President Obama’s popularity is taking a hit, suggesting that his do-nothing strategy is a loser:

American voters disapprove 48 to 42 percent of the job Obama is doing and say 50 to 41 percent that he does not deserve to be reelected in 2012, both all-time lows, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 46 to 46 percent job-approval rating and a 45 to 47 percent split on the president’s reelection in a March 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama gets 36 percent of the vote to 37 percent for an unnamed Republican challenger.

Democrats approve 80 to 13 percent of the job Obama is doing, but disapproval is 81 to 9 percent among Republicans and 50 to 39 percent among independent voters. Men disapprove 52 to 41 percent while women split 44 to 44 percent.

Voters oppose 47 to 41 percent America’s involvement in Libya. In the survey, which was concluded Monday evening as President Obama was addressing the nation about Libya, voters say 58 to 29 percent that he has not clearly stated U.S. goals for Libya. . . .

President Barack Obama’s approval numbers are at their lowest level ever, slightly below where they were for most of 2010 before he got a bump up in surveys after the November election and into the early part of this year,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

One poll does not make a trend. But the general trend isn’t a positive one either.

The reasons I think are clear. Obama has been expecting the Republicans to impale themselves on the budget or on the economy. They haven’t, and the public doesn’t see Obama stepping up to the plate. And as for health care, the Democrats were likewise mistaken in their belief that GOP support for “Repeal and replace!” would rub the public the wrong way. At best the issue is of no help to the White House; at worst Obamacare remains highly unpopular with the public.

It seems that playing it safe on domestic policy is not the ticket to success for Obama. He was bestirred by the torrent of criticism to step up to the plate (and the microphone) on Libya. When is he going to do the same on our fiscal mess?