[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/21/art.obama0721.gi.jpg caption="A new poll out Tuesday indicates that President Obama's approval rating on health care is below 50 percent."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Barack Obama pushes back against critics of his health care plan, a new national poll indicates that half the country disapproves of how he's handling the issue.
That's the finding in a USA Today/Gallup poll released Tuesday. Forty-four percent of those questioned in the survey approve of how Obama's dealing with health care, while 50 percent do not.
The poll is the fourth national survey in the past month to suggest that the president's approval rating on health care reform is now under 50 percent, joining an ABC News/Washington Post poll, a CBS News survey, and a Quinnipiac University poll. It is the first poll to show the number who disapprove of Obama's track record on health care higher than the number who give Obama a positive rating on that issue.
"Obama's support on health care is similiiar to the pattern that polls found for Bill Clinton in 1993," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In April of 1993, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found 51 percent of Americans who approved of how Clinton was handling health care policy. By August of that year, Clinton's approval rating on health care had dropped to 44 percent."
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted July 17-19, with 1,006 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll, which was released Monday, indicates Obama still has a large advantage over Republicans on the issue. Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they trust Obama to do a better job handling health care than Republicans in Congress, with 34 percent putting more faith in congressional Republicans than the president.