CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
President Obama's job approval rating has changed little in the past few months, but with the economic recovery lagging desperately behind where most Americans would like it to be, his work to fix the ailing economy is scoring ever-lower marks.
The public is divided on the overall job he is doing now: 44 percent say they approve, while 45 percent disapprove in a new CBS News poll -- virtually unchanged from last month.
The president's rating on the economy, however, has taken a further plunge in the poll. Now, only 38 percent say they approve of the job he is doing handling the issue - which has been the problem weighing most heavily on the nation's collective mind for months. Half of those questioned (50 percent) say they disapprove of his work on the economy.
Those ratings fall far short of the public's expectations when Mr. Obama took office. In January 2009, two out of three Americans said they expected him to be a good or very good president. Only four percent said they thought he would be a poor president.
With these negative evaluations, President Obama's involvement on behalf of candidates running for office in November could prove detrimental. While most voters say the President's support for a candidate would not affect their vote, among those to whom it would make a difference his involvement would be more negative than positive. If President Obama supported a candidate in their area, just 15 percent of likely voters say that would make them more likely to vote for the candidate, and twice as many (31 percent) say it would make them more likely to vote against that candidate.
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,129 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone October 1-5, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.