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Poll: Obama has 38 percent approval rating in Utah



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Thirty-eight percent of Utahns approve of President Barack Obama's job performance while 60 percent disapprove, according to a statewide poll.

The Salt Lake Tribune poll also found that 25 percent of registered voters surveyed think President Obama's actions have improved the nation's economy, while 44 percent believe they have hurt it.

Another 27 percent believe the president's economic policies have had little effect and 4 percent were unsure.

When it comes to national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 42 percent say they are either very confident or somewhat confident in Obama's efforts.

Brigham Young University political scientist Kelly Patterson said the poll results in conservative Utah don't surprise him.

"The voters' judgments of him here were always going to be particularly harsh because of the partisan makeup of this state," he said.

Last November, Obama received 34.4 percent of the vote in Utah, while Republican John McCain captured 62.6 percent.

While President George W. Bush was deeply unpopular nationwide, his support in Utah held above 50 percent until the last few months of his presidency. A Tribune poll in January showed that 44 percent of Utahns approved of his job performance.

As Obama was preparing to take office in January, 46 percent of Utah voters expected the president to improve the economy.

"A lot of us wanted to believe that he was going to make a difference," said Maxine Dean of Magna. "But it looks to me as if all the president has done is slap a Band-aid on the economy."

Gordon Roberts, a retired attorney in Salt Lake City, said he doesn't understand those who believe Obama's policies have hurt the economy.

"When he took office the economy was really screwed up," he said. "So how could he have hurt the economy? It would be like hurting a dead man."

The poll of 625 Utahns was conducted Nov. 9-11 by Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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