Nightly News | November 07, 2011
>>> now to the state of play in politics since we are 60 days before the iowa caucuses . we are debuting the new nbc news wall street journal poll. what voters are saying a year out from the presidential election about their country, their president including the role of herman cain . chuck todd .
>> reporter: despite weeks of campaign-style events to sell his vision to jumpstart the economy.
>> to put americans back to work and give our economy a boost.
>> reporter: president obama has been unable to win over any new supporters. his approval rating remained consistently mediocre for the last three months. with 44% approving and a slight majority, 51% disapproving. even more americans, 57%, disapprove of his handling of the economy. as the president gears up for his re-election bid, we asked respondents to score him on a dozen different domestic and foreign policy issues on whether he has lived up to or fallen short of their expectations. on just two -- iraq and improving race relations do most believe the president lived up to expectations. he received a fallen short grade on everything else from the war in afghanistan to the environment and even his signature accomplishment, health care . you can't beat somebody with nobody and the president leads all republican challengers including mitt romney by six points and herman cain by 15 points. cain's support among republicans remains steady at 27% despite the cloud of sexual harassment allegations hanging over his head though this poll was conducted before today 's new allegations surfaced. romney leads the overall republican field by a slim margin. the candidate to lose the most support in the last month was actually rick perry who fell behind newt gingrich and is tied with ron paul for fourth. while the feeding frenzy around cain is the short-term dominant story of the campaign the larger concern to the public is the state of the country. asked to describe in a word or phrase where they believe things stand in america today, the responses were highly negative. this computer generated word cloud where the size of the word reflects the number of common responses shows wrong direction, disappointing, downhill, need to work together were mentioned more than good shape or hopeful. and, brian, half of everyone we surveyed tell us they identify with one of the populist movements. 25% call themselves tea partiers and another 25% call the occupy wall street movement a good idea. both tapping into unfairness whether it's government or wall street . there's the backdrop for 2012 .
>> i'll say. chuck, thanks, as always.