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Poll: 55% of Maine voters backed Obama, but fewer approved of his job performance

JASON REED | Reuters
JASON REED | Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a meeting with police chiefs from three communities in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Jan. 28, 2013.
By Robert Long, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gallup reported Monday that fewer than half of Mainers approved of President Barack Obama’s job performance in 2012, despite the fact that the president garnered 55 percent of the state’s votes in winning a second term.

A Gallup analysis released Monday pegged Obama’s job approval rating in Maine at 49.8 percent. Gallup calculated the Democratic president’s job approval rating based on polling throughout 2012. Mainers’ opinion of Obama’s performance improved 2.6 percent from 2011, when the polling firm pegged Maine’s rating of the president’s work on the job at 47.2 percent.

In Gallup’s 2012 polling of Mainers, 42.8 percent disapproved of Obama’s job performance, while 7.5 percent offered no opinion.

In the analysis Gallup released Monday, Maine ranked next to last among New England states in its support for the president’s work. Only New Hampshire, at 46.3 percent, held a lower regard for Obama, whose disapproval rating in that state was higher, at 47.3 percent. However, the president won the Granite State in November. The president’s approval rating in the four other New England states, all of which he also won in November, topped 55 percent.

Gallup notes that a president’s job approval rating reflects polling throughout the year, so it doesn’t correlate directly to election results. However, Obama’s consistently higher approval ratings in the Northeast and along the Pacific Coast align with his greatest electoral support.

Not surprisingly, the District of Columbia registered 82.4 percent approval of the president’s performance. Obama’s home state of Hawaii gave him the next highest approval rating, 64.2 percent. Vermont ranked third at 59.1 percent, just ahead of Maryland and New York.

Utah residents assigned Obama the lowest job approval rating at 27.9 percent. Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia and North Dakota rounded out the bottom five. The president won a positive approval rating from less than a third of residents surveyed in those states.

Rhode Island gave Obama the biggest boost in approval ratings since 2011, grading the president 8.5 percentage points higher than during the previous year. Obama’s year-to-year job approval rating declined most in Alaska, where it dipped by 4.3 percentage points. Reflecting a trend that resulted in his re-election, the president’s approval rating rose or remained the same in all but seven states.

Overall, the president’s job approval rating for 2012 came in at 48 percent, up four points from 2011.

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