[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/13/art.obama.podium.gi.jpg caption ="Americans are split on how President Obama is handling his job, new polls show."]Washington (CNN) - Americans are divided over how President Barack Obama is handling his job in the White House, according to a new average of the most recent national surveys.
A CNN Poll of Polls compiled and released Tuesday indicates that 47 percent of the public approves of the job Obama's doing in office, with 46 percent disapproving of how the president is handling his duties. According to the CNN Poll of Polls, Obama's approval rating has slowly deteriorated this year, and has been below 50 percent since early March.
This latest edition of the CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the three national surveys conducted so far in July: CBS News (July 9-12), ABC/Washington Post (July 7-11) and the Gallup tracking poll (July 9-11).
So how does Obama's approval rating a year and a half into office compare to his most recent predecessors?
George W. Bush's approval rating stood at 76 percent in July 2002, just ten months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bill Clinton was at 42 percent in July, 1994, George H.W. Bush stood at 60 percent in July, 1990, and Ronald Reagan was at 42 percent in July, 1982.
"Obama's approval rating is higher at this point in his presidency than the numbers posted by Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan, both of whom went on to win reelection," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But Reagan and Clinton both saw their parties lose a significant number of seats in Congress in their first midterm elections, so the fact that Obama's rating is also below 50 percent indicates that 2010 will not be a good year for Democratic candidates."
The CNN Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.
-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report