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Obama Not Focusing Enough on Economy: NBC Poll

Many Americans think President Obama should spend more time on the economy and think his health-care plan is a bad idea, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

President Barack Obama
Photo by: Pete Souza
President Barack Obama

The poll, taken over the past weekend, shows 51% believe Obama has paid “too little attention” to the economy, while a plurality don't like his proposal to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.

Obama’s overall approval rating ticked up to 50%, while 44% disapprove of the job he is doing.

The number of Americans who think the country is headed in the wrong direction rose to 58%, the highest since Obama took office.

President heads into his State of the Union speech Wednesday looking to reconnect with voters frustrated by the sour US economy.

Priority No. 1 for Obama in his first such annual address is laying out a convincing case that his policies will generate jobs.

The need to switch to an all-out focus on jobs is paramount. Democrats fear a 10 percent jobless rate and dissatisfaction with Washington will lead to big losses in November congressional elections and damage their majority in the U.S. Congress.

Obama's health care plan was left hanging in the balance when a political earthquake struck traditionally liberal Massachusetts last week and Republican Scott Brown was elected a U.S. senator, denying Democrats a 60-vote supermajority that let them override Republican procedural blocking tactics.

—AP contributed to this story.