When was the last time that more than three-quarters of American voters agreed on anything? Today a poll was released that indicated that 76 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. A similar poll in April showed that 69 percent were dissatisfied with the direction of the country, up from 61 percent at the start of the year.

After 100 days in office, a little more than half of voters, 53 percent, were unhappy about the direction of the country, but that number has steadily increased ever since. The last time the numbers were this high was when Mr. Bush left office. At that time 79 percent of voters were dissatisfied; but since the end of Obama’s honeymoon things began to head south. Also Mr. Bush wasn’t facing re-election with right-track/wrong-track numbers this poor as is Mr. Obama.

When a president’s approval rating dips below 50 percent re-election becomes increasingly difficult and this same poll showed Obama’s approval currently at 43 percent. Half of all voters, 50 percent, disapprove of the job Obama is doing. As miserable as that looks, his disapproval number is up one point since last month, perhaps attributable to his campaign tours, the death of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi and American terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.

What is the most troubling for the prospects of re-election were the numbers for Independents; independents gave the president an ominous 32 percent approval rating, while 51 percent disapprove; though up one point from the record-low of 31 percent approval in August and September, it does not bode well for the president’s chances in 2012.

While the president may find a morsel of positivity that the only government institution less popular than himself is Congress, congressional ratings are directed towards the “Congress” rather than an individual. Most voters think highly of their own representatives and senators, while being displeased with the bodies as a whole. In the poll, voters gave Congress a 63 percent disapproval rating, while only 29 percent approved. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, the numbers represent a record low approval and a record high disapproval rating.

One piece of information that the president should take to heart is that the Vice President Joe Biden isn’t helping his case. The poll showed, by a three-to-one margin, that voters think Biden’s argument that rape and murder will increase if Congress fails to pass Obama’s jobs bill is “over-the-top.” Clearly Biden isn’t helping the president’s chances for re-election.

While the president likes to compare the Tea Party movement with Occupy Wall Street, according to the poll the voters don’t agree. Seven percentage more voters think the Tea Party is positive for the country than Occupy Wall Street. Apparently the 99 percent, as the Occupy folks like to call themselves, is only 45 percent.

Though the Occupy riots in Oakland and Atlanta took place after this poll, 47 percent of voters said they are concerned Occupy Wall Street demonstrations will eventually turn into street riots. The president’s support for the Occupy movement would appear to be unwise as by a 22 percent margin those polled said they would rather see their child grow up to be a Wall Street executive than an Occupy Wall Street protester.

Two interesting pieces of information that the Democrats and the president need to reflect on is that by a wide margin voters said that increasing government regulations does more to hurt than help their families; the poll indicated an anti-regulation sentiment by more than 23 points. By more than a two-to-one ratio voters said that big government (60 percent) is a greater potential threat to the country’s future than big business (29 percent); anti-big government sentiment has soared by more than 14 points during Obama’s presidency.

If the election were to be held this November, rather than next, Mr. Obama’s chances for re-election would be slightly better than zero. Fortunately for the president there’s a year to go and his numbers are about as low as historically unpopular presidents have been. The “it’s only up from here,” philosophy may not be far from the mark. The one thing in the president’s favor is that heading into a national election Congress does very little and the likelihood of significant government intervention in the economy is virtually non-existent. Without the government’s tendency to make things worse Obama has a slight chance that the economy will right itself sufficiently to bolster his current dismal re-election chances.

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