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Poll: No Dent In Obama's Popularity

Republican criticism of Barack Obama's handling of the economy and other issues does not appear to be having much effect on the president's popularity, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. Mr. Obama's overall approval rating now stands at 63 percent, unchanged from last month. Just one in four Americans says they disapprove of the president.

On the issue deemed most important by Americans - the economy - the president holds a 57 percent approval rating. Thirty-five percent disapprove. Mr. Obama also enjoys majority approval on his handling of foreign policy (59 percent) and the threat of terrorism (57 percent).

The poll does reveal areas in which Americans offer more negative reviews of the president, however. Just forty-one percent approve of his handling of the struggling U.S. auto industry, while a slightly higher percentage - 46 percent - disapprove. And most Americans do not believe the president has a plan for dealing with the massive fiscal deficit.

On health care, meanwhile - the reform of which is the president's top legislative priority - Mr. Obama's approval rating is 44 percent. Thirty-four percent disapprove of the president's handling of health care.

The State Of The Economy:

Though they are generally positive about Mr. Obama's handling of the U.S. economy, Americans remain pessimistic about the current economic landscape.

Read The Complete Poll (PDF)
Forty-eight percent describe the economy as "fairly bad," while another 36 percent call it "very bad." Just 14 percent say the economy is "fairly good," and a mere one percent describe it as "very good."

And Americans are less positive than they were a month ago about the direction of the economy. Twenty-seven percent say it is getting better - down from 32 percent in May - while 25 percent say it is getting worse, a slight increase. Forty-six percent believe the economy is staying the same.

Americans are also more worried about household job loss in the coming year, with 36 percent saying they are "very concerned," up from 25 percent in May. Another 28 percent are "somewhat concerned," while just 35 percent are not concerned about someone in their household losing a job in the next year.

Roughly one in three say the president's policies are making the economy better, about half as many feel Mr. Obama's policies are making the situation worse. About half say the president's policies, which include a massive federal stimulus package, have had no impact thus far.

Just 30 percent of those surveyed say Mr. Obama has a plan for dealing with the deficit. Twice that percentage says the president has no plan.

By a small margin, Americans now favor deficit reduction over spending to stimulate the economy. Fifty-two percent say the federal government should focus on deficit reduction, while 41 percent support federal government spending.

Forty-four percent of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, roughly the same as last month. Fifty percent say the United States is on the wrong track. In October of last year, just seven percent said the country was going in the right direction.

Iraq, Afghanistan, And Guantanamo Bay:

Support for closing the military prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has increased in the past two months. Forty-eight percent now back closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, up from 44 percent in April.

Forty percent believe the facility should be kept open, a decline of seven percentage points since April.

A substantial percentage of Americans remain scared that closing Guantanamo will make America less safe, however. Read more about the poll's findings on Guantanamo Bay here.

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Americans are positive about the situation in Iraq, with 62 percent saying things are going well. Just 31 percent say things are going badly. Positive assessments are down nine points from April, though they are still up 16 points since September.

Perceptions of the situation in Afghanistan are far less positive. Just 30 percent say things are going well there - down eight points from April - while 55 percent say they are going badly.

Views Of The Parties:

The Democratic Party is currently far enjoys far more popularity than its Republican opposition. Fifty-seven percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, while just 28 percent have a favorable view of the Republican Party.

And while Democrats are united - 90 percent approve of their party - just 64 percent of Republicans approve of the Republican Party. Independents have a far more favorable view of the Democratic Party (51 percent approve) than the Republican Party (28 percent approve.)

Watch more editor-in-chief Dan Farber speaks with Sarah Dutton, the director of surveys for CBS News, about the latest New York Times/CBS News poll on Pres. Obama and Sonia Sotomayor:

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 895 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone June 12-16, 2009. 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.

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