Barack Obama is almost the least popular he's been since he took office. But don't blame him. Blame the economy. Or, better yet: Blame Congress.
Every day, the Gallup company publishes a three-day average of its polling on the approval rating of the president. On Tuesday, that number hit 39 percent -- fewer than four in ten Americans approve of the job Obama is doing. More than half (obviously) disapprove. He has a net approval -- percent that approves minus the percent that doesn't -- of -14 percent. That's not good.
Over the course of his presidency, Obama has seen five broad trends. The high approval following his election lasted until about March of 2010. It stayed flat for a while, dipping suddenly in the Spring of 2011. The two lowest points came in August and October of that year, as the economy remained flat. His approval started to climb back up through the election, but began a new downward slide last December.