A new Quinnipiac poll shows broad public dissatisfaction with President Obama and his legacy achievements. Just 39 percent of those surveyed approve of Obama's performance in office, while 54 percent disapprove. Just 40 percent approve of the Affordable Care Act, while 54 percent disapprove. And just 45 percent approve of the president's recent executive action on immigration, while 48 percent disapprove.

There is a theme running through the numbers, and it is that unilateral action, whether by the president himself (immigration), or by a single political party (Obamacare), alienates a significant part of the electorate, including independents, and makes it hard for a leader to win the support of a majority of the American people.

The survey, of 1,623 registered voters, contains other revealing numbers. As far as Obama's approval is concerned, there is more evidence of a continuing Democratic gender gap problem: just 32 percent of men approve of Obama's performance, while 45 percent of women do.

As far as Obamacare is concerned, the survey is bad news for Democrats who argue that, whatever the public's misgivings about the law, more people want it to stay in place than repeal it. In the Quinnipiac poll, 48 percent say they want Congress to try to repeal Obamacare, while 46 percent want Congress to let it stand.

And on immigration, Obama's action received majority support only from Democrats (74 percent of whom approve). Just 40 percent of independents, and 20 percent of Republicans, support the president going it alone. The unilateral presidency is not a popular one.

The poll had a margin or error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.