Americans rate the way President Barack Obama is handling the fiscal cliff talks much better than they rate the job congressional leaders -- whether identified by name or generically -- are doing on the same issue. Even though Obama's approval rating is best, it still is below the majority level.
These results are based on a Dec. 15-16 USA Today/Gallup poll. Gallup has tracked approval of President Obama and the leaders in Congress for the last three weeks. Obama has always fared better than generic congressional leaders, with little change in the approval rating of each since early December.
The current poll is the first that asked Americans to rate the job Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are doing specifically. Both Boehner's and Reid's disapproval ratings are twice as high as their approval ratings, though at least one in four Americans do not have an opinion on how they are handling the talks.
Americans are more likely to offer an opinion on how the party congressional leaders, generically, are doing, which results in higher approval and disapproval ratings than for the leaders identified by name.
Obama's 48% fiscal cliff approval rating is a bit lower than his overall job approval rating, which averaged 52% in Dec. 10-16 Gallup Daily tracking.
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