President Barack Obama's job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40 percent according to the latest from Gallup.
The data was compiled from the July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking poll. Obama's previous low rating — 41 percent — occurred several times, the last of which was in April. As recently as June 7, Obama had 50 percent job approval.
Obama's approval rating averaged 46 percent in June and was near that level for most of July. However, it has stumbled in the past few days, coinciding with intensification of the debt ceiling/budget battle in Washington.
Obama's 40 percent overall approval rating nearly matches the recent 41 percent approval Americans gave him for handling the debt ceiling negotiations. Though Americans rate Obama poorly for his handling of the situation, they are less approving of how House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are handling it.
Gallup does not include ratings of Congress or congressional leaders in its Daily tracking, and thus, there is no overall job approval rating of Boehner, Reid, or Congress directly comparable to Obama's current 40 percent overall job approval rating.
Obama's job approval rating among Democrats is 72 percent, compared with 34 percent among independents and 13 percent among Republicans. In the prior three weeks, his average approval rating was 79 percent among Democrats, 41 percent among independents, and 12 percent among Republicans.
The debt crisis may be contributing to a generally sour mood for Americans that stretches beyond political ratings. For example, Gallup's Economic Confidence Index, which also is tracked daily, averaged -49 July 26-28, down 8 points in the last week and down 19 points since early July. The current index score is the worst Gallup has measured since March 2009.
The index consists of two questions, measuring Americans' ratings of current economic conditions and their assessments of whether the economy is getting better or worse.
Currently, 52 percent say economic conditions are poor, the highest since August 2010. And 75 percent of Americans say economic conditions are getting worse, a level not seen since March 2009.
The inability of U.S. lawmakers to agree on the debt ceiling has apparently shaken Americans' confidence in the economy and now seems to be taking its toll on the president's public support, with Obama's approval rating at a new low.
As the debt ceiling talks drag on, his ratings, as well as those of Congress (last measured at 18 percent in early July), could decline further. By the same token, if an agreement is reached, it could restore some degree of public confidence in U.S. political leaders and in the economy.
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