President Barack Obama retains strong personal appeal even as his overall job approval rating has weakened.
An overwhelming number of Americans — 75 percent — say they give President Obama a thumbs up regarding approval of him as a person, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released on Wednesday.
CNN notes that “Obama's strength remains his personal appeal” and adds that a “plurality of Republicans” also like him personally, though their positive views of the president are apparently trumped by economic jitters.
"Obama's approval among Republicans spiked after bin Laden's death, and no one expected it to stay that high for another 18 months. But the White House is probably worried more about the much smaller drops among independents and even Democrats. Those shifts are likely due to concerns about the economy, particularly unemployment," adds the CNN pollster.
In the new survey, only 48 percent of respondents say they approve of how Obama is handling his job, down 6 points from late May, while 48 percent say they disapprove, up 3 points from late last month.
Considering economic worries, including unemployment, gasoline prices, and the federal deficit, Obama’s poll numbers appear strong compared to previous presidents during bad times.
Presidents Reagan and Clinton, both viewed highly favorable in polls today, hit approval lows of 35 and 37 percent, respectively, during their presidencies.
President George W. Bush left the White House with an approval rating of just 22 percent, among the lowest for any president since polls have been conducted scientifically.
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