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Obama agenda: Poll numbers take a hit

Here is our take on the new 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… 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.'"

The Wall Street Journal's take: "Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the country and less confident in President Barack Obama's leadership than at any point since Mr. Obama entered the White House… The results show 'a really ugly mood and an unhappy electorate,' said Democratic pollster Peter Hart… 'The voters, I think, are just looking for change, and that means bad news for incumbents and in particular for the Democrats.'"


Here is Greg Sargent's take: "[T]he spill appears to be taking a serious toll: There have been sharp drops in the numbers of those who think Obama is effective handling a crisis (down to 40 percent) and who think he's decisive (down to 44 percent). The poll was taken before the sacking of McChrystal, so it'll be interesting to see if that public display of leadership and decisiveness puts any dent in these trends."

NBC's Pete Williams reports: "In dueling court filings late Wednesday, the government asked the judge who blocked the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling to put his own ruling on hold, while oil companies asked him to do just the opposite -- to speed up enforcement of his order, accusing the government of defying his ruling." (More on that later on the blog.)

In case you missed it, the AP notes: "President Barack Obama is nominating John Podesta, a key political ally, to serve on the board that helps set policies and direction for the government's national service agency."

The AP previews Obama's meeting with Russia's President Medvedev today: "The Obama administration is showcasing what it sees as one of its main foreign policy successes, warmer relations with Russia."