A new poll released by Quinnipiac University finds President Obama’s approval rating slipping to 44%. His approval rating is under water, with 48% of voters disapproving of his job performance. At the beginning of May, Obama’s approval ratings were reversed, with 48% approving and 45% disapproving. On specific issues, however, Obama’s numbers are much worse.
Only 41% approve of his handling of the economy, 55% disapprove. Only 40% disapprove of his handling of foreign policy while 52% disapprove. Those numbers represent a 16 point negative swing for Obama on the issue since May. Part of this swing is probably due to Obama’s decision to provide some military assistance to Syrian rebels. Just 27% of voters approve of that policy and 59% oppose it.
These findings are somewhat surprising, because in the same poll voters expressed optimism that the economy was improving. Just 22% say the economy is getting worse, a low for the year. The percentage of voters who think the economy is “good” or “excellent” is more than double the number last year. This ought to lift Obama’s approval ratings, but he is moving in the opposite direction.
It is clear that it is specific issues and policies that are dragging down Obama’s numbers. Just 41% of voters approve of how Obama is handling immigration, for example. For now, Obama’s personal approval numbers are higher than his ratings on specific issues. Voters’ generally positive views of Obama’s personal characteristics are still lifting him above the issues, but this won’t endure forever.
A politician’s policies eventually catch up to them.