WASHINGTON (CNN) - Do Americans think President Barack Obama's got too many balls in the air? A new national survey indicates that for a majority, the answer is yes.
Fifty-five percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say that since he's taken over in the White House, President Obama has tried to handle more issues than he should have. Forty-three percent say he hasn't bitten off more than he can chew.
"In his first weeks in office, Barack Obama did not focus exclusively on the economy but instead announced new policies and proposals on everything from education to health care to Afghanistan and Iraq," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "He gets high marks on most of those issues, but it seems that many Americans are worried that he might lose his focus on economic recovery."
President Obama Tuesday dismissed criticism he's trying to do too much. "What I say is that the challenges we face are too large to ignore," he said.
"To kick these problems down the road for another four years or another eight years to be to continue the same irresponsibility that led us to this point. That's not why I ran for this office. I didn't come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation. I came here to solve them."
The poll suggests that a majority, 58 percent, feel that the president's programs strike the right political tone for the country. Thirty-six percent say Obama's proposals are too liberal, and 5 percent say they are not liberal enough.
On the issues: 59 percent say they approve of how the President's handling the economy, 57 percent like how Obama's dealing with health care, 63 percent approve of his energy policy and 65 percent back him on education reform.
Sixty-six percent like Obama's approach to foreign affairs, with 63 percent approving of how he handles Iraq, 67 percent agreeing with him on Afghanistan and 61 percent approving of his performance in the fight against terrorism."
Obama tends to get better numbers for his handling of international issue than on domestic problems," Holland says. "That's a typical pattern for many presidents, who can handle foreign policy concerns without always having to push something through Congress."
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll of 1,019 Americans was conducted by telephone Thursday through Sunday, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.