Most Independents Disapprove of Obama’s Performance, Poll Finds

More than half of U.S. voters who describe themselves as independents disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance for the first time since he took office in January 2009, according to a poll released today.

The Marist Poll found that 57 percent of independent voters don’t approve of Obama’s job performance, up from 44 percent in a Dec. 8 survey. Twenty-nine percent of independents approve, down from 41 percent, and 14 percent said they were unsure.

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“If attracting independents and bipartisanship are the aim, then the president clearly has a lot of ground to cover in year two,” said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of Poughkeepsie, New York-based Marist College’s Marist Institute of Public Opinion, in a statement.

Obama is urging Democrats and Republicans to work together to end the impasse over U.S. health-care reform. Yesterday he invited lawmakers from the House and Senate in both parties to a Feb. 25 meeting to discuss ways to get an overhaul of the health-care system through Congress.

Forty-four percent of all voters approve of Obama’s job performance, down from 46 percent in the Dec. 8 poll, while 47 percent disapprove, up from 44 percent. Eighty-one percent of Democrats said they approve, while 80 percent of Republicans said they disapprove.

The survey also found that 47 percent of voters said Obama has fallen below their expectations as president, up from 42 percent last month, while 42 percent said he’s met their expectations, down from 44 percent. Just 7 percent said Obama has exceeded their expectations, down from 9 percent.

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The poll was based on telephone interviews with 910 registered U.S. voters conducted from Feb. 1 to 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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