Faith in President Obama is falling sharply amid the increasing polarization of the health care debate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The president's overall approval stands at just 57%, down 12 points from its April peak, with his disapproval rating up to a highest-ever 40%. Pessimism about Obama's proposed reforms has also crept upward over the summer.
Americans are in an increasingly pessimistic mood: just 49% think Obama will make the right decisions (down from 60%), while 55% say the country is heading in the wrong direction, and only 51% believe in government action to improve health care. Support for a public care option is falling, with seniors especially negative and support dropping most among independents. The only bright spot is the recession, with half of Americans believing it will end within 12 months, up from 28%.