|US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For President Barack Obama, this could be a long summer.
His approval rating has dipped to 47%, its lowest since January, and a seven-point lead he enjoyed over his Republican rival Mitt Romney last month has vanished, according to a new poll.
The new survey by Ipsos/Reuters also suggest Americans have more faith in Romney than Obama -- 46% to 43% -- to right the listing U.S. economy and create more jobs, leaving big shot Democrats close to former President Bill Clinton urging Obama's re-election team to get a new message.
And last month, Romney bested him in fundraising by $17 million.
The survey, released late Tuesday, found Obama's approval rating had dropped three points since last month. Among crucial independent voters his approval rating is 35%, down from 48% last month.
And a whopping 63% of Americans think the U.S. is on the wrong track, up six points from May.
Obama's dip in approval numbers comes on the heels of abysmal job numbers last month when less than half of the 150,000 new jobs expected were actually created and the unemployment rate bumped back up to 8.2%.
There's also new evidence to suggest the net worth of American households has plunged 40%, back to 1992 levels -- $126,000 in 2007 to $77,000 in 2010.
President Obama, though, has been trumpeting the economy is recovering. In a gaffe last week, he even said -- and later recanted -- that the private sector was doing "fine."
During a marathon lineup of six fundraisers Tuesday, Obama told supporters that while he's not "perfect," and the economy's troubles won't be fixed "overnight," he's still better than Romney to lead the U.S. to economic greatness again.
"They (the Republicans) want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. They want even deeper cuts to things like education, and Medicare and research and technology. They want to give banks and insurance companies even more power to do as they please," Obama said at a campaign event in Baltimore. "So when I hear governor Romney say his 25 years in the private sector gives him a special understanding of how the economy works, my question is why are you running with the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of disaster?"
But Romney shot back Wednesday, blasting Obama as inexperienced and largely to blame for the sluggish recovery.
"This has been a tepid and unfortunate recovery for the American people and it means more people are out of work, more people looking for good jobs and that breaks my heart," Romney said in Washington at a gathering of business leaders. "I think this flows from the fact that the president and his people just don't understand how the private sector works."
And even big-wig Democrats are urging Obama to stop talking about his economic policies of the past four years.
Democracy Corps, a Democrat strategy consulting firm run by former Bill Clinton advisors James Carville and Stan Greenberg, warned in a 16-page memo and focus group study released Monday that Obama needs to entice voters with a message of what he'll do in a second term, not what he has done so far to help the economy.
The bottom line, nobody believes any of it has worked.
"We will face an impossible headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative," the public report reads. "It is elites who are creating a conventional wisdom that an incumbent president must run on his economic performance -- and therefore must convince voters that things are moving in the right direction.
"They are wrong, and that will fail."
Maybe heeding the authors' advice, Obama was scheduled to speak in Cleveland, Ohio, about the economy. Reports suggest his campaign speech will focus on why he needs four more years to fix the economy, and not what he's done so far.
Romney warned Obama ahead of Thursday's speech that "words are cheap," even if Obama does speak "eloquently."