Voters grant President Barack Obama an overall positive job rating of 43%, according to a new poll by Zogby Analytics, conducted December 17 and 18. The nationwide online poll of 881 likely voters shows a majority (54%) disapproving of Mr. Obama's job performance and 3% not sure.

In many ways the real truth behind this poll can be found among several key sub-groups in the Obama coalition where the President has slipped below 50% approval, including men and woman who only rate the President 40% and 45% positive, 30-49 year olds who are split 49% to 48%, moderates who are split 48%-48%, Catholics who are only at 45%-54%, NASCAR Fans 48%-49%, the Investor Class 48%-52%, Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers 47%-50%. The LGBT voters are only at 50%-36% approval-disapproval. These are all significant declines for the President because these are all groups that provided high levels of support for him in 2012.

At the same time, he has also dropped among 18-29 year olds to just 54% approval, 40% disapproval, Hispanics to 61%-39%, and African Americans 83% to 17%. His positive ratings are a tad lower among Democrats (78% to 21%), and liberals (79%-20%).

Mr. Obama is now clearly in "full legacy protection mode". He is certainly not acting like a lame duck. He can at least take cheer in the fact that he continues to outpace the public's view of Congress (19% approve-74% disapprove), the Democrats in Congress (30%-64%), and the Republicans in Congress (28%-66%). The flip side is that only 24% of voters feel the country is headed in the right direction, while 59% say it "is off on the wrong track."

So he needs to act to fulfill his promises on immigration, foreign policy, the environment, and the minimum wage - and to fulfill the "promise" that voters once saw in him. He will obviously not get much backing from the 114th Congress and his executive orders at least are in the face of his much less popular opposition. But he will need to win back his base and this new poll shows how much he has to do. Ultimately, his actions may help somewhat, but he will be dependent on the economy. Continued growth in new jobs and a rise in consumer confidence will help him - just as any slowdown in both will hurt him badly. But how the public views him overall will only see a significant upgrade if he is able to address in real terms the issue of income inequality. That depends to a large degree on raising the minimum wage. The public continues to strongly support this and even three states where the Democrats lost Senate seats voted in favor of it. It is highly doubtful that the GOP can go into 2016 having opposed or (stonewalled on) it.