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Americans' faith in Obama fading: Poll

August 20, 2009 |  8:48 pm

Time for vacation, even for a presidential Democrat named Barack Obama.

As he prepares for a week off with his family, leaving right after lunch, the president will read in Friday's Washington Post results of a new poll that shows his numbers sharply down.

It almost seems like the harder he's worked to sell his healthcare reform program all summer, the more they've seen him speaking earnestly and well in town hall after town hall, the less confidence Americans have developed in the presidUnhappy Democrat president Barack Obamaent.

The new Post/ABC News poll of 1,001 Americans between Aug. 13-17 shows that only 49% now believe Obama will make the right decisions for the country.

That's down from 60% at the 100-day mark of his presidency. Worse, only 49% now think he will achieve significant improvements in his hallmark campaign of healthcare reform, a drop of 20 points from last winter.

Fifty-five percent now see the nation as seriously off-track, up from 48% in April.

The president's overall approval now stands at 57%, down 12 points from April. Disapproval has jumped to 40%, the highest of his seven months in office.

Despite all the travel and good talking, fully 42% now "strongly disapprove" of Obama's work on healthcare, with support collapsing especially among seniors and the highly-prized sector of political independents. A bare majority (52%) still support creation of a public option, but that's fading too -- down sharply from late June's 62%.

If congressional members are detecting the same themes during their August recess visits in their states and districts, that could present serious problems for the political prospects of the reform efforts when everyone returns to the capitol after Labor Day.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
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