|The poll found that 53 per cent of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job [GETTY]|
Approval ratings of Barack Obama, the US president, have dropped to an all-time low, a new Reuters-Ipsos poll has found.
Only 43 per cent of the US population approve of their president, down from 47 per cent last month, according to results of the poll released on Wednesday.
The rating shows the worst approval numbers for Obama since he took office in January 2009. The nationwide poll also found that 53 per cent actually disapprove of the way he is handling his job.
American voters unhappy at high unemployment are poised to wrest from Obama’s Democratic Party control of the US House of Representatives in November 2 elections, the poll found.
A margin of 48 per cent to 44 per cent plan to vote for Republicans over Democratic candidates, an edge that is likely to allow Republicans to pick up dozens of seats in the House of Representatives and also make big gains in the US Senate.
Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said the poll numbers show Republicans would win around 227 seats in the House to 208 for the Democrats.
In the Senate, the poll suggests Democrats would retain control by 52 to 48 seats, a smaller advantage than they have now, Young said.
A split Congress could mean political gridlock in 2011 as the US struggles to overcome high unemployment, the gaping budget deficit and a fierce debate over tax cuts.
Much will depend on whether Obama and Republicans can work together.
All 435 House of Representatives seats and 37 of the 100-member Senate are up for grabs in the elections, the outcome of which is likely to help determine the course of the second half of Obama’s four-year term.
“Looking forward, voters expect the new Congress to deal basically with jobs. A new Republican House would have to have answers to those demands,” Young said.
There was little change since last month in terms of the most important problems facing Americans – 49 per cent said it is the US economy and the high jobless rate.
Americans believe the focus of the next Congress should be on jobs. Among those surveyed, 65 per cent said creating jobs should be a “crucial” focus and 97 per cent said it is important.
Besides jobs, Americans would like to see Congress focused on the soaring budget deficit, healthcare, taxes and energy.
Of least importance on this list, although still deemed fairly important, were the environment and the war in Afghanistan.
Ipsos Public Affairs contacted 1,038 US adults between October 7 and October 11 for the poll. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.