President Obama's approval rating has hit a new low of 46 percent, according to a FOX News poll released Thursday. An equal number -- 46 percent -- disapprove of the job he's doing.
Breaking down the numbers by political party shows how sharply split American voters are over the president's job performance. While 85 percent of Democrats approve of their party leader, 80 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents disapprove.
The president's average approval rating for his term so far is 56 percent.
Overall, a 57 percent majority says President Obama is providing the kind of leadership they expected, while 17 percent say he is a stronger leader than expected and 23 percent say he's a weaker leader. When this question was asked about President George W. Bush early in his first term, 68 percent said his leadership was what they expected, 14 percent said he was a stronger leader than expected and 13 percent a weaker leader (July 2001).
Despite the drop in Obama's approval rating, the president continues to outperform the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. More than twice as many Americans disapprove (63 percent) as approve (26 percent) of the job Congress is doing.
Moreover, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's favorable rating is still in the doldrums, with a 28 percent minority of Americans saying they have a positive view of her and 50 percent holding a negative view. While half of Democrats (50 percent) have a favorable opinion of Pelosi, majorities of Republicans (77 percent) and independents (58 percent) view her unfavorably.
For President Obama, 54 percent of voters have a favorable opinion and 42 percent unfavorable. When he took office in January, 76 percent had a favorable view and 15 percent unfavorable.
First Lady Michelle Obama bests her husband with a 63 percent favorable rating, down from a high of 73 percent favorable in April.
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for Fox News from November 17 to November 18. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
When asked about next year's Congressional elections, there's a split similar to the president's job rating. If the election were held today, 39 percent say they would vote for the Democratic candidate to help Obama pass his policies and 42 percent say they would back the Republican to provide a check on Obama's power. For 15 percent it is too soon to say.
Does a U.S. President Bow?
President Obama has been criticized for inappropriately bowing to foreign leaders while traveling overseas. The first was for bowing when it wasn't protocol, and on his most recent trip, for bowing too deeply. Most Americans -- 67 percent -- believe the president should bow if it is that country's custom. For some 26 percent it is "never appropriate" for the president to bow to another leader.