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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

The Political Picture: Obama vs The Republican Contenders –––Early June, 2010

The public opinion lift Obama had after the killing of Usama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of his handling of the economy and the deficit climbed to new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The country is in a gloomy mood with high gasoline prices, crumbling home values and a disheartening employment picture, raising new concerns about the pace of the so-called economic recovery.

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is  on the wrong track, and 90% continue to rate the economy negatively. 60% say the economy has not begun to recover, no matter what official statistics might say, and most of those who feel the economy  has improved consider the recovery weak.

Nevertheless, the Post-ABC poll shows Obama leading five of six potential Republican presidential candidates and in a dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are tied at 47% each. Among registered voters, the Romney is slightly ahead, 49 to 46%.

60% of those surveyed gave Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Almost half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. 66% of  independents disapprove of the Obama’s handling of the economy, with a slim majority who do so strongly.

45% trust congressional Republicans more than Obama in dealing with the economy, an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March. However, 42% still prefer Obama on this issue.

The Post-ABC poll asked Republicans and GOP-leaning independents whom they would vote for today. Romney topped the list, with 21%, followed by Palin at 17%. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has suddenly shown interest in becoming a candidate, is at 8 percent. Without Palin in the race, Romney tops out at 25%, all others in single digits.

However, dissatisfaction with the GOP field continues at a high level, many respondents saying they are unhappy with their choices. At this time four years ago, almost 70% of Republicans said they were satisfied with their field of candidates.

This is all interesting, especially if you read my next post.

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