The last four presidents who won a second term all saw their poll numbers slide by mid-March with the exception of Bill Clinton, whose numbers improved in the four months following his reelection.

Clinton may have only been delaying the inevitable. His numbers dropped 5 points in April 1994. Even Ronald Reagan, buoyed by a dominant performance over Walter Mondale in the 1984 election, saw a double-digit erosion by this point in his second term.

Obama has yet to complete the first 100 days of his second term. But without a signature achievement since his reelection, he faces a crossroads that could define the remainder of his presidency.

White House aides maintain that the 24-hour news cycle makes comparisons to previous presidents difficult.