The survey by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found his job approval/disapproval rating basically a wash -- 45% gave him good marks, 43% gave him negative ones. (The poll's margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2 percentage points.)
His standing is down from the ratings he received in a March poll, when 52% expressed approval and 35% disapproval. The new figures also represent the first time his approval rating has dropped below 50% in 14 years of polling by the institute and, overall, his lowest score ever, said the survey's director, Douglas Schwartz.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, July 13, 2008 Bulldog Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Top of the Ticket blog excerpts: In Section A of the July 6 Weekend Edition, an item about the possibility that Barack Obama will campaign at a NASCAR event misspelled bank robber Willie Sutton's name as Willy.
Given the scheduling motif Barack Obama's presidential campaign has adopted, the candidate can soon be expected to deliver a speech decrying U.S. dependence on foreign oil in . . . Energy, Ill.
That would be followed with an elaboration on his economic policy in Bonanza, Colo.
Then he'll want to discuss national security matters in Protection, Kan. And as the time for his vice presidential pick nears, we'll be watching to see whether he tips his hand with a stop on Richardson Bay, Calif. (or, for that matter, in Clinton, Iowa; Webb, N.Y.; or Nunn, Colo.).
Such conjecture is inspired, of course, by Obama's recent appearance in Unity, N.H., to stress his newfound harmony with Hillary Rodham Clinton. And that was followed by his speech on patriotism in Independence, Mo.
It's an attention-getting shtick, though easily overdone. In fact, Obama's campaign probably would be well advised to give it a rest.
But at the risk of beating a dead horse, here are a few places the rivals are likely to studiously avoid:
One, in fact, would be Dead Horse, Alaska. The towns of Boring -- one in Maryland, another in Oregon -- don't figure to show up on their itineraries. Same with Turkey, Texas.
And don't look for a dateline any time soon from Hell, Mich.
Excerpted from The Times' political blog, Top of the Ticket, at www.latimes.com/ topoftheticket.