Obama’s Foreign Policy Approval Rating Falls to All-Time Low

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President Barack Obama waves as he arrives on Air Force One at Royal Air Force Station Fairford, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, to attend the NATO Summit in Wales. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama’s approval ratings for handling of foreign affairs has fallen to an all-time low in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, which also showed a significant jump in support for airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists in Iraq.

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.

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A year ago, when Obama was mulling launching airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria after blaming it for a deadly chemical weapons attack, poll support for such action was less than half the current level. In the end he did not carry out the threat.

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.

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