President Obama, struggling in his battle against a massive unemployment problem, may be more vulnerable than ever to a reinvigorated Republican party, new state and national polls suggest.
Obama's approval rating continued to slide in September, with just 43 percent giving him the nod and more than half of the country -- 53 percent -- disapproving of his performance, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday ahead of Obama's nationally televised speech on jobs on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, unemployment and market jitters are driving voter pessimism to its lowest point in three years, according to the poll, with a solid 77 percent of Americans saying the country is headed in the wrong direction and more than 60 percent saying they do not believe in the president's stewardship of the economy.
The most recent economic report showed no jobs gained in August and the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent.
But the American public seems to be split on what to do about jobs -- about 80 percent of the country is split evently between those who agree with Obama, who has called for more government spending, and those who agree with House Republicans, who are prioritizing deficit-cutting.
Critics on the left say that Obama's half-hearted stimulus efforts -- and lackluster budget slashing -- wll not lead to any real change.
Even in deep-blue California, a Los Angeles Times/USC poll showed a public deeply divided over the solution to the unemployment problem -- and unfortunately for Obama, most disagree with him. Only 37 percent of California voters want more stimulus while 49 percent think slashing government is the answer to the recession.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, one of the leading Republican candidates, is expected to release a 160-page jobs plan in Nevada later today, including "59 specific proposals" and 10 concrete steps for his first day in the White House that sound more or less like variations on a theme of cutting taxes.
Here's an op-ed by Romney that gives a preview of his jobs plan in today's USA Today.