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NBC/WSJ poll: Obama's standing takes a hit

Here's the write-up of our full NBC/WSJ poll:

Two months of oil continuing to gush from a well off the Gulf Coast, as well as an unemployment rate still near 10 percent, have taken a toll on President Barack Obama and his standing with the American public, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

For the first time in the survey, more disapprove of his job performance than approve; for the first time in his presidency, more than 60 percent believe the country is on the wrong track; and as he relieves Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command in Afghanistan, Obama’s scores on being able to handle a crisis and on being decisive have plummeted since last year.

This is a president who has been bruised and bloodied by the events of the past few months, although not yet knocked down, say the Democratic and Republican pollsters who conducted the survey.

“There is just no way that an American president is not going to see his job rating affected” after these events, observed GOP pollster Bill McInturff. “The little faint signs [of improvement] we were seeing in April and May have been squished by two months of this story in the Gulf.”

Added Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart: “These numbers aren’t good. But they are far from awful.”

Obama’s declining numbers
In the poll, Obama’s job-approval rating stands at 45 percent, which is down five points from early last month and down three points from late May.

Forty-eight percent in the current survey say they disapprove of his job performance.
What’s more, Obama’s favorable/unfavorable rating is now at 47 percent to 40 percent, down from 49 percent to 38 percent in early May and 52 percent to 35 percent in January.

His scores on other ascpects of the presidency also have declined. In April 2009, 54 percent gave the president high marks for being able to handle a crisis; now it’s 40 percent.

In July 2009, 57 percent gave him high marks for being decisive and for his decision-making; now it’s 44 percent.

And also in July 2009, 61 percent gave him high marks for having strong leadership qualities; now it’s 49 percent.

A silver lining for Obama is that his personal scores are still strong: 64 percent give him high marks for being easygoing and likeable, and 51 percent give him high marks for being compassionate enough to understand average people.

Yet those percentages, too, are down from last year.

“On the personal level,” says Hart, the Democratic pollster, “the public still stays with him.”