Those numbers get worse when the pollsters asked African-Americans about Nutter - only 42 percent approved while 41 percent disapproved and 6 percent were undecided.
That contrasts with white residents - 60 percent of whom approved while 24 percent disapproved and 13 percent were undecided.
Those numbers are likely to further encourage former Mayor John Street in his efforts to recruit a candidate to challenge Nutter in the May 17 primary.
Street has said since September that many in the city's African-American community do not see Nutter as a "black mayor."
Nutter yesterday said the economic crisis that started in 2008 hit harder in the African-American community, where concerns about jobs and unemployment were already a major factor before the recession started.
The city had to adapt by eliminating jobs and cutting back on services, which may have been perceived as having a larger impact on the African-American community even if they affect all city residents, Nutter added.
Add to that a general feeling of discontent toward incumbents running for re-election, he said.
"There has been an environment that has been quite toxic for some time," Nutter said. "We're working our way out of it."
Today's poll shows the evolution in concerns among city residents since Nutter was elected in 2007. That year, crime, drugs and violence were by far the biggest concern, ranking at 71 percent.
Those issues are now the top concern for 31 percent of those polled. Meanwhile, 21 percent say their top concern is unemployment and the economy, and 15 percent are concerned about leadership in the local government.
The two Democrats who had been considered most likely to challenge Nutter, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and City Councilman Bill Green, had serious room to grow in the view of voters.
Williams' approval rating was 23 percent, while 6 percent disapproved and 65 percent were undecided or had not heard of him.
Williams this week said he would not run because he promised Nutter last year that he would stay out of the race.
Green's approval rating was 24 percent while 7 percent disapproved and 64 percent were undecided or had not heard of him.
Green, who attended a Nutter campaign fundraiser last week and is not expected to run, yesterday said he'll make a formal announcement of his plans, but could not say when that would happen.
T. Milton Street, a former state legislator and brother of the former mayor, announced this week that he would challenge Nutter in the primary. Street is on supervised release after spending 20 months in federal prison and six months in a half-way house for his 2008 conviction for tax evasion.
That leaves Tom Knox, the millionaire who finished second to Nutter in the 2007 five-way Democratic primary, eyeing a chance for revenge with a third-party run in the general election.
Nutter leads Knox, 46 to 28 percent, with 26 undecided in a general-election matchup, according to the poll, which did not ask about the only declared Republican in the race, real-estate agent John Featherman.
Knox says such a campaign would allow him to appeal to all voters - Democrats, Republicans and independents.
Nutter yesterday shrugged and said, "I'm running," when asked if he is worried about re-election.
"We're in an environment where people are just genuinely upset," he said. "I am not complaining. It's the way the world works. I signed up for this."