President Barack Obama's approval ratings have slumped to a historic low, according to a new poll, as his second term lurches from crisis to crisis at home and abroad. The stop-start approach to Syria, the scandal over US mass surveillance and the botched launch of health care reform had shaken Americans' faith in their president, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey.
While the poll also found record levels of hostility towards the Republican Party, the White House will be concerned that Mr Obama's job approval and Americans' view of him personally are falling. About 51 % disapproved of the job he was doing in the Oval Office compared with 42 % who approved. His ratings were also hit by the roll-out of his health care law, which his own health secretary admitted this week had been a "debacle".
The poll found 47 % thought the reforms were a bad idea, compared with 37 % who supported it. While Mr Obama will never again face re-election, the sagging numbers threaten his hopes for a productive second term and especially plans to reform America's immigration system.
"This was the period where the president hoped to get traction," said Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducted the poll. "Instead a confluence of these different events have come together to create a certain doubt and uncertainty about his leadership."
Although Mr Obama's job approval rating has fallen into negative territory before, his personal approval ratings have always held firm, buoyed by Americans' fondness for the president's Michelle and his two young daughters. Now about 45 % of Americans view him negatively, compared with 41 % who see him positively, the first time the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded an overall negative figure.
Voters particularly related to images of Mr Obama raising a family in the White House, but Mr Hart said that soft-focus image seemed to be flickering out as Americans grew increasingly uncertain about their country's direction. "The Obama magic has fallen behind the curtain," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"In place of it you see a worried, an angry and an uncertain portrait of the president in action." Mr Hart said the president's number could rebound if the White House was able to return to the front foot.
The poll found a dramatic rise in hostility towards Washington in general, with much of the anger focused on the Republicans, who the public overwhelmingly blamed for the recent 16-day government shutdown.
About 53 % saw the party in a negative light, compared with just 22 % who viewed it positively, a negative spread of 31 points. By comparison the Democrats registered 37 % positive and 40 negative.
Almost two thirds of Americans said they hoped their representative lost their job in the next election, the highest ever level of antipathy recorded since the question was first asked in 1992. Three quarters of those surveyed also said they believed that Congress was making the country's problems rather than solving them.