Real Clear Numbers

Support for the president is collapsing according to a new poll.

Only 41% of those surveyed Tuesday through Sunday approved of the way Obama is handling his job, his lowest rating in the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll since he took office in January 2009.

Not long ago viewed as strong on defense issues, Americans are getting the feeling of malaise eminating from Afghanistan.

Public support for President Obama's Afghanistan war policy has plummeted amid a rising U.S. death toll and the unauthorized release of classified military documents, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.

Support for Obama's management of the war fell to 36%, down from 48% in a February poll. Now, a record 43% also say it was a mistake to go to war there after the terrorist attacks in 2001.

The decline in support led to the lowest approval ratings of Obama's presidency. As bad as the job situation remains, more Americans support his handling of the economy (39%) than the war.

Even Obama's handling of the war in Iraq received record-low approval, despite a drawdown of 90,000 troops and the planned, on-schedule end of U.S. combat operations there this month.

The White House isn't expecting any good news economically. Tim Geithner announced today that the unemployment situation is likely to get worse before getting better.

"But what we expect to see, and I think most forecasters expect this…is an economy that's gradually healing, gradually strengthening, businesses starting to add people back."

Lowering expectations isn't a bad idea, politically, but it carries the risk of people taking it to heart. This might make it harder to shake feelings of negativity even when things do start to show signs of improvement. But that's not expected before the November elections.

"It's hard to find any positive news that would boost public opinion," says Richard Eichenberg of Tufts University, who studies presidential polling and foreign policy.

Fox News numbers show voters would rather see a Republican elected to congress in their district by an incredible margin of 11 points.