Washington (CNN) - Hours before President Barack Obama holds a town hall to try and energize Democratic voters, a new poll indicates that he remains personally popular but a majority of Americans disagree with his positions on issues that matter to them.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Tuesday, 59 percent of the public says Obama has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have, with four in ten disagreeing.
"That may be good news for Obama, but it's not a plus for Democratic candidates in this year's midterm elections," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Without Obama's name on the ballot, the effects of his personal popularity are limited."
The 59 percent who say Obama has the personality and leadership a president should have is down six points from 65 percent in May.
Forty-two percent of people questioned say that they agree with Obama on the issues that matter most to them, down from 48 percent in May, with 55 percent saying they do not agree with the president, up five points from May.
"Nearly two-thirds of independents say they disagree with Obama on important issues. But 55 percent of moderates agree with the President," Holland notes. "What's the difference? Part of it may be due to the changing face of independents in this country. When more than four in ten supporters of the Tea Party call themselves independents, it means that a sizeable chunk of the "independent" bloc is not exactly neutral on Obama or the Democrats."
President Barack Obama will host a webcast townhall Tuesday night, in the latest bid by party leaders to motivate Democrats to vote in the midterm elections. The president will travel a few blocks from the White House to George Washington University, to headline a "Moving America Forward" town hall sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, which says the president will take questions from the audience, as well as through Facebook, Twitter and Skype. This is the third time Obama will headline a DNC event over the past two weeks.
"Obama frequently campaigns before Democratic voters, who presumably like him and his policies, in an effort to boost their turnout. But his efforts may be running up against an "enthusiasm gap" within the party that shows the lingering effects of the 2008 fight for the nomination," adds Holland.
Roughly six in ten Democrats say they wanted Obama to win the nomination two years ago. According to the poll, 37 percent of them are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year.
"But among Democrats who say they supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries, enthusiasm drops to 24 percent. Clinton Democrats are also nearly four times as likely as Obama Democrats to vote for a Republican in this year's congressional elections," says Holland.
That doesn't mean they are very disloyal to the party: Only 15 percent plan to vote GOP, compared to 4 percent of Obama Democrats who say they will vote for a Republican congressional candidate this year.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted October 5-7, with 1,008 adult Americans, including 938 registered voters and 504 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for likely voters.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story