The national poll found that Americans plan to vote for Republicans over Democratic candidates by 48 percent to 44 percent, an edge that will likely give Republicans dozens of seats in the House and big gains in the Senate.
The poll numbers suggest Republicans would win around 227 seats in the House to 208 for the Democrats, Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said. In the Senate, the poll indicates Democrats would retain control but with a smaller, 52-to-48 seat margin.
A split Congress like that could mean political gridlock after November as the United States struggles to overcome high unemployment, the gaping budget deficit and a fierce debate over tax cuts. Much will depend on whether Obama and Republicans can work together.
In a punctuation mark to what is shaping up to be a tough political year for the Democrats, Obama's approval rating dropped to 43 percent from 47 percent last month, with 53 percent disapproving of the way he is handling his job. Obama's handling of the economy was a leading cause of the drop.
And much of this decline came from his own Democrats. The poll found Democrats' approval rating of Obama has dropped to 70 percent this month from 78 percent last month.
The country was judged to be on the wrong track by 63 percent of American voters, the highest figure in this poll since Obama took office in early 2009 promising change and a path out of an economic slump. (Continues here)