You could have predicted this result just by reading BMG 12 months ago, when the same trend was evident here. NYT:
President Obama’s support is eroding among elements of his base and a yearlong effort to recapture the political center has failed to attract independent voters, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, leaving him vulnerable at a moment when pessimism over the country’s direction is greater than at any time since he took office. … The poll found a 12-point jump since late June, to 43 percent, in the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse. And for the first time since taking office, his disapproval rating has reached 50 percent in the Times and CBS News polls. “I don’t disapprove of Barack Obama as a person, but as a president he has disappointed me greatly,” said Ann Sheets, 69, a Democrat from Chattanooga, Tenn., speaking in a follow-up interview. Ms. Sheets added, “I’m realistic enough to know how difficult it is and I am not against compromise, but I voted for a backbone. You have to draw some lines in the sand, and I don’t think he has done that.”
As an indicator of the 2012 election, however, this poll is encouraging. Money quote:
The poll found a 43 percent approval rating for Mr. Obama. It is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency, according to the Times and CBS poll, which showed Ronald Reagan with an approval of 46 percent and George H.W. Bush at 70 percent.
Both Carter and Bush, of course, lost their bids for re-election. Reagan won, and Obama is at almost exactly at the same place given the margin of error. Still, I’d feel much better about the president’s chances if he had a base that was fired up and aggressive — see Warren, Elizabeth — rather than disappointed and depressed.