A new Harris Poll shows voter approval of Mr. Carter's performance at a record low, Monitor correspondent Godfrey Sperling Jr. reports. The poll indicates 77 percent of the country's voters are unhappy and 22 percent are satisfied with how Mr. Carter is doing his job, especially in the areas of the economy and foreign policy. The figure overshadows the 74 percent negative rating he received last October.
The very disclosure of poor ratings tends to put a further cloud over the President and, thus, to make it even harder for him to change the public reception.
But the Ronald Reagan camp refuses to be misled by the polls. At a breakfast with reporters Wednesday, Mr. Reagan's new senior adviser, James Baker, formerly with Gerald Ford's 1976 campaign, said of Mr. Carter's low standing:
"We [the Ford campaign] were 31 points behind Carter about this time four years ago. But when we came out of the GOP convention we had narrowed that to 17 points. I would expect this incumbent President to make a similar big gain at the Democratic convention -- unless it turns out to be a disaster for him."