The honeymoon is over for President Obama after just 200 days, with a new poll showing his approval rating is down to 50%.
A health care plan that seems stuck in neutral, a sputtering economy and fears about soaring deficits are taking a toll on Obama, and voters are increasingly unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt, said Peter Brown, a pollster at Quinnipiac University. While half of those surveyed approved of Obama's performance, 42% disapproved. That was down from June's figures, which showed 57% approving of Obama's work and 33% disapproving.
Respondents were most critical of Obama's handling of the economy and of his efforts to reform the health care system. A majority did approve of the president's handling of foreign policy.
The poll was taken in the middle of the high-profile race debate involving Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and a Massachusetts cop who arrested him for disorderly conduct. Obama weighed in on the matter, saying the police "acted stupidly." By a 62-26 margin, voters said the president whould have stayed out of the affair.