U.S. President Barack Obama's job approval rating in the latest quarter hit a new low, threatening his re-election chances, a new Gallup poll showed Friday.
An average of 41 percent of Americans approved of Obama's handling of his job as president during his 11th quarter in office, down six percentage points from the previous quarter and below his previous low of 45 percent during his 7th quarter.
The decline was partly due to the protracted negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to raise the federal debt ceiling in late July and early August, as well as the subsequent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by the Standard and Poor's, which triggered a free fall in stock markets. While both parties were blamed for the impasse during the debt ceiling talks, Obama was also blamed for lacking leadership.
Another event that might have tarnished the president was the government's jobs report, which showed no new net jobs were created in August, a sign the economy was still a long way from recovery.
"Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the country remains at historically low levels, and Americans clearly identify the economy and unemployment as the most important problems facing the United States," the poll said.
"Thus, a second Obama term likely hinges on whether there are signs of economic progress in the coming months," the poll said.