President Barack Obama's foreign policy approval rating is down a net 5 points in two months, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday, with a record 57 percent of Americans now disapproving of his performance.
The survey predates both growing sectarian strife in Iraq and the capture of a suspect associated with the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. It does include opinions on the Obama administration's decision this month to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Americans said they disapprove of the prisoner swap by a 14-point margin, according to the poll, although a quarter remain undecided.
"Whether it’s [Vladimir] Putin, Ukraine, the VA hospitals, Bowe Bergdahl, the events have controlled Obama, rather than Obama having controlled the events," Democratic pollster Peter Hart, part of the bipartisan team who conducted the survey, told NBC.
Other surveys this month also reflect growing negativity: A Washington Post/ABC survey found Obama's foreign policy rating down a net 11 points since March. A Fox News poll put Obama's foreign policy rating identical to where it stood in March, but down a net 12 points since May, partially due to an unusually positive result for him that month.
While foreign policy once ranked among Obama's strongest issues, polls show disapproval of his performance gradually climbing to a new high. HuffPost Pollster's average, which combines all publicly available polling, finds disapproval of his policies up about 3 points since the beginning of the year, and nearly 11 points since the start of 2013. About 38 percent of Americans approve, while close to 54 percent disapprove, putting his ratings on the issue in line with his ranking on health care and the economy.
The NBC/WSJ poll surveyed 1,000 adults between June 11 and June 15, using live interviews to reach both landline and cell phone users.