In a potentially ominous election sign for President Obama, a Gallup Poll released on Thursday found that 60 percent of those surveyed disapprove of his handling of the economy, with just 36 percent approving.
The poll also showed low approval ratings for Obama in two other economic-related areas: 37 percent for creating jobs and 30 percent for handling the federal budget deficit. Those ratings largely mirror those from Gallup Polls conducted in 2011 and in February.
His 36 percent approval rating on the economy is below President George W. Bush's rating in August 2004 (46 percent), President Clinton's in August 1996 (54 percent), and President Reagan's in July 1984 (50 percent). But Gallup noted that Obama's rating is substantially better than that of President George H.W. Bush in July 1992 (18 percent). Gallup did not measure President Carter's approval rating on economic issues in 1980.
Obama's approval rating on terrorism (58 percent) is down slightly from the peak level (63 percent) last fall after the killing of Libyan President Muammar el-Qaddafi. But his rating on education, at 49 percent, was up slightly from 41 percent last August.
Obama's overall job-approval rating in the poll was 45 percent. Historically, Gallup noted, presidents who won a second term had near-50 percent job-approval ratings.
The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 9-12, with a random sample of 1,012 adults. The total survey sample has a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.