Eighteen months after taking office, with approval ratings well above 60%, President Obama has lost the confidence of the American people. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows 48% disapprove of his job performance to only 45% approving. Only 49% of those polled thinks he has strong leadership qualities, down from 70% 18 months ago and down 8% since this past January. Barely 40% say that Obama can handle a crisis, down from 51% since January. 50% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the oil crisis, even 25% of Democrats believe he has failed. One-third of Americans see no recovery soon to the weak economy, a loss of 7% from just last month in Obama’s ability to get America working again.

As Obama declines in support, so too has Congress. A whopping 57% of Americans want to their incumbent replaced. This is the highest percentage in 18 years. Democrats are more likely to be on the sharp end of the voter angst this coming November. 45% want to see the GOP control Congress as opposed to 43% still favoring Democrats. Only 44% of those who voted for Obama are following the coming mid-term elections with interest, as opposed to 70% of McCain voters. Such a wide gap spells trouble for Democrats, despite any advantage in raw population numbers.

Perhaps the most significant number from this new poll is that 30% do not relate to Obama. Only 8% felt this way 18 months ago. Many who supported him see him as being unable to solve any problems. A stay at home dad from Michigan, James Ciarmataro told pollsters he has trouble relating to Obama because he’s “eating steak dinners at the White House and playing golf” while the country is suffering.

Obama’s declining support is not just limited to America. A recent Pew Global Attitudes Project poll has shown that confidence in Obama has fallen from 41% to 31% among Muslin nations in the past year. Support in Europe has declined, but only around 3% on average. In Central and South America, it has fallen 12%. In Asia, the numbers range from a 10% decline in China to only 4% drop in India. The only major country where Obama’s numbers have actually increased is in Russia, where he has gained 4% in job approval since last year. His worst numbers are in Pakistan, where Obama fell from 13% supporting him to now just 8%.

The new data from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll clearly shows that there is a crisis in confidence concerning President Obama. Americans are less confident that he can lead, solve problems or handle a sudden crisis. The growing disconnect over his lavish life style, his endless partying, gourmet meals of Kobi steaks, private concerts and frequent golf outings are wearing the public thin. Only 18 months into his presidency, Obama faces a difficult time to reclaim ground as the economy still limps along, wars still rage in Iraq and Afghanistan and oil still spills into the Gulf of Mexico.