to a survey for AAA, an organization representing motorists.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans give Obama negative ratings on the overall economy, and 50 percent give him strongly negative ratings, a deterioration by nine percentage points from last month. Earlier this month, Obama seemed to be moving beyond the long-time trouble in the economy.

[How Mother Nature Trumps Rising Gas Prices.]

One reason was the favorable news about job creation and unemployment. As recently as Friday, the government reported that there was a gain of 227,000 jobs in the past month.

But as the poll suggests, perceptions are changing and Americans seem to be growing impatient again that the economy isn't strengthening at a fast-enough rate.

Not only are public views of Obama's handling of the economy dropping, so is public approval of how he is handling his job. Only 46 percent now approve and 50 percent disapprove, a switch from early February when 50 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved, according to the Post/ABC poll.

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