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Gallup poll: Obama's approval ratings fell across U.S. in 2010

The Gallup survey says President Obama's approval rating is above 50% in a dozen states, and in 10 states his approval rating is lower than 40%.

February 24, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — President Obama suffered an across-the-board decrease in popularity throughout the country in 2010, according to state-by-state data released by Gallup on Wednesday.

In only a dozen states was the president's approval rating above 50%, the data show, and in 10 states his approval rating was lower than 40%.

His approval rating did not rise in any state last year, and the most severe drops occurred in "red" states carried by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 and battleground states Obama will need in 2012 to win reelection.

Vermont registered the biggest dip in presidential job approval — 15.2% lower in 2010 than in 2009. It was followed by Arizona, where the Obama administration's lawsuit challenging the state's illegal-immigration law made the political environment even more toxic for Democrats.

For the second consecutive year, Obama's native state of Hawaii gave him the most support, with 65.9% of voters approving of his job performance. Maryland (57.6%), New York (56.6%), Delaware (56.3%) and Massachusetts (55.2%) rounded out the top five. Eight of 12 states where Obama's approval rating was above the national average are in the Northeast.

Obama was least popular in Wyoming, where just 27.6% of voters approved of his performance. Gallup found that five of the top 10 least approving states were in the West, including Idaho (31.6%), Utah (33.8%), Montana (39.1%) and Alaska (38.5%).

His approval rating in California was 54.5%.

A job approval rating is only one factor, albeit an important one, in determining the strength of a president seeking reelection. Gallup found that in the perennial swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada, Obama's approval rating was within 1 point of his national average of 47%.

Gallup's data are based on telephone interviews throughout 2010 with a random sample of 179,503 adults in all 50 states. The margins of error vary in each state based on the number of individuals contacted.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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