Earlier this month, Democrats declared war on Rasmussen, claiming that his polling showed bias because his numbers for Barack Obama and other Democrats were too low.  Will they also declare war on Quinnipiac?  The latest survey of registered voters from the highly-regarded pollster shows Obama dropping into a dead heat on approval, 45%/45%, down from an anemic 46/43 last month and 59/31 in June.  And now people are beginning to conclude that they would have been better off with John McCain after all:

American voters are split 45 – 45 percent on whether Barack Obama’s first year in office is a success or failure and split 35 – 37 percent on whether the U.S. would be better off if John McCain had won the 2008 election, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today. As he marks the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Obama’s approval has slipped slightly into an even 45 – 45 percent split for the first time. …

By a 47 – 40 percent margin, independent voters rate Obama’s first year in office as mainly a failure; 81 percent of Democrats say it’s a success and 75 percent of Republicans say it’s a failure. Men say failure 50 – 40 percent, while women say success 49 – 40 percent. White voters say failure 54 – 37 percent, while black voters say success 82 – 7 percent.

Obama’s job approval is only slightly lower than his 46 – 43 percent rating in Quinnipiac University’s December 23 survey. But it continues a gradual but consistent downward move that began last summer when his approval rating was 59 – 31 percent positive June 4.

Yes, it’s that same consistent downward move that Rasmussen also detected in the summertime among likely voters.  In fact, it’s that same consistent downward move that every pollster seems to have detected now, even ones that used skewed samples like CBS/New York Times.

Obama scores well on personal attributes, underscoring his personal affability.  On the issues, it’s something else:

  • Job creation – The White House may claim that they’ve “saved or created” 2 million jobs, but the voters aren’t buying it.  He’s down 25 points on that issue, 34/59, down from an already-poor 37/56 last month, the first time Quinnipiac asked the question.
  • Economy – Obama claims that he has turned the economy around, but once again, voters don’t believe him.  He trails on this question 41/54, down six points from 44/51 late last month and from 47/46 in October.  That’s a full quarter since the White House claimed victory with a GDP growth of 3.5%, revised twice downward to 2.2%.
  • Health care – The traditional Democratic policy stronghold has become Obama’s albatross.  He now has a gap of 23 points, 35/58, numbers that have continued to drop since the summer as well.  Last month, the gap was 18 points, 38/56, and those numbers mirror the support for ObamaCare in Rasmussen’s polling.

Interestingly, Obama does best in foreign policy and terrorism, up 4 points on the latter 48/44 but down on foreign policy 45/46, an indicator that has been dropping for months.  One would assume anyone pining for John McCain would be doing so on those issues rather than the economy and health care, which shows just how badly Obama has performed on what had been considered core Democratic strengths.  Given that midterms almost always focus on domestic policy, especially economic performance, this foreshadows a very bad year for Democrats in Congress.