The Washington Times - March 5, 2013, 04:17PM

President Obama’s approval rating has taken a hit since the sequester went into effect March 1, tumbling to its lowest level in Gallup’s three-day average since his re-election.

The Gallup weekly tracking poll shows Mr. Obama averaging 46 percent for the week ending March 2, down from 51 percent the prior week. The new numbers follow a downward trend for the president’s job approval over the first two months of his second term since the figure showed a 54 percent high in early January.


Mr. Obama’s job-approval ratings have been consistently at or above 50 percent since October.

His disapproval rating also climbed six points, hitting 46 percent over the weekend, up from 40 percent a week earlier. Another poll, conducted by CBS News and the Wall Street Journal, showed the public almost evenly dividing their blame for the sequester, with 38 percent blaming Republicans and 33 percent blaming Mr. Obama.

The dip comes after Congress and the administration failed to reach a deal to avoid $85 billion in automatic budget cuts and Mr. Obama spent days issuing dire warnings about the impact of the sequester.

Despite the disappointing new numbers, White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed any notion that Mr. Obama miscalculated by not negotiating more with Republicans or by announcing government cuts that will get the most reaction from the public.

“The president is focused on trying to find solutions,” Mr. Carney said. “He’s not focused on assigning blame.”