POLL-High gas prices makes Americans gloomy, hit Obama rating

Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:56pm GMT

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) - Rising U.S. gasoline prices have damaged confidence in the country's future and forced Americans to change their spending habits and lifestyles, a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday found.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they think the country is on the wrong track, the highest such rating since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said the pessimistic outlook was due mostly to high gas prices, which rose to an average of $3.79 a gallon last week, up 11 cents from the week before.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans said high gas prices had forced them to cut back on other expenses and 62 percent said they had chosen to drive less because of the cost.

Obama's approval rating fell to 46 percent in the poll. (Reporting by Alistair Bell and John Whitesides; Editing by Eric Beech)

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