Poll: Obama’s job approval falters as gas prices spike

Posted March 14, 2012, at 9:18 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s approval rating has taken a hit in a new poll that shows a growing frustration with the president’s handling of the economy.

The Washington Post/ABC poll found that 46 percent of people approve of the Obama’s job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. That’s a reversal of the president’s ratings just last month, when his approval hit 50 percent for the first time in that survey in nearly a year.

The quick drop coincides with a spike in gas prices and an increase in criticism from Obama’s Republican rivals on the issue, even as the economy has shown noticeable signs of growth.

But the poll underscored how rising gas prices — always a political peril for presidents — threaten to keep Obama from reaping the rewards of the good economic news. Obama’s top rivals, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, were running roughly even with the president.

The poll found 65 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Obama’s handling of gas prices, even though just half of those surveyed said they believed there was anything the administration could do to bring down the cost of gas.

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