Rasmussen actually gives Barack Obama some mixed news today in its presidential tracking poll.  Among likely voters, Obama has wiped out the “unsures”; he now has a 48% job approval rating, with 52% disapproving of his performance.  On the other hand, the gap between strong approval and strong disapproval has narrowed since July:

Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That matches the lowest level of total approval yet recorded. Fifty-two percent (52%) now disapprove. …

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 31% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-six percent (36%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -5 …

So far in August, the President’s Approval Index rating has ranged from -4 to -9. That’s an improvement from the last week in July when his ratings ranged from -8 to -12.

The gap appears to have closed in both directions.  In July, 39% strongly disapproved of Obama’s performance, and as few as 26% strongly approved.  The narrowing of that gap represents a bit of a comeback among Obama supporters, and perhaps slightly less passionate opposition to Obama as the spotlight drifted away from the White House over the last week to ten days of townhall meetings.

However, the needle hasn’t moved much at all in the overall approval ratings for the last month or so, and his internals don’t look good at all.  The latest numbers on issues look very poor indeed.  Only 29% now trust Obama to handle the economic crisis than their own judgment, a huge drop from just a few months ago, and a critical problem for Democrats who usually own that issue.  There isn’t a single income demographic that feels Obama can handle the job better than they can individually, not even the under-$20K group, whose 50%-35% against Obama is the best he does on income demographics.  Even government employees, normally a reliably liberal bloc, trust themselves better by more than 2-1, 66%-28%.

That lack of confidence in Obama will have major repercussions in policy debates.  It already infects the ObamaCare debate, but it will also be a problem when it comes to cap-and-trade.  And as Obama tries to regain the spotlight this week on health-care reform, expect the numbers on the passion index to worsen yet again.