Behind Obama's falling poll numbers -- Americans turning away from Obama, Democrats

From job approval to trust on the economy, Americans are turning away from Democrats.

President Obama started this year in precarious shape politically. Things have gotten worse, at least according to the Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday and The Wall Street Journal/NBC survey released Wednesday. They are setting off alarm bells for Democrats—and for good reasons.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll—with an 11-point Democratic advantage in its sample—found President Obama's job approval at a record low of 41%. In the Journal/NBC poll, 44% approved of the job Mr. Obama is doing, three points above his low last October.

In isolation, these numbers are troubling for Democrats running in the lousy political environment the president's actions and policies have helped create. But the numbers are even worse when put in context. Many key measures of the president's and Democrats' performance are lower than they were at this point in 2010—and worse than they were just before the 2010-midterm elections.

For example, compared with the 41% in the Washington Post/ABC News poll who approve of Mr. Obama's handling of his job as president, 54% approved in the organizations' April 25, 2010, survey while 50% approved in their Oct. 28, 2010, survey.

To continue reading Karl Rove's column in the Wall Street Journal, click here.