New WaPo/ABC poll puts Obama at new job-approval low of 41%

Gallup recently found that Barack Obama’s job-approval erosion had paused, but the White House gets worse news today in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. Obama’s job approval hit a new low, his issues approval ratings are cratering, and voters are looking to the GOP for answers as the midterm cycle approaches:

Obama’s approval rating fell to 41 percent, down from 46 percent through the first three months of the year and the lowest of his presidency in Post-ABC News polls. Just 42 percent approve of his handling of the economy, 37 percent approve of how he is handling the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and 34 percent approve of his handling of the situation involving Ukraine and Russia.

That is Obama’s worst job approval rating in his presidency in this series. Last November, he hit 42/55, a wider spread, but 41% is a new nadir on approval alone. His economy number was slightly worse in November as well, but the 42/54 today is among the lowest of his presidency, too.

It’s also clear that the happy talk about the supposed eight million enrollments in ObamaCare didn’t stick. In March, Obama’s approval on ObamaCare implementation rebounded to 44/54 from its November low of 33/63. A few weeks later, Obama’s back to 37/57, with the “stronglys” at 24/46. And Obama’s electoral advice to Democrats, urging them to run on ObamaCare? Er …

The Post-ABC poll found that 44 percent say they support the law while 48 percent say they oppose it, which is about where it was at the end of last year and in January. Half of all Americans also say they think implementation is worse than expected.

Last month, a Post-ABC poll found 49 percent of Americans saying they supported the new law compared with 48 percent who opposed it. That finding was more positive for the administration than most other polls at the time. Democrats saw it as a possible leading indicator of a shift in public opinion, but that has not materialized.

A 58 percent majority say the new law is causing higher costs overall, and 47 percent say it will make the health-care system worse. While a majority say the quality of the health care they receive will remain the same, a plurality expect it to result in higher personal costs for that care.

There ins’t much to like in those numbers for incumbent Democrats. The news is worse among independents, where support for ObamaCare is only 39/54. They rate his overall job performance even lower, 33/59, and on the economy it’s 34/61. The only reason Obama scores as high as he does in this poll is because of overwhelming support from Democrats — and that’s not going to save people not named Barack Obama on midterm ballots.

That’s also reflected in the blame numbers, too. The wrong-track number rose to 66%, and three times as many blame Obama/Dems than the GOP, 27/9, with 62% blaming both. When asked whether it’s more important to elect Democrats to support Obama’s policies or Republicans to check Obama’s power, voters chose the latter == 39/53, respectively. That’s similar to the 39/55 seen in September 2010, just before the wave election cost Obama the House.

Note: The D/R/I sample on this poll was 32/21/38, a D+11, up from the D+8 in March.