President Obama's job approval rating sank to a new low of 41 percent in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Tuesday, forecasting political headwinds for the Democratic Party in the months leading up to November's midterm elections.
Forty-eight percent of respondents in the survey said that they are less likely to vote for a candidate who is a solid supporter of of Obama, versus 26 percent who said they are more likely to support a candidate that supports the president. More than a third of respondents remained neutral, with 41 percent saying that their vote will have nothing to do with the president.
Neither party, however, has a solid edge in terms of popularity. Republicans fared one point better than Democrats – 44 percent to 43 percent – on the question of which party voters would rather have running Congress, which is within the poll's margin of error. "What makes 2014 so different [from past cycles] is that the voters are in a rebellious state against the whole Congress and the establishment in Washington,” Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, told NBC News. But Yang acknowledged that Democrats face an uphill battle in this fall's midterms. "There is an advantage for Republicans right now," he said.
For Republicans, having the president effectively sidelined is the most important factor. "The president is being taken off the field as a Democratic positive,” McInturff said. "When you have the most powerful person in the world [on the sidelines], that’s a big deal."