President Barack Obama's re-election prospects are essentially a 50-50 proposition, with a majority saying the president deserves to be voted out of office according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
Obama's approval rating on his handling of the economy overall remains stagnant: 39 percent approve and 60 percent disapprove.
Heading into his re-election campaign, the president faces a conflicted public that does not support his steering of the economy, the most dominant issue for Americans, or his reforms to health care, one of his signature accomplishments.
The poll found that a majority of adults, 52 percent, said Obama should be voted out of office while 43 percent said he deserves another term. The numbers mark a reversal since last May, when 53 percent said Obama should be re-elected while 43 percent said he didn't deserve four more years.
Obama's overall job approval stands at a new low: 44 percent approve while 54 percent disapprove. The president's standing among independents is worse: 38 percent approve while 59 percent disapprove. Among Democrats, the president holds steady with an approval rating of 78 percent while only 12 percent of Republicans approve of the job he's doing.
Only 26 percent said the United States is headed in the right direction while 70 percent said the country was moving in the wrong direction.
The president won a substantial number of women voters in 2008 yet there does not appear to be a significant tilt toward Obama among women now. The poll found 44 percent of women say Obama deserves a second term, down from 51 percent in October, while 43 percent of men say the president should be re-elected.
The poll found unpopularity for last year's health care reform bill, one of Obama's major accomplishments. About half of the respondents oppose the health care law and support for it dipped to 29 percent from 36 percent in June. Just 15 percent said the federal government should have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance.
Even among Democrats, the health care law has tepid support. Fifty percent of Democrats supported the health care law, compared with 59 percent of Democrats last June. Only about a quarter of independents back the law.
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