Washington: The approval rating of US President Barack Obama has dropped significantly with the increase in gasoline prices, according to two separate opinion polls.

"In the new poll, 46 percent approve of the way Obama is handling his job, while 50 percent disapprove. That's a mirror image of his 50 to 46 positive split in early February," said the latest opinion poll released.

Obama poll rating "sinks to a new low" reported here on Monday, adding that the drop may be partially attributable to rising gas prices.

"Just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as President," according to the poll, conducted from March 7 to 11.

Another 47 percent disapprove of his performance, up from 41 percent last month.

Obama's approval rating was 50 percent last month.

However, Gallup poll in its latest survey said that Obama's approval rating has improved.

"Obama's job approval rating was at 43 percent as last week began. His rating improved to 48 per cent by mid-week before rising to 49 percent over the weekend, suggesting that he was on the upswing even before Friday's jobs report," it said.

Gallup said Obama appears to have benefited from Americans' significantly improved view of the national economy, including the positive jobs report released on Friday.

President's weekly average job approval rating of 48 percent is up from his 45 percent average for the month of February.

"Obama's approval rating dropped substantially in recent weeks, the poll found, with 41 percent of respondents expressing approval of the job he is doing and 47 percent saying they disapprove — a dangerous position for any incumbent seeking re-election," as reported.

Obama in an interview acknowledged that increase in gasoline prices is frustrating to his countrymen.

"Understandably people are frustrated when gas prices are going up, and there are things we can do, but they're not going to result, provide results overnight," Obama told in an interview.

The American dependence on foreign oil under his administration has reduced, he said, adding that fuel efficiency standards for cars are being raised.

Though he is exploring other ways to reduce prices, Obama said the biggest contributor to the current high prices is rumors of war in the Middle East.

"Which is part of the reason I said a couple weeks ago let's stop with the loose talk about war. Because a lot of what's driving this is people's concern and fear that there might be major disruptions in the Middle East oil markets," Obama said.

Obama's drop in approval rating is particularly pronounced among low-income households that may be feeling the pinch of the higher gas prices as well as increases in prices for groceries and some retail items more than others.

"The decline in Obama's approval rating has occurred as more attention has been made to prices at the gas pump and as Republican presidential candidates have sometimes tries to connect the price increases to the Obama administration's approach to Iran," as reported.

(Agencies)