Politics
President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) gala in New York June 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)  

Obama Hits New Low in Poll

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Only 41 percent of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s performance, down three points since April, according to a new poll.

That’s bad news for Democratic senators running in November, partly because the November results tend to mirror the president’s overall support.

Overall, Obama’s approval stands at 42.2 percent, according to a compilation of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics. Overall, his disapproval rate is now 53.6, according to the RCP compilation.

Only 42 percent of the adults in the NBC and Wall Street Journal poll believe Obama is able to lead the country, while 54 percent believe he cannot lead the country. Only 25 percent of the adults believe the country is heading in the right direction.

“This poll is a disaster for the president. … Essentially, the public is saying ‘Your presidency is over,’” MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd said Tuesday morning.

Only 37 percent back Obama’s foreign policies, says the poll. That’s a record low, but it may fall further because the poll was taken before the media publicized how a jihadi army was surging toward Iraq’s capital, following the pullout of all U.S. soldiers in 2010.

His policy ratings are falling because “whether it’s [Vladimir] Putin, Ukraine, the VA hospitals, [Sgt.] Bowe Bergdahl, the events have controlled Obama, rather than Obama having controlled the events,” said Peter Hart, one of the pollsters who ran the survey.

The public supports him on some issues, but “he’s losing the political debate because they don’t see him as a leader,” Hart said.

His weak leadership on international issues — and the string of foreign policies losses on his watch — had boosted the semi-isolationist “be less active” preference up to 47 percent. In 2001, the “be less active” preference was only 14 percent.

Fifty-seven percent oppose his foreign polices, and and 44 percent oppose his decision to swap a U.S. Army deserter for five top jihadi leaders in Afghanistan. Only 30 percent supported the swap.

Obama wants to close the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba, but 59 percent of the adults want it kept open. That’s a rise of seven points since 2009 for the camp, which holds jihadis detained during wartime.

The percentage of voters who may be receptive to a populist pitch is rising. Fifty-five percent of registered voters believe “the economic and political systems in the country are stacked against people like me.” Only 39 percent disagree, according to data collected in April by the WSJ’s pollsters.

But that populism includes supporters of free-market candidates, such as Virginia’s Dave Brat, and of big-government candidates, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

There’s some good news for Obama in the poll.

Fifty-seven percent of adults say they’d be willing to pay more in electricity bills for lower carbon emissions, and 59 percent of adults said they support the Common Core education standards. Those options were rejected by 29 percent and 42 percent of adults, according to the survey.

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