NEW YORK – President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has hit 50 percent for the first time since he took office, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published late Friday.
The poll, conducted after Obama's economic address to Congress last week, shows worrying signs for the president, with 72 percent of Americans saying they believed the country was on the wrong track and more than half fearing the economy was either already in, or at least headed for, a double dip recession.
Obama's personal approval rating dipped to 43 percent, down from 48 percent in early August, while 57 percent of people disapproved of the way he is handling the economy.
With unemployment sitting at near ten percent, the issue of jobs overtook the economy as the most important problem facing the country. Thirty-two percent of respondents chose jobs as their most pressing issue, up from 26 percent in June.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they were somewhat confident or very confident Obama's American Jobs Act would create jobs and improve the economy.
Still, more people disapproved of the way Republicans were handling their job in Congress than Democrats, with 72 percent of respondents disapproving of Republican lawmakers, compared to a disapproval rating of 63 percent for Democrats.
In the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, the poll found that 23 percent wanted to see Texas Gov. Rick Perry nominated, ahead of Mitt Romney on 16 percent. Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann were tied for third on seven percent.
The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 10-15 with 1,452 adults throughout the US. The margin of error was +/- three percentage points.