More than 4 of 10 likely voters who say they once considered themselves Obama backers now are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10.
Three weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections that Republicans are trying to make a referendum on Obama, fewer than half of likely voters approve of the president’s job performance. Likely voters are more apt to say Obama’s policies have harmed rather than helped the economy. Among those who say they are most enthusiastic about voting this year, 6 of 10 say the Democrat has damaged the economy.
A year after the official end of the U.S. recession, growth has slowed again without big gains in employment. Joblessness, which was 9.6 percent in September, has barely budged since reaching a 26-year high of 10.1 percent last October. Gross domestic product has slowed from a 5.0 percent annual growth rate in last year’s final quarter to 1.7 percent during the second quarter.
The poll shows that almost two-thirds of voters believe the country is on the wrong track and unemployment is the top concern for about half the electorate. The budget deficit, which was $1.291 trillion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 and $1.416 trillion for 2009, ranks as the second most pressing issue, cited by 27 percent.