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MORE AMERICANS DISAPPROVE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA - REVEALS NBC NEWS/WALL STREET JOURNAL POLL

For the first time in the joint NBC News and The Wall Street Journal poll, more American disapprove (48%) of President Obama’s job performance than approve (45%). And for the first time in his presidency, more than 60 percent believe the country is on the wrong track.

A combination of the oil crisis in the gulf, concerns about the current deficit, and pessimism about the economy has contributed to the president's declining poll numbers.And as he relieves Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command in Afghanistan, President Obama’s scores on being able to handle a crisis and on being decisive have plummeted since last year. Just 40% gave the President high marks for being able to handle a crisis, down from 54% in July 2009. (Note: This poll was conducted before McChrystal was relieved of his command.)

A majority of Americans (50%) disapprove of Obama’s handling of the oil spill. But his numbers are better than anyone else’s, with 48% saying he's done more or as much as expected, compared with 39% for Congress, 36% for the federal government, and 27% for BP. Meanwhile the appetite for offshore drilling has declined slightly, with 53% in support of offshore drilling, down from 60% a month ago.

The public is also extremely concerned about the deficit, with 63% reporting Obama and Congress should worry more about the current deficit, even if it means the economy will take longer to recover. The percentage of those who think the economy will improve over the next year declined by seven points since May.

Despite these numbers, a plurality of Americans (47%) still have a favorable opinion of the President overall, with only 40% reporting an unfavorable opinion. And 64% gave him high marks for being easy going and likeable. Meanwhile George W. Bush remains unpopular with only 29% viewing him as favorable, compared to 50% who view him as unfavorable. Sarah Palin’s favorability number also remains low at just 29%, while 43% view her unfavorably.

The joint NBC/WSJ poll was conducted from June 17-21 of 1,000 adults as part of a regular review of the nation's political climate. Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and Republican pollster Bill McInturff surveyed participants and tabulated the results. The poll has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. Poll results will be announced by Savannah Guthrie on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 as well as on www.msnbc.com.