Obama's poll slide continues
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was released today and there is very little good news for President Obama and the Democrats.
Obama's approval rating remained at its lowest point of 41%. His foreign policy marks hit a new low at 37%. On issues such as trust, competence, and the ability to lead the country, the president's numbers are underwater:
As clouds gather abroad, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds Mr. Obama's job approval rating at 41%, matching a previous low. Approval of his handling of foreign policy hit a new low of 37%. Both numbers are driven in part by conflicts largely outside the president's control, including a new wave of sectarian violence in Iraq.
This latest dip in Mr. Obama's approval runs contrary to signs Americans agree with his policies on climate change and education, and as a divided Republican Party remains far less popular than the president and his party. Despite misgivings toward Mr. Obama, the survey showed the public sides with him and his fellow Democrats on a range of issues, including immigration, education and the environment. (Interactive: Poll Results)
The latest Journal poll of 1,000 adults, conducted between Wednesday and Sunday, highlights what appears to be a lasting slide in the president's public image. Respondents split in half on whether the Obama administration is competent, lower marks than Americans gave former President George W. Bush's administration in 2006, after the war in Iraq and the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina derailed his presidency.
At the same time, Americans seem to be losing faith in Mr. Obama's ability to accomplish his goals, with 54% of those polled saying they no longer feel the president "is able to lead the country and get the job done," compared with the 42% who said he could. And 41% said his administration's performance has gotten worse over the past year, compared with the 15% who noted improvement.
A plurality opposes the prisoner exchange that led to the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who recently returned to the U.S. after five years in captivity in Afghanistan. And 65% of the poll respondents don't think the war there was worthwhile. One bright spot for Mr. Obama is that Republicans and Democrats are in general agreement that the problems at veterans hospitals stem from government bureaucracy, not mismanagement by the administration.
Significantly, the president appears to have lost the support of many Hispanics. Only 44% approve of the job he's doing.
There is a sense in America that things are spinning out of control; the world is becoming far more dangerous place, the economy continues to spin its wheels, good jobs are scarce, and the administration is mired in scandal after scandal. Most importantly ,people don't believe anyone's in charge.
This doesn't mean a GOP tidal wave in November. Republicans are even more unpopular than Democrats. Until the GOP can come up with a positive agenda for the country and start pushing it, voters will not have a compelling reason to turn out and vote for them.