Economy erodes election hope for Democrats

President Obama makes remarks on the Senate campaign finance reform vote in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Americans by a large majority believe President Barack Obama has not focused enough on job creation, as economic fears threaten Democrats ahead of November 2 congressional elections, a Reuters-Ipsos poll found on Tuesday.

In a sign of trouble ahead for the Democrats, the poll found evidence of a sizable enthusiasm gap with Republicans more energized about voting in the elections.

Americans expressed deep unhappiness with the direction of the economy, which in the poll they identified overwhelmingly as the country's top problem.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at a stubbornly high 9.5 percent and Obama has spent much of the year on issues like Wall Street reform and healthcare in addition to jobs.

People were more negative about Obama's performance on the economy than on any other question surveyed. Satisfaction was dropping more sharply on the issue than on any other question.

Only 34 percent approved of Obama's handling of the economy and jobs compared to 46 percent who deemed it unsatisfactory. This is a sharp decline from early 2009, shortly after he took office, when more than half of those surveyed approved of Obama's handling of the worst financial crisis in decades.

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