A new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Thursday gave President Obama his lowest marks ever for his handling of foreign policy, with just 40 percent of respondents saying they supported his approach to events overseas.
In comparison, 52 percent of those surveyed in the nationwide poll disapproved of Obama’s foreign-affairs blueprint, a negative perception driven by the U.S. response to the bloody civil war in Syria.
About 60 percent of respondents said it is not in the national interest to be involved in Syria. The same percentage of people also said they opposed giving weapons and military aid to anti-government rebels there.
The Obama administration has agreed to provide small arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels, but the plan is facing growing resistance on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers remain divided over how to respond to a civil war that has killed roughly 100,000 people.
Just 33 percent of those surveyed by Quinnipiac supported Obama’s approach to Syria. However, a majority of respondents approved of his broader handling of terrorism.
Obama’s job approval rating held steady at 44 percent, with 48 percent disapproving of his overall performance, the poll found.
“President Barack Obama is in a slump, under water for the last two surveys,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Brown added, “His negative ratings come at the same time that voters are becoming more optimistic about the economy, saying 35-22 percent that it’s improving, with 43 percent saying it’s unchanged. Voter optimism about the economy usually helps presidential approval numbers.”
Driving the lackluster rating: The president has shed nearly 8 percentage points in support among independent voters since April, with just 36 percent of the crucial voting bloc supporting him.
The survey was conducted between June 28 and July 8 among 2,014 registered voters.