Voters in California are beginning to turn on President Barack Obama, a move that calls into question whether he can pull off a re-election bid without this must-win state. Fewer than half of the state’s voters now approve of his job performance, a first since Obama took office, a new Field Poll
The poll of 1,001 California registered voters, taken Sept. 1-12, shows that 46 percent approve of the president’s performance, while 44 percent disapprove. Just three months ago, the numbers were 54 percent to 37 percent. The poll also found that, for the first time in Obama’s presidency, a majority of Californians disapprove of his handling of the economy by a margin of 54 percent to 40 percent.
Those favoring Obama’s re-election have shrunk to a plurality of just 5 points. In March and June, Californians favored re-election by 49 percent to 40 percent. That number now is 49-44.
Majorities of California voters believed the country was on the wrong track in the five years preceding Obama, reaching a high of 75 percent in 2008. During Obama’s presidency the number began to drop and turned positive in October 2009. However, the poll found that the negative numbers have begun to tick up and 68 percent now believe the country is on the wrong track. The 68 percent is the highest it has been since Obama took office.
Regardless, Californians maintain a positive view of the president, with 55 percent viewing him in a favorable light and 41 percent negatively.
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