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In New Orleans, Gulf oil spill anger turns to Obama

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“Too little, too late—it’s the same thing again,” said Ms. Goldfinch, a member of the grass-roots Krewe of Dead Pelicans. “People are pretty upset and enraged, but don’t want to criticize Obama, because policy-wise he’s probably the best president we’ve had on the environment. But from letting BP use [the dispersant] Corexit to blocking the media and making it easier for [BP] to get away with murder, this has been a corporate controlled disaster. His response has been pretty bad.”

While no recent polls have been conducted in Louisiana, national polls show that the crisis is affecting Obama’s approval ratings. A Marist poll from June 30 found that a majority of American voters think his handling of the oil spill is the same or worse than President Bush's handling of hurricane Katrina. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the response to the BP spill was at least as bad as Katrina, including 23 percent who said it was worse.

A CBS poll in mid June found that 45 percent of Americans disapproved of his handling of the Gulf crisis (70 percent disapproved of BP’s performance), with 35 percent approving. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from June 23 found that Obama’s overall job approval rating had dropped to 45 percent – 5 points lower than in May and the lowest level of his presidency – while 48 percent said they disapproved of his performance. Half disapproved of his handling of the spill.

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