Obama Approval Slumps Below 50% Widespread pessimism means worrying poll numbers for Dems By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 17, 2009 2:10 AM CST 22 comments Comments President Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington last month. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Newser) – President Obama's approval rating held steady for most of this troubled year but it has now slumped below 50% for the first time in a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. His approval rating now stands at 47%, with 55% of respondents believing the country is heading in the wrong direction. Other polls have placed his approval near or just below 50%, but support seems to be eroding percentage point by percentage point over time. Only 35% of those polled in the most recent survey were positive about the Democratic Party, although their disenchantment didn't translate into higher numbers for the GOP. "The sagging economy is beginning to drag him down,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “This is increasingly becoming President Obama’s economy.” Particularly troubling for the Democrats is that their ratings were down sharply among core voter groups that backed them last year, including young voters and Hispanics.