President Obama's job approval has reached its lowest level, and nearly half of Americans surveyed opposed the U.S. military intervention in Libya, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
Also, 50 percent of the registered voters surveyed by the Hamden, Conn.-based university's polling institute said Obama didn't deserve re-election in 2012, compared with 41 percent who said he should receive a second four-year term.
Obama's overall approval rating in late March was at 42 percent, down from 46 percent in a March 3 Quinnipiac survey and at its lowest level in all the university's surveys on the president, said Peter Brown, the polling institute's assistant director.
The survey found 48 percent disapproving of Obama's performance, up from 46 percent in March. Half of independent voters surveyed voiced disapproval for Obama's handling of his job, with 39 percent approving.
Voters said they disapprove of the U.S. action in Libya, 47 percent to 41 percent. Most were interviewed before Obama delivered a televised Monday speech explaining his policy in Libya.
The Quinnipiac telephone survey of 2,069 registered voters was taken March 22-28; it has an error margin of plus-or-minus 2.2 percentage points
In a hypothetical 2012 race with an unnamed Republican opponent, voter sentiment was statistically tied: 36 percent for Obama, 37 percent for a Republican.
Meanwhile, a new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds that for all the talk of recovery, Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy as soaring gas costs strain already tight budgets.
Unlike the Quinnipiac poll, Obama's approval ratings in the AP survey held steady at around 50 percent over the past month. But the disconnect between negative perceptions of the economy and signs that a rebound are under way could provide an opening for Republicans at the outset of the 2012 campaign.
In the survey, just a sliver of Americans -- 15 percent -- said they believed the economy had improved over the past month, compared with 30 percent who had thought that in January. Only a third were optimistic of better times ahead for the country, down from about half earlier this year. And 28 percent thought the economy would get worse, the largest slice of people who have expressed that sentiment since the question was first asked in December 2009.
The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted March 24-28 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,001 adults nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.