A struggling economy and concerns over health care are taking their toll on President Barack Obama's job approval numbers in New Hampshire.Huh? I though once he passed that healthcare scam all would be well? Continued weakness in the economy? The "experts" have been telling us how strong the economy has been? You mean they've been lying?
According to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, 44 percent of those polled believe that Obama is doing a good job, while 52 percent disapprove of his performance.
The poll of 504 randomly selected New Hampshire adults was conducted by telephone by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from April 15 through April 26. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.
Obama's job approval numbers are down 2 points since February. UNH pollster Andy Smith said they spell trouble for the president in New Hampshire.
"The important thing about that from a political science perspective is that 46 percent is the magic number," he said. "If you are above that, a president almost always gets re-elected. Below 46, they often do not get re-elected."
According to the poll, New Hampshire voters are also growing more pessimistic about the direction the country is headed. Only 32 percent of those asked said they think the country is on the right track, while 63 percent said they think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
In matchups against potential Republican presidential candidates, the polls shows Obama would lose to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The poll shows Romney beating Obama 50 to 43 percent. Smith said the result shows Obama losing steam with a particular group of voters.
"He's in danger of losing those independents," Smith said. "They've been sliding away over the last year because of health care and the continuing weakness in the economy."
When pitted against former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Obama comes out on top, 45 to 38 percent. But Smith said again the numbers signal trouble for the incumbent.If Obama isn't close to 50% nationally I suspect his Secretary of State will be oiling up her campaign machine in about six months.
"Even against a largely unknown candidate, Obama is not able to reach 50 percent," Smith said. "And then when you put him up against social conservative Mike Huckabee, Obama is still not doing that well. He's leading, but only by a 46 percent to 42 percent margin over Huckabee."