Support among the American public for President Obama’s handling of foreign affairs, chiefly the ongoing fight against ISIS and the U.S. relationship with Iran, has emerged as an Achilles heel as a majority of voters disapprove of his job performance.
A new CNN/ORC poll released Friday found that respondents who disapprove of the job the president is doing outnumber those who do, 51 to 47 percent. Just last month those numbers were essentially flipped, with 49 percent backing Obama against 47 percent who did not.
Respondents saved their toughest criticism for the president’s strategy for battling ISIS.
The survey found that 62 percent of Americans believe the president not doing enough to defeat the terror group, which still controls large swaths of territory inside Iraq and Syria. Data shows that figure has remained pretty consistent since the question started being asked last September.
The question also sparked a strong rebuke from Obama’s fellow Democrats, with 35 percent of them disapproving of his strategy. That figure can be attributed to dissatisfaction with the more liberal wing of the party, which has raised concerns about the president’s open-ended commitment in the Middle East and the administration’s inability to secure a new war resolution to combat ISIS.
Meanwhile, attitudes about the U.S. sending in ground troops to battle the organization continue to shift. Last September, only 38 percent of Americans favored such a move. That figure stands at 47 percent in the latest poll. Those who oppose such action has fallen from 60 percent to 51 percent, a bare majority.
Similarly, 60 percent of Americans, including 30 percent of Democrats, believe the U.S. has the wrong approach when it comes to Iran. The disclosure comes the day after the same poll found a majority of Americans, 56 percent, want Congress to reject the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. Lawmakers will vote in favor or against the deal when they get back to Washington next month.
Since both chambers are controlled by the GOP, Congress is expected to vote down the deal but Obama can veto the maneuver. Republicans have been trying to pick off enough Democratic members to override the promised veto, but haven’t had much success.
On Friday, Rep. Jarrod Nadler (D-NY) became the first Jewish New Yorker to announce he would back the deal.
Nadler, who represents the nation’s largest Jewish population by congressional district, announced his support after receiving a personal letter from Obama that vowed to use “all of the options available to the United States,” including economic sanctions and military action, to make sure Tehran complies with the agreement.
The existence of the letter was first reported by The New York Times.
“After carefully studying the agreement and the arguments and analyses from all sides, I have concluded that, of all the alternatives, approval of the JCPOA, for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” Nadler said in a statement, referring to the agreement by its technical name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).