WASHINGTON (TIP): US President Barack Obama’s popularity has slumped to an all-time low, with a majority of Americans for the first time believing him to be dishonest and untrustworthy, a new survey showed. The respected Quinnipiac University Poll found that Obama’s approval rating had nosedived to the level of unpopularity faced by Republican predecessor George W. Bush at the same stage of his presidency. Overall, the poll said 54 percent disapproved of the job Obama was doing against 39 percent who approved. The findings mark a significant downturn from an October 1 survey which put Obama’s disapproval rating at 49 percent to 45 percent approval. It caps a turbulent few weeks for Obama, whose administration has come under heavy fire for the chaotic roll-out of his signature health care legislation, the Affordable Care Act. American voters had also reacted strongly against Obama’s misstated pledge to allow voters to keep the health care plans they already had, the survey revealed. “Like all new presidents, President Barack Obama had a honeymoon with American voters, with approval ratings in the high 50s,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“As the marriage wore on, he kept his job approval scores in the respectable, though not overwhelming 40s. Today for the first time it appears that 40 percent floor is cracking.” Malloy said the plunging approval amongst women voters was also a concern for Obama. Only 41 percent of women approved of the job he was doing against 51 percent who disapproved. The survey indicated that most Americans remain deeply pessimistic about the effect the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as it has become known, will have on their health care choices. Only 19 percent of voters expect the quality of care to improve in the next year as a result of the legislation, 43 percent expect it to get worse and 33 percent say it will make no difference. Obama’s image had also taken a battering after he said people could keep their existing health insurance plans if they wished. “President Obama’s misstatement, ‘If you like your health plan you can keep it,’ left a bad taste with a lot of people,” Malloy said. “Nearly half of the voters, 46 percent, think he knowingly deceived them.” The poll was conducted amongst 2,545 registered voters nationwide between November 6-11, with a margin of error of plus-minus 1.9 percentage points.