Washington, Sep 17 (IANS): As new polls suggested that President Barack Obama's support is eroding among elements of his base, he claimed that his odds of being re-elected in 2012 are "much higher" than they were in 2008.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll released Friday suggested that a yearlong effort by Obama to recapture the political centre has failed to attract independent voters.
The poll found a 12-point jump since late June, to 43 percent, in the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse. And for the first time since taking office, his disapproval rating has reached 50 percent in the Times and CBS News polls.
The poll found a 43 percent approval rating for Obama. It is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency, according to the Times and CBS News poll, which showed Ronald Reagan with an approval of 46 percent and the elder George Bush at 70 percent.
But at a small campaign fundraiser in Washington Thursday night, Obama sought to reassure donors and play down concerns of his weakness in the 2012 presidential race.
"Now, I know that, over the last couple of months, there have been Democrats who voiced concerns and nervousness about, well, in this kind of economy, isn't this just - aren't these just huge headwinds in terms of your re-election? Here's one thing I know for certain:
"The odds of me being re-elected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place," the president said.
Meanwhile, another poll suggested over a third of Americans believe the US would be better off now if his 2008 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton were president.
The Bloomberg survey released Friday showed 34 percent of those questioned said America would be superior under a Hillary Clinton administration, while 47 percent said it would be about the same and 13 percent said it would be worse.
Clinton remains the most popular American political figure with nearly two-thirds of Americans holding a favourable view of the former first lady.
Half of the respondents felt the same way about Obama, who received the lowest job approval rating of his presidency, at 45 percent.