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Obama agenda: Making the sale

“President Barack Obama urged enthusiastic college students Wednesday to join him in his fight to get Congress to act on his new jobs bill,” AP writes. “‘Every single one of you can help make this bill a reality,’ the president called out at a hot and noisy rally at North Carolina State University.”

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds: “President Barack Obama's approval rating got a small lift after he unveiled a jobs plan last week, keeping him ahead of all potential Republican rivals in the 2012 election, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Wednesday. The percentage of Americans who view Obama's performance favorably edged up to 47 percent in the poll conducted Sept. 8-12.” In the poll, Obama beats Romney 49%-43% among registered voters (51%-39% among all surveyed) and Perry 50%-42%, Bachmann 54%-36%. The president’s approval among independents is just 42% approve, 47% disapprove.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll finds that more people trust the president than Republicans in Congress to handle the economy by a 46%-37% margin. It also finds that by a 65%-29% margin that more Americans would rather see Washington focus on creating jobs than reducing the deficit. A plurality also like the president’s jobs plan outline by a 43%-35% margin, but with 22% undecided the next few weeks and months will be critical for both sides to win over those people. By wide margins, they favor giving more money to states to hire teachers and first responders (74%-25%), for increasing infrastructure spending (64%-36%), cutting the payroll tax for workers (65%-33%) and businesses (58%-40%). But they are more split on increasing aid to the unemployed (52%-47%). But on the key question of whether people feel they are better off than three years ago, almost six-in-10 say no (58%-32%). And nearly three-in-four say they are upset and scared about the direction of the country.

“The CNN poll finds that a plurality of independents generally opposes the American Jobs Act — 39 percent are against it, and 35 percent favor it. More than one fourth of independents has no opinion,” the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes. “But guess what — dig deeper into the internals and you find solid majority support among independents for the jobs bill’s actual proposals.”

“A Gallup poll released Wednesday shows that 45 percent of Americans would want their member of Congress to vote for the bill, with 32 percent opposed to the president's plan. 23 percent said they did not know enough about the legislation,” The Hill writes.

A Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama’s approval rating in Virginia at just 40% with 54% disapproving, that’s down 8 points from June. Just 29% of independents approve of his job there.

Good grief. “A man driving a car containing swords, muskets, black powder and a bayonet was arrested Thursday near the Capitol, just hours before President Barack Obama gave a jobs speech to a joint session of Congress,” Roll Call reports.

Yawn. “Some frustrated Democrats in Congress are saying that a primary challenge to President Obama would be a good thing, but others maintain it would only help the GOP,” The Hill writes.

“The company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and four other popular restaurant chains is following Michelle Obama's lead and pledging to reduce the calories and sodium in its meals and overhaul its kids' menu,” AP writes. “Drew Madsen, president of Darden Restaurants, tells The Associated Press he will make the announcement Thursday at one of its restaurants in a Maryland suburb of Washington. The first lady, who is campaigning to reduce childhood obesity, will be on hand for support.”

“Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed believe the government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, about the same as last year, according to the nationwide telephone poll by the Associated Press and the National Constitution Center. Forty-four percent were opposed,” the Boston Globe writes.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to slide down an emergency chute at Dulles.