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May 2, 2011 at 6:16 PM

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Obama's popularity in state sinks in pre-bin Laden poll

Posted by Kyung M. Song

WASHINGTON -- A growing disenchantment among Obama loyalists helped sharply pull down the president's popularity in Washington state compared to 2009, according to The Elway Poll released Monday.

The latest poll --completed four days before the killing of Osama bin Laden that handed the White House a political coup -- showed Obama's approval rating plummeted by 21 percentage points among registered voters in the state. Just 39 percent of the respondents rated the president's job performance as excellent or good, while 59 percent said he was doing only a fair or poor job.

In contrast, a 2009 Elway poll showed Obama with a 60 percent positive rating and a 38 percent negative rating.

Seattle pollster Stuart Elway called the turnabout "rather stunning" in a state where 58 percent of the voters chose Obama in the 2008 presidential election and where just 23 percent of survey respondents call themselves Republican.

Obama's sagging numbers in Washington differs sharply from the national picture. The April 29 Gallup Poll, for instance, shows Obama's report card almost evenly split with 46 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rating.

The Elway Poll was conducted on the phone with 405 registered voters in the state; the Gallup Poll included about 1,500 adults around the nation.

Elway said Obama has lost support from every voter category, with Boomers, women and independent voters growing particularly disillusioned. Nonetheless, 45 percent of all respondents said they likely would vote to reelect Obama, with 44 percent saying the opposite.

That's because as disappointed as they may be, Elway said, some Obama supporters simply can't bring themselves to cast a ballot for a Republican.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.