Just 38 percent of respondents said they approved of the way the president was dealing with international affairs, while 56 percent said they disapproved.
The record-low approval rate is down from a post-re-election spike of 54 percent in Dec. 2012, and from an all-time high of 67 percent in Apr. 2009, three months into Obama’s presidency. The record-high disapproval rate is up from 39 points in Dec. 2012 and a low of 27 points in Apr. 2009.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said Obama has been too cautious in dealing with ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Seventy-one percent expressed support for airstrikes against the jihadists in Iraq – a jump from 45 percent when the question was asked on June 22, almost two weeks after ISIS seized control of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and as it advanced across northern Iraq. Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq on August 7, and a total of 148 have been carried out since then.
Further, 65 percent of respondents in the poll said the airstrikes should be expanded to target the militants inside Syria, a step Obama has avoided taking up until now.
Tuesday’s poll comes a day before Obama is due to address the nation on his strategy for tackling ISIS.
The president drew strong criticism for saying on August 28 that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for confronting the ISIS threat in Syria, but he and top administration officials have since then been working on building an international coalition.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by Langer Research Associates, by phone over the period Sept. 4-7, and has a sampling error of 3.5 points.