The sharp drop is interesting as the poll was conducted, in part, after the President announced a deal with Republicans to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for another two years. During his 2008 campaign, President Obama repeatedly said he would allow the top tier tax cuts to expire.
President Obama announced the tax deal on December 6, and the poll was conducted December 2-8.
In a press conference last Tuesday, Obama called out progressives for having a "sanctimonious" pride in their political positions.
The McClatchy-Marist poll seems to support the findings of a SurveyUSA poll released last week in which a majority of people who gave time or money to Obama's 2008 campaign said they'd be less likely to support his reelection bid if he moved ahead with the tax deal.
However, while President Obama has lost liberal support, he has so far failed to gain it among independents. In the same McClatchy-Marist poll, 39% of independents said they approved of his job performance, while 52% said they disapproved. That's virtually unchanged from last months 38% versus 54% split.
As a result, Obama recorded his lowest approval rating ever among all registered voters in the Marist poll. Only 40% of all respondents approve of how he's handling his presidency, versus 50% who disapprove.
The McClatchy-Marist survey of 873 registered voters nationwide has a margin of error of 3.5%.