WASHINGTON -- President Obama and the Democrats woke up Tuesday morning to the stunning headline that his approval ratings have plunged to the lowest point in his presidency.
Even worse, polls showed he was losing support among his party's political base, which has become increasingly disenchanted and divided over his trouble-plagued health insurance law, not to mention his terrible performance in an anemic economy.
In the past month, Obama's job-disapproval score has shot up to 63 percent among independents and up to 50 percent among self-described moderates, two of the key swing voter blocs that helped him win a second term.
Opposition to his health care law has soared to a record high of 57 percent, with 46 percent saying they're "strongly against it," according to The Washington Post's latest poll.
But his failing grades from voters run even deeper than this: 63 percent disapprove of his handling of the bungled, widely unpopular health care program, up from 53 percent last month.
At the same time, a growing number of Americans see him as an incompetent chief executive who's out of touch with his administration and the policies he has championed.
"For the first time in Obama's presidency, a bare majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they have an unfavorable impression of him," the Post reported.
"Half or more now say he is not a strong leader, does not understand the problems of 'people like you,' and is not honest and trustworthy," the survey found.
These sharply declining numbers are not just the result of the collapse of Obamacare in the last several weeks. They have been on a downward slide all year.
Among registered voters, perceptions of Obama as a strong leader have fallen 15 points since January and 12 points on questions of honesty and trustworthiness.
His overall approval score has dropped to 42 percent, down six points in a month, with his disapproval rating at 55 percent. Other polls, like Gallup, showed his approval rating falling to near 40 percent. A Quinnipiac University survey, among others, has it slipping into the 30s.
The bleak political reality that was slowly dawning on his top White House advisers is that Obama's numbers are not going to be turned around anytime soon by a quick fix of Obamacare. That's not going to happen.