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Fox News Poll: Majority Thinks Obama Better at Campaigning Than Governing

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Feb. 25: President Obama listens during a meeting with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to discuss health care reform. (AP)

The consensus among American voters is Barack Obama is better at campaigning for the job than at doing the job, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. In addition, half of voters say the Obama administration doesn’t “get it.”

As the president’s approval rating remains in the high forties, the poll finds that voters by a wide 62 to 17 percent margin think Obama is better at campaigning than at governing.

PDF: Click here for full poll results.

It isn’t surprising most Republicans feel this way (83 percent). What may surprise the White House is that nearly seven out of 10 independents say they feel the president is better at campaigning than governing, and so do more Democrats (albeit by a thin 6 percentage-point edge). More than one out of five Democrats was unable to choose between campaigning and governing and volunteered a “both” response (22 percent).

On Wednesday there were reports, dismissed by the administration, the White House is starting to make plans for its 2012 re-election campaign.

While 47 percent of voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, almost as many -- 45 percent -- disapprove.

Earlier this month the president received his lowest job ratings to date when 46 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved (February 2-3, 2009).

Vice President Joe Biden recently said the administration understands why American voters are angry and bluntly stated, “We get it.” Nearly half of voters agree with Biden (45 percent). Yet half -- 50 percent -- say no, the administration doesn’t get it. That includes over one of five Democrats (22 percent).

More than half of independents (52 percent) think the administration doesn’t “get it,” while 44 percent agree with the vice president that it does.

The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from February 23 to February 24. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Obama’s Job Ratings On the Issues

Looking at the issues, President Obama receives his highest approval rating on Afghanistan, with 51 percent approving of his handling of the war. That’s up from 49 percent in December.

The president’s approval on Afghanistan is a tad better than the 50 percent approval he receives for handling terrorism, though it is significantly higher than his approval on the other issues.

By a 56 to 40 percent margin, more voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, marking a new low. His numbers on job creation are similar (41 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove).

On health care, 37 percent approve and 56 percent disapprove. This is the lowest approval and highest disapproval yet for the president on health care.

Obama receives his lowest rating on the federal deficit, as many more voters disapprove (61 percent) than approve (31 percent).