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Obama's handling of economy earns him low marks

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama earned his lowest marks ever on his handling of the economy in a new Associated Press-GfK poll, which also found that an overwhelming majority of Americans now describe the nation's financial outlook as poor.

A frustrated electorate could take it out on the party in power - Obama's Democrats - in the November elections.

Eleven weeks before the Nov. 2 balloting, just 41 percent of those surveyed approve of the president's performance on the economy, down from 44 percent in April, while 56 percent disapprove. And 61 percent say the economy has gotten worse or stayed the same on Obama's watch.

Still, three-quarters also say it's unrealistic to expect noticeable economic improvements in the first 18 months of the president's term. And Obama's overall approval rating remained at 49 percent, in part because most Americans still like him personally.

Americans' view of the economy grew even more pessimistic this summer as the nation's unemployment rate stubbornly hovered near 10 percent.

It's hard to overstate the importance of the economy to voters; 91 percent of Americans say it's a top problem, with unemployment close behind. - AP

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