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POLITICS: PennAve

Poll: Obama approval rating underwater but off record lows

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,Polls,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali

A new poll finds President Obama with a negative approval rating -- but off his lowest levels last month amid the botched Obamacare rollout.

Obama now has a 41 percent approval rating, with 53 percent disapproving in the Quinnipiac University National Poll. That marks a slight improvement from last month when Obama was underwater at 38 positive and 57 percent negative, his lowest score ever in Quinnipiac’s surveys.

The president hit record lows in a slew of polls following the glitch-riddled rollout of the healthcare.gov website. That troubled launch has undercut the administration's efforts to register consumers in new Obamacare insurance exchanges, threatening the success of Obama's signature domestic achievement. Polls also showed Obama hitting new lows in measures of trustworthiness and credibility.

“The President returns to chilly Washington DC from his Hawaii holidays to a slightly warmer reception from American voter,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Tim Malloy in a statement.

"It's too early to call it a comeback, but the 2014 midterm election year begins a bit better than 2013 ended for President Obama. His approval is right above the 40 percent mark -- a red line for any president. He still has terrible scores for his handling of health care and other issues that mean most to Americans, but the bleeding seems to have stopped," he added.

The poll finds that Obama receives poor marks for his handling of a number of issues, highlighting the challenge he faces restarting his second-term agenda.

A majority disapprove of Obama’s handling of healthcare by a 35 to 61 percent split. On the economy, 39 percent give Obama positive marks to 58 percent negative.

Obama also gets a negative 41-51 split for his handling of foreign policy. But the president gets positive marks for his handling of terrorism, with 52 percent approving and 41 disapproving.

The president is pushing action on a number of economic initiatives he says will bolster the middle class and address income inequality, which he called the “defining challenge” of our time.

The Quinnipiac poll shows that a majority support Obama’s call for raising the minimum wage by 71 to 27. Voters also support extending unemployment benefits for the jobless by 58 to 37 percent.

Obama is pressuring lawmakers to extend jobless benefits, but Republicans are split on whether the measure should be offset with other budget cuts.

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