If you wonder why Barack Obama made yet another appearance at the White House podium today, wonder no longer.  Over the last three quiet days for Obama, Gallup’s tracking poll for Obama’s job approval plunged from 46/46 on Tuesday to 40/50 today, Obama’s worst rating of his presidency.  Here’s the chart for the month of July:

President Obama’s job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40% in July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking. His prior low rating of 41% occurred several times, the last of which was in April. As recently as June 7, Obama had 50% job approval.

Obama’s approval rating averaged 46% in June and was near that level for most of July; however, it has stumbled in the past few days, coinciding with intensification of the debt ceiling/budget battle in Washington.

The 40% is one point lower than the six 41s collected by Obama, only two of which came this year.  Those two occasions came sequentially in mid-April, not coincidentally while Obama fought the Republican House over the budget.  Obama also got a trio of 42s in the same period.

The 50% disapproval isn’t a high, however.  He got one 50 last month, and two more in April as well, but last summer was even tougher on Obama.  He got two 52s and three 51s in disapproval last August as the midterm elections began to heat up.

What do these periods all have in common?  Obama’s leadership came under tough scrutiny.  He may have spent the entire spring bumping along the bottom this year if it hadn’t been for the Osama bin Laden raid at the beginning of May.  Regardless of the outcome on the debt crisis at the moment, he’s not likely to recover much, given the lack of any plan or direction from Obama personally during his many speeches and pressers.  Clearly, though, one can understand why Obama feels the need to be seen as addressing the crisis; he just hasn’t figured out that merely voting present isn’t enough.