[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/22/art.obama.hcr.gi.jpg caption="A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals that 51 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama's job performance."]Washington (CNN) – For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's job performance and 46 percent approve of it.
Obama's approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.
The new poll was conducted before the House on Sunday narrowly approved the Obama administration's signature domestic policy proposal: health care reform.
The measure, which Obama plans to sign on Tuesday, represents the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.
In fact, health care was the policy area that drew the second highest negative rating, with 58 percent registering disapproval. The highest negative rating was 62 percent for his handling of the federal deficit.
While his performance ratings have slid, Americans personally like Obama. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents approve of him as a person, and only 25 percent disapprove.
On the economy overall, 54 percent disapprove of his work and 43 percent approve. He scored well for his handling of the environment and education, as well as on national security.
"Obama scores some of his best numbers on 'commander-in-chief' issues - Afghanistan, Iraq, and terrorism," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In January, 51% approved of Obama's handling of Afghanistan; that number is now 55%, an indication that the public has a positive view of the latest military offensive in that country."
The CNN poll was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.