The Washington Times - March 13, 2013, 07:05AM

Public trust on President Obama’s handling of the economy has dropped significantly since the November election after battles over the year-end “fiscal cliff” deal and across-the-board spending cuts that ended up taking effect March 1.

Forty-four percent percent of respondents in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll say they trust Mr. Obama to do a better job handling the economy while 40 percent side with congressional Republicans — a big drop from an 18-point gap just a few short months ago. In December, 54 percent trusted Mr. Obama more and 36 percent trusted congressional Republicans more.

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Mr. Obama’s job approval/disapproval split also dropped from a 14-point net positive — 55 percent to 41 percent — to 4 points in March, with 50 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving.

Fifty-three percent disapprove of the sequestration cuts taking place, but a plurality of voters — 47 percent to 33 percent — still think congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the cuts going into effect. Still, despite persistent warnings from the White House of the cuts taking effect, just 25 percent of respondents say they have personally felt the impact of the budget cuts, compared to 73 percent who have not.

The poll of 1,001 adults was conducted from March 7-10 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.