Obama's Approval Rating Among Independent Voters Drops

Obama's Approval Rating Among Independent Voters Drops

By Alex Katz - March 9, 2011

As President Obama prepares for his re-election bid, his approval rating among independent voters - a bloc whose support will be crucial in 2012 - has dropped, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released today.

The poll found that only 37 percent of independents approve of the work Obama has been doing in office, which is a sharp drop from his previous mark of 47 percent. Obama's overall job approval rating sits at 49 percent.

Already looking ahead to the campaign, Obama has visited both Florida and Massachusetts in the last week to begin fundraising efforts and shape his message. He has particularly emphasized the need for compromise in Washington, rhetoric that tends to strike a chord with independents.

"There are going to be times where we've got to try to find common ground to solve problems," Obama told the crowd at a Boston fundraiser Tuesday. "Not everything is a fight. Not everything has to be a battle to the death."

Obama and his party have much work to do to win back independent voters who signaled their discontent with the Democratic agenda last November. Exit polls showed independent voters in 2010 supported Republicans over Democrats by a whopping 56-37 margin, which helped fuel the GOP's 63-seat gain and takeover of the House of Representatives.

In another red flag for Obama's re-election chances, the poll also found that 64 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. This lack of confidence was a two-year low for Ipsos polls dating back to January 2009, when Obama first took office.

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