According to a CBS News poll released Friday, around 60 percent of voters – the highest on record – disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy. While his overall job approval rating is significantly higher at 43 percent, only one President since World War II – Richard Nixon – was able to win a second term with approval ratings below 50 percent one year before Election Day.
It’s worth noting, though, that only 39% of Independents, according to the survey, are pleased with his job performance. Indeed, in a general election that will likely come down to the wire, these numbers suggest President Obama may lose a key voting bloc next November that helped catapult him to victory in 2008.
Those bleak numbers come just one day before eight Republican candidates hit the stage in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for the CBS News/National Journal debate on foreign policy at Wofford College. (The debate is at 8 p.m. ET -- watch on the CBS Television Network or here at CBSNews.com.)
On foreign policy, Mr. Obama's ratings are higher. About 45 percent of respondents approve of the job he is doing, compared to 41 percent who disapprove of his foreign policy performance.
On the specific subject of combating terrorism, about 63 percent approve of Mr. Obama's performance while 28 percent disapprove.
Despite these dismal numbers, however, President Obama is still polling higher than members of Congress:
Just 9 percent of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing, compared to 83 percent who disapprove of the legislature's job performance.
And the disapproval ratings for Congress are nearly equal across party lines. About 82 percent of Democrats disapprove of Congress' job performance, compared to 78 percent of Republicans.
Independents were least impressed with Congress. Just six percent of those not identified with a major party approve of the job Congress is doing and about 86 percent do not approve.
There appears to be little to look forward to for Mr. Obama and his campaign team.