By David Saltonstall
DAILY NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
The stock market may finally be rising, but President Barack Obama's poll numbers are headed down—and are now balanced precariously around the 50% mark.
Exactly half of registered voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University said they approve of the job Obama is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove.
That's down from 57 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval in a poll taken in late June, according to results released Thursday.
The news was slightly better for Obama in a separate CNN poll also released Thursday, which pegged Obama's approval rating at 56%—down five points since June and seven points since April.
Americans are upset about rising unemployment and worried that healthcare plans making their way through Congress will add to the red ink in Washington, said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac's polling institute.
The combination has proved to be a double whammy for the President. A "willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt is, among some voters, evaporating," Brown said.
The Quinnipiac survey, taken July 27 to Aug. 3, found that voters are basically split down the middle over the way Obama is handling the economy, with 49% approving and 45% disapproving.
On his effort to overhaul of the health-care system, 52% give him a thumbs up while 39% do not.
There also appears to be an emerging gender split in Obama's numbers: Since April, Obama's rating has stayed steady among white women, but he has dropped 14 points among white men.
"A majority of white men supported him at the 100-day mark, but now most white men disapprove of how he is handling his job," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
"Obama has also slipped among non-whites, but he still gets support from over 70 percent of that group," Holland added.
According to the CNN poll, 44 percent say that Obama's polices have so far made the economy better, with just of half of Americans saying they haven't had a positive effect.
"But another 11 percent say that Obama's policies will eventually improve the economy," added Holland, "which adds up to a majority who say his policies have helped or will help the economy."