President Barack Obama gets a passing grade for his job performance from 51 per cent of the US public, according to a poll released yesterday, two days before he takes the oath of office to serve a second four-year term.

The survey by the New York Times and CBS News found 41 per cent of those surveyed disapproving with how the President is doing his job.

Not quite half of respondents, 49 per cent, expressed disapproval with the way the President has been dealing with the economy, while 46 per cent said they approve.

‘Fiscal cliff’ issue

The survey also found Americans closely divided over how Obama is dealing with taxes in the wake of the recent “fiscal cliff” debate that dominated US headlines. About 45 per cent of those surveyed approve of Mr Obama’s handling of taxes and 47 per cent disapproved.

Foreign policy

On foreign policy, meanwhile, 49 per cent of the poll’s 1,100 respondents said they approve of Obama’s job performance, while 36 per cent disapproved.

The job approval figures give Obama a similar rating as his predecessor George W. Bush at the start of his second term.

Obama' grades

But Obama’s grades were considerably lower than than those received by President Bill Clinton, who had a 60 per cent approval rate at the start of his second term in January 1997.

Nor do they match Ronald Reagan, who had 62 per cent in January 1985 at the beginning of his second mandate.

The nationwide poll was conducted from January 11 to 15 and had a sampling error plus or minus three percentage points.

(This article was published on January 19, 2013)
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