Every new poll seems to bring more bad news for President Obama. A poll conducted last week by the Associated Press and GfK found the president’s disapproval rating at 59%, besting the all-time high the president had just set in December.
The AP/GfK poll found that only 41% of the country approves of the job President Obama is doing in office, one point lower than in December when his disapproval rating broke a new record. Two major issues, foreign policy and the economy, appear to be triggering yet another decrease in support for the president’s policies. 59% of respondents to the poll said that they disapprove of the way the White House is handling the economy, while a full 63% disapprove of the way President Obama has managed the budget.
While other polls, such as a Fox News poll from earlier this month, have found lower approval rates for the president, 41% is the absolute lowest that the Associated Press has found since tracking the opinions of Americans on the Obama administration. It remains about the same as the results of a CNN poll from December, which was a point lower than the results of the AP’s polling that month.
According to the Washington Post, foreign policy is the area in which the poll shows the greatest change among respondents. The crisis in Ukraine and President Obama’s handling of Russia’s annexation of Crimea seems to have increased the number of Americans disapproving of the way the president handles foreign affairs.
In January, AP/GfK found that the country appeared evenly split in opinion as to how President Obama was handling diplomacy; 49% of respondents approved of the White House’s foreign policy, while 48% disapproved. In the poll released this week, 58% of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling foreign affairs.
On the Ukrainian crisis specifically, 57% of Americans disapproved of President Obama’s handling of the situation, compared to 40% who believed the strategy to contain Russian President Vladimir Putin’s push west is the right one. This last statistic is especially poignant compared to polls conducted in Russia, which find that Russian citizens overwhelmingly approve of President Putin’s approach to annexing Crimea. The Washington Post reports that the latest poll from Russia finds Putin boasting an 80% approval rating.
The poll also found mixed results on the ideological pulse of the nation, with those who identify as liberals solidly out of step with the rest of the nation. While 41% of respondents claimed association with the Democratic Party and 39% claimed to be Republicans, the ideological identification was overwhelmingly favorable to conservatives. Only 18% of respondents self-identified as “liberals,” while 38% self-identified as “conservatives.” The country appears evenly split on what they would like to see happen during the 2014 midterms, however: 37% of respondents said they wanted to see the Republican Party regain power, only one point above the percentage of those who want to see the Democrats win.