Gallup: Obama’s Approval Drops Below 50 Percent Among Poorest Americans; No Longer Enjoys Majority Approval In Any Income Class

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 13, 2011 | 4:56 PM EDT

President Barack Obama participates in a town hall meeting in Fairless Hills, Pa., on April 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

( - President Barack Obama’s approval among the poorest Americans dropped to an all-time low of 48 percent last week, according to the Gallup poll, leaving the president with less-than-majority approval among all income brackets reported in Gallup's presidential approval surveys.

Each week, Gallup publishes the president’s average approval rating for the previous week among four income brackets: those who earn $2,000 per month or less, those who earn between $2,000 and $4,999 per month, those who earn between $5,000 and $7,499 per month, and those who earn $7,500 per month or more.

For the week of April 4-10, Obama’s approval rating was 48 percent among those making $2,000 or less per month, and 46 percent among those in each of the three higher income brackets.

This was only the second time in his presidency that Obama’s average weekly approval rating among the poorest Americans had dropped below 50 percent. The first time was three weeks ago—in the week of March 21-27—when his approval dropped to 49 percent among Americans who earn $2,000 per month or less. (Two weeks ago, the president's approval among this income bracket rebounded to 52 percent before dropping to 48 percent last week.)

The last time Obama had majority approval in all four income brackets in the Gallup poll was the week of Oct. 19-25, 2009. The first time he had less than majority approval in all four income brackets was March 21-27.

Gallup’s latest weekly presidential approval numbers, showing Obama’s approval at 48 percent among the poorest Americans, were released one day before Obama gave a speech on a new economic plan in which he repeatedly vowed to increase taxes on "millionaires and billionaires."

Gallup also released a poll this week indicating that public optimism about the future of the U.S. economy has declined sharply since the beginning of the year.

“Americans' optimism about the future direction of the U.S. economy plunged in March for the second month in a row, as the percentage of Americans saying the economy is ‘getting better’ fell to 33% --down from 41% in January,” Gallup said in its analysis of the polling numbers.