Washington: With just a month to go for the US Congressional elections, opposition Republicans have the clear advantage as President Barack Obama contends with the lowest approval rating of his 20-month presidency, a new poll shows.
Obama`s approval rating now stands at 42 percent -- an all time low in CNN polling and 8 points lower than where Obama was only three weeks ago. Moreover, 56 percent of all Americans think the president has fallen short of their expectations.
The President`s sagging poll numbers couldn`t come at a worse time for congressional Democrats, themselves facing a nine-point deficit in the so-called "generic ballot" question heading into the November 02 elections, CNN said.
In fact, Obama`s approval rating is the same as that of former president Bill Clinton`s in 1994 -- the mid-term election year that saw Republicans wrest control of both the House and Senate.
In even worse news for congressional Democrats, likely voters say they are considerably more likely to vote for a candidate the president opposes than one he supports, CNN said.
On the other hand, 50 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for the new conservative Tea Party-backed candidate while a third of Americans said Tea Party support would dissuade their vote for a candidate.
Still, the President can take some solace in the fact several past presidents have been beset by slumping numbers at the two-year mark: In addition to Clinton, both Reagan and Jimmy Carter found their support at 42 percent at this point in their first term. Of course, Clinton and Reagan went on to big re-election wins only two years later, CNN noted.
Meanwhile, in a generic ballot matchup, the Republicans lead the Democrats by 9 points among likely voters - 53 percent to 44 percent.
That spread is slightly smaller than the 55-42 percent advantage Democrats had at the same point in 2006, ahead of their major electoral victories that handed them control of both the House and Senate.
But the new survey suggests Republicans could be in even a better position than they were in 1994, when they stunned the Democrats with their gain of 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the upper chamber. In a generic matchup poll in late September of 1994, Republicans only had a 3-point edge over Democrats, 48-45 percent, CNN said.
The new CNN poll also suggests more than 20 percent of likely voters have still yet to make up their minds when it comes to whom they will vote for - a margin that could ultimately decide whether Democrats hold onto tenuous majorities, it said.