Overall, President Barack Obama got some great news from a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday evening.But one number should trouble the president in an otherwise great-looking survey: His foreign policy approval rating has plummeted over the past month.
In August, 54 per cent approved of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. That number dropped 5 points to just 49 per cent in September. Moreover, his foreign policy disapproval rating jumped 6 points over the past month. That 11-point swing gives him only a 3-point net positive approval rating on foreign policy.
It comes at a time when Republican nominee Mitt Romney has been hitting the president on various foreign policy issues — on Chinese trade and currency manipulation, on the tension between Israel and Iran and, most notably, on the recent attacks on U.S. missions in Libya and Egypt.
A Pew Research Poll released Monday would suggest that Romney’s Libya comments had little effect — in fact, they seemed to hurt Romney quite a deal. But clearly, something is contributing to a drastic change in perception on Obama over the last month — including an 11-point drop in foreign policy approval rating among Independents.
The good news for Obama is that Romney doesn’t score as a candidate that would do a better job on handling foreign affairs. In a head-to-head contest, 45 per cent chose Obama on the question of who would be a better commander-in-chief, compared with 38 per cent for Romney. And the Pew poll also found that by a 21-point margin, Obama bested Romney on which candidate best handled the Libya situation.
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