Poll: Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Handling of ISIS

Alex Wong/AFP
Alex Wong/AFP

A newly released poll shows Americans are increasingly unhappy with the President’s handling of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The new poll by CNN/ORC found 57% of respondents disapprove of the President’s handling of ISIS while just 40% say they approve. The latest results are similar to results CNN got in early September 2014. Back then, the President’s disapproval rate was 59-37. That improved later the same month after the President made a prime-time address on the topic.

Respondents continue to disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign affairs in general (57-41). That result continues a long-standing streak of disapproval, which began in mid-2013. Since then, the President has been underwater on the issue by at least 10 points.

The poll gives some evidence to suggest voters increasingly want to see a more aggressive response to ISIS. Opposition to using American ground troops to fight ISIS has dropped significantly over the last five months. As of last September, 60% opposed the use of ground troops. Now, the same question results in 47% support vs. 50% opposition, i.e. nearing parity.

The President does slightly better on the question of his handling of the Ukraine crisis, with 49% disapproving versus 41% approving. His worst result in the current poll came on the issue of securing “the nation’s electronic information.” On this issue, Obama was 25 points underwater, 60% disapproval versus 35% approval.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted between Thursday and Sunday, which meant they included polling done over the weekend when a series of terror attacks in Copenhagen and a new beheading video released by ISIS made news. The poll had a 3% margin of error.