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Polls differ on Obama popularity

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Two national polls released on Monday offer significantly different views of President Barack Obama's popularity with American voters.

In what could be sobering news for the White House, Gallup reports that Obama's unpopularity rating now stands at 52 percent, with only 41 percent approving of his performance in office.

Rasmussen Reports, on the other hand, pictures as Americans as more closely divided over Obama, with 50 percent approving of the president's performance in office and 49 percent expressing disapproval.

Gallup says its poll is based on a three-day moving average of polling results based on interviews with 1,500 adults throughout the nation.

Gallup estimates its margin of error as plus or minus three percentage points, meaning the pollster believes Obama's approval rating may be between 38 and 44 percent; and his unpopular rating may be between 49 and 55 percent.

Some of Rasmussen's numbers suggest firm support of Obama is weaker than strong opposition.

"The latest figures include 24 percent who strongly approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 37 percent who strongly disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13."

Rasmussen's numbers are also based on a moving three-day average, with 500 prospective American voters interviewed each night.

It also claims a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, which could place Obama's overall approval rating at between 47 and 53 percent, and his overall disapproval rating at between 46 and 52 percent.

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