With little more than a month to go before the midterm elections, President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit an all-time low.
Only 42 percent of Americans now approve of how Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Fifty-four percent disapprove of his performance.
The figures represent a new low-water mark in the CNN/ORC poll for the president, who, almost two years into his term, continues to wrestle with public worries over a sluggish economy and exhaustion with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Congressional Democrats aren't faring much better. They now face a nine-point deficit when likely voters are asked which party they'll back in November, according to the poll.
Top non-partisan political analysts have given the Republicans a serious shot at picking up the 39 seats necessary to recapture the House of Representatives.
A solid majority of all Americans -- 56 percent -- say that Obama has fallen short of their expectations. As a result, the president is not in a position to help struggling Democratic candidates; only 37 percent of likely voters say they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate backed by Obama.
In contrast, half of all likely voters now say they are likely to choose a candidate supported by the conservative Tea Party -- contributing to the GOP's 53 to 44 percent lead when such voters are asked which party's candidate they will choose in November.
Also damaging the Democrats: the enthusiasm gap. Republicans in general are much more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats, according to the new poll. (Continues)