A majority of Americans disapprove of House Republicans' plan to sue President Obama, a new poll shows, illustrating the political risk their election year maneuver carries.

Fifty-four percent disapprove, the CBS News poll shows. Just 37 percent say they approve of the plans.

The House voted last week to move ahead with a lawsuit against Obama, claiming he abused his executive powers when he altered the federal health-care law.

While plans to sue Obama fire up Republicans (66 percent of them approve), a bigger share of Democrats (80 percent) disapprove. Among independents, 53 percent disapprove, and 36 percent approve.

Despite Obama's unpopularity, the public as a whole does not think he should be sued. Moreover, Republicans may have handed Democrats a way to fire up a sleepy base that so far has looked like it is not planning to turn out in big numbers in November.

That could become a serious problem for the GOP.