Washington Post-ABC Poll: Obama Has Advantage Over 2012 GOP Rivals

Even though his approval rating is at its lowest, President Obama still edges out potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates.

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President Obama is leading the pack, but not by very much. (Getty Images)

Dan Balz and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post are reporting that deepening economic pessimism has pushed down President Obama's approval rating to a near record low, but he holds an early advantage over prospective 2012 rivals, in part because of widespread dissatisfaction with Republican candidates, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

In the survey, 47 percent approve of the job Obama is doing, down seven points since January. Half of all Americans disapprove of his job performance, with 37 percent saying they "strongly disapprove," nearly matching the worst level of his presidency.

Driving the downward movement in Obama's standing are renewed concerns about the economy and fresh worry about rising prices, particularly for gasoline. Despite signs of economic growth, 44 percent of Americans see the economy as getting worse, the highest percentage to say so in more than two years.

The toll on Obama is direct: 57 percent disapprove of the job the president is doing dealing with the economy, tying his highest negative rating when it comes to the issue. And the president is doing a bit worse among politically important independents.

Even though President Obama's approval rating is at its lowest, his potential Republican opponents also face serious problems. Less than half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say that they are satisfied with the field of GOP candidates. That field is still taking shape, but the sentiment is a big falloff from four years ago, when nearly two-thirds of Republicans were satisfied with their options.

Interesting. With all the talk concerning Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, none of them seems to resonate with potential voters. Perhaps voters want more than trash talking from Palin and Trump? Maybe it's the focus on Romney's money and looks as opposed to his qualifications that leads to disinterest? Huckabee's continuous gaffes may leave a lot to desire for some.

We suspect that voters are lackluster over President Obama for obvious reasons: the econcomy, unemployment and a willingness to compromise when many feel he shouldn't. It's not as if Obama is overwhelmingly desired over the GOP. Clearly both parties have their work cut out for them.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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