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AP National

December 11, 2013

AP-GfK poll: Public admiration of Obama drops

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' perceptions of President Barack Obama are falling not only on his handling of the economy and other big issues, but also on more personal qualities such as honesty, a poll finds.

A clear majority of adults, 56 percent, say "honest" does not describe Obama well, according to The Associated Press-GfK poll. That's worse than his 52 percent rating in an October poll.

The latest poll finds 41 percent think the president is decisive, 44 percent see him as strong and 45 percent call him inspiring.

Republicans pounded Obama this fall for repeatedly saying Americans could keep their existing insurance plans under his new health law. That turned out to be untrue in many cases, and Republicans said it proved Obama can't be trusted.

As for Obama's overall approval rating, 58 percent disapprove of the job he's doing, while 42 percent approve. Disapproval of his handling of several specific issues hovers around 60 percent. They include the economy, federal budget deficit and unemployment.

Nearly half of American adults have an unfavorable impression of Obama, and 46 percent have a favorable impression. One month before his 2012 re-election, those numbers broke in the president's favor. More than half of adults had a favorable view of Obama and 42 percent had an unfavorable view, a poll conducted by telephone found.

The president's weak ratings on these character and competency questions could make it harder for him to nudge a sharply divided Congress toward his goals in his final three years in office.

Americans hold Congress is even lower regard. Congressional approval stands at 13 percent, with 86 percent of adults disapproving. Nearly two-thirds say they would like to see their House member replaced next November, the AP-GfK poll finds.

Even though people are feeling somewhat better about the economy and their personal finances, elected officials in Washington aren't benefiting from the improved mood.

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