President Obama's job approval rating has fallen to 46 percent, according to a new CBS News poll.
That rating is Mr. Obama's lowest yet in CBS News polling, and the poll marks the first time his approval rating has fallen below the 50 percent mark. Forty-one percent now say they disapprove of Mr. Obama's performance as president.
In last month's CBS News poll, 50 percent of Americans approved of how the president was handling his job, while thirty-nine percent disapproved.
Mr. Obama still receives strong support from Democrats (eight in ten approve of his performance), but his approval rating among Republicans is only 13 percent. More importantly, Mr. Obama's approval rating among independents has declined 10 points in recent months – and it now stands at just 42 percent.
Domestic issues – and not his response to terrorist threats - appear to be driving the president's approval rating downward.
Just 41 percent now approve of his handling of the economy, which Americans say is the nation's most pressing issue. Forty-seven percent disapprove. The president's marks on handling health care, with reforms still under debate in Congress, are even lower – just 36 percent approve, while 54 percent disapprove. Both of these approval ratings are the lowest of Mr. Obama's presidency.
Meanwhile, both parties in Congress receive even lower marks than the president on handling health care. Few Americans think the reforms in Congress hit the right note on expanding coverage, lowering costs and regulating the health insurance industry.
The president receives slightly higher ratings for his handling of the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism than on domestic issues. Forty-six percent approve of Mr. Obama's handling of Afghanistan, and 52 percent approve of how he is handling the threat of terrorism.
While some Republicans have criticized the president and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's responses to the attempted Christmas Day terror attack, most Americans don't share their opinion.
In the poll, 57 percent of Americans approve of the way the Obama administration has responded to the attempted attack, and 29 percent disapprove. Views are highly partisan – 75 percent of Democrats approve, while just 41 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents do.
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