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Obama's rating on economy hits new low: poll

Obama walks to the Oval Office in Washington
Obama walks to the Oval Office in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans' disapproval of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy and its growing budget deficit has reached new highs amid broad frustration over the slow pace of economic recovery, according to a Washington Post-ABC New poll released on Tuesday.

The ratings boost Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated with his job approval rating back to 47 percent. Forty-nine percent disapprove of his performance.

Obama's approval rating bounced to 56 immediately after bin Laden was killed last month.

Fifty-nine percent, a new high, gave Obama negative marks for his handling of the economy, up from 55 percent a month earlier.

Obama's approval rating on the deficit issue hit a new low of 33 percent, down 6 points since April.

The state of the economy poses a huge challenge for the president, whose re-election in 2012 may depend on his ability to convince voters that his economic policies have been successful.

The survey reflects a broadly pessimistic public mood as high gasoline prices, sliding home values and high unemployment numbers raised concerns about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, The Washington Post said.

Eighty-nine percent of Americans say the economy is in bad shape; 57 percent say the recovery has not started and 66 percent said the United States was seriously on the wrong track.

Forty-five percent said they trust congressional Republicans over Obama to handle the economy, up 11 points since March.

The poll shows Obama leading five out of six potential Republican presidential rivals but in a dead heat with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are tied at 47 percent each. Among registered voters, Romney is ahead 49 percent to 46 percent.

Romney, the Republican front-runner, last week launched his second presidential campaign, saying Obama's economic policies were to blame for America's many economic woes.

The poll of 1,002 adults was conducted June 2-5 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; editing by Chris Wilson)

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