As Americans have grown more pessimistic about the national economy, they've also soured on Obama. In the latest poll, a slim 50% majority said they disapproved of his job performance, compared to 47% who approved. That's a net nine-point reversal from last month, and a 14-point turnaround since January when 54% of Americans approved of Obama's job performance versus 43% who disapproved.
The latest TPM Poll Average shows that 49.2% of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, versus 45.9% who disapprove.
While Obama's standing has slipped in recent months, he still posted comfortable leads of at least four points against a slate of potential 2012 Republican challengers in the Washington Post-ABC News survey.
Mitt Romney gave Obama his toughest challenge, trailing the president 49%-45%. He was the only challenger to hold Obama below the symbolic 50% threshold.
Obama led Mike Huckabee 50%-44%, topped both Tim Pawlenty and Donald Trump 52%-39%, and bested Michele Bachmann 52%-38%. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin fared worst against Obama, trailing him 54%-39% and 56%-37% respectively.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted April 14-17 among 1,001 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.5%.