A new Reuters poll found that the majority of Americans—a whopping 64%–feel that the country is on the wrong track.
Although the economy is slowly improving, the poll found that the number of people who feel the country is off track jumped nearly seven points since February. Even worse for President Obama, these were the highest negative numbers since the President took office in January 2009.
According to Reuters, one major factor in the dismal poll numbers are rising gas prices:
“Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said the rating was a direct result of gasoline prices that have risen sharply in recent weeks amid tumult in North Africa and the Middle East.
‘We are moving into a scenario in the near-term that is much more uncertain given the issue of gas prices,’ he said. ‘Gas prices specifically are things that affect people’s pocketbooks and have an immediate impact.’
U.S. retail gasoline prices spiked more than 10 percent over the past two weeks to an average of $3.52 a gallon, the second largest two-week rise on record. Crude oil prices have shot up due to the violence in Libya that has cut that country’s production by two-thirds while sanctions have all but halted its exports.”
Despite the fact that the majority of those polled felt the country is on the wrong track, President Obama’s approval ratings still sit at a respectable 49%, which is comparable to past presidents (Presidents Reagan and Clinton both hovered in the 40s during their first term). But the problems for President Obama’s reelection are real.
In order to win reelection in 2012, the President has to win over independent voters, and if this poll is correct, his standing with them has been lessening. According to Reuters his approval ratings among independent voters has slipped from 47 percent, to just 37.
With the election season ramping up, it is clear that many are uneasy about the direction the country is going. But no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, the future of our country and the next round of elections will be decided somewhere in the middle.
What do you think? Is the country on the right or wrong track? What changes would you like to see? Sound off!