WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that President Barack Obama's popularity is not rubbing off on fellow Democrats.
But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released on the eve of the President's 100th day in office, does suggest that Obama's party holds a strong advantage over the GOP.
The poll's release also comes on the day that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a long time Republican, announced that he was switching his affiliation to the Democratic Party.
Fifty-one percent of people questioned in the survey said they have a favorable opinion of the Democrats. While that's down seven points from February, it's still 12 points higher than the 39 percent who said they have a positive opinion of the Republican Party. Fifty-five percent hold an unfavorable opinion about the GOP.
"Now that the Democrats have started to make the tough choices that a majority party always has to make, they are becoming less popular," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the GOP has been unable to capitalize on that."
"Moderate voters hold a strongly favorable opinion of the Democratic Party under President Obama. Their opinion of the Republican Party? Not good. Moderate voters are trending Democratic. Just like Senator Arlen Specter," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.
The poll also suggests a drop in support for the top Democrats in Congress: Forty-three percent of those questioned approve of how Democratic congressional leaders are handling their duties. That's down 17 points from February.
But the survey also indicates that only 31 percent approve of how Republican leaders in Congress are handling their jobs, down 13 percent from February.
"February was a high point for both parties," says Holland. "The first few weeks of a new administration are typical an era of good feelings. Congress was about to take its first major action to confront the worsening economy and straight-line party voting had yet to occur. It's not surprising that ratings for both parties are down since that point."
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 2,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points.