Obama begins second term with 51 percent approval: Poll

Rachel Rose Hartman

President Barack Obama embarks on his second term with half the nation giving him a good performance review, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released on Friday.

Fifty-one percent of Americans surveyed Jan. 11-15 approve of how Obama is handling his job, the poll said. Forty-one percent disapprove.

The Times' Marjorie Connelly notes in her analysis that Obama's approval rating is similar to the one held by former President George W. Bush at the start of his second term, but far below ratings garnered by former President Bill Clinton (60 percent) and former President Ronald Reagan (62 percent) at the beginning of their second terms.

The "fiscal cliff" negotiations didn't alter public opinion of the president's ability to handle the economy, the poll said. Forty-six percent of adults surveyed said they approve of the president's ability to handle the economy and 49 percent disapprove.

The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.