Americans split on success of Obama presidency: Poll

Washington, Jan 13 - Americans are giving Barack Obama a split decision on his first year in office with 48 percent saying his presidency has been a failure so far and 47 percent saying Obama has been a success, according to a new poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, just eight days before Obama marks one year in the White House, indicates that Obama's approval rating as president stands at 51 percent, down 3 points from last month, with 48 percent disapproving, up 4 points from December.

According to the survey, the economy by far remains the No. 1 issue for Americans. Forty seven percent say it is the most important issue facing the country today - up 7 points from last month.

Health care, at 15 percent, is the second most important issue for the public, followed by the deficit at 11 percent. Terrorism is tied with the deficit, and up 7 points from last month, most likely due to the widespread coverage of the attempted terrorist bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day.

The dominance of domestic issues in importance is most likely a contributing factor to the slight dip in Obama's overall approval rating.

"Only 44 percent approve of how Obama is handling the economy; just 4 in 10 give him a thumbs-up on health care and his approval rating on the federal deficit has plunged to 36 percent. Those are three of the four most important issues on the public's mind today," says CNN polling director Keating Holland.

"The president's ratings also suffer from the growing perception that he is too liberal - 46 percent feel that way today, up 10 points from March."

The poll also indicates that 1 in 10 say that Obama has not been liberal enough. But while the public takes on Obama on the issues, two-thirds continue to believe that he has the leadership skills and personal characteristics that a president should have, and that may explain why his overall approval is so much higher than his rating on the issues of greatest concern to the public, CNN said.

The president can also take heart in the fact that his 51 percent approval rating is nearly twice as high as the approval rating for Congress. As the House of Representatives comes back into session Tuesday, only 27 percent of Americans have a favourable view of Congress.

The poll conducted Friday through Sunday questioned 1,021 American adults via telephone. (IANS)