Poll: Obama approval ratings drop, Americans say he’s not trustworthy

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama’s approval rating among American voters has dropped to its lowest number in Quinnipiac University polling since he became President, according to a survey released on Tuesday that also raised new doubts about trust.

As Obama juggles the bungled rollout of HealthCare.gov and questions over his initial promises about health care reform become magnified, only 39% of voters approve how he is handling his job, while 54% disapprove, the new data from the school’s Polling Institute shows.

Approval numbers for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, continue to illustrate wariness among American voters about health care reform, with only 19% saying they believe the quality of their health care will improve in the next year.

Forty-three percent say it will get worse, while 33% say the controversial law won’t affect their health care, according to Quinnipiac.

Those numbers reflect less confidence in the law from a Gallup poll released in late October, when a quarter of Americans said they believed Obamacare would make things better, while 34% said it would make things worse and 36% said it would not make a big difference.

Also for the first time in Quinnipiac polling, more voters say the President is not trustworthy. The new survey was conducted last week and over the weekend, mostly after Obama offered an apology on Thursday to people who are losing their insurance because of changes from the federal health care law.

When selling health care reform in his first term, the President repeatedly assured Americans they could keep their plans, if they liked them. However, that has not turned out to be the case, with some Americans holding certain plans getting cancellation notices from their providers.

According to the poll, a majority of voters, 52%, say the President is not honest and trustworthy, compared to 44% who say the opposite. It’s the first time in Quinnipiac history that the president’s trustworthy numbers are underwater.

The Obama administration maintains that a majority of people who are losing their current plans will be better off under Obamacare, but officials and some members of Congress have pledged to seek some kind of solution for those getting dropped by their insurance provider.

Asked if the president knowingly deceived Americans with his promise, 46% of voters said they believe he made the statement on purpose, while 47% disagreed.

“President Obama’s misstatement, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ left a bad taste with a lot of people,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Nearly three-quarters of voters favor extending the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance or face a penalty. Many Republican lawmakers in Congress, as well as some Democrats, have floated the idea of postponing the deadline to make up for lost time during the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov since October 1.

The new Quinnipiac Poll is the latest to show the President’s approval rating is declining amid the disastrous health care sign-up process.

Malloy said Obama, like all new presidents, had a “honeymoon” with American voters for the first few years of his presidency.

“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,” he said, adding that Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to the level of former President George W. Bush at the same period of his Presidency.

While the President has a positive rating, 52%-42%, for how he handles terrorism, he gets negative ratings on foreign policy, immigration, the federal budget, and the economy. A majority of voters, 53%, say the Obama administration has not been competent in managing the U.S. government, according to Quinnipiac.

For the survey, Quinnipiac questioned 2,545 registered voters nationwide by telephone from November 6-11. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

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