President Obama could take solace in the fact that most Americans agree with his decision not to send combat troops back to Iraq, but most Americans also disapprove of his handling of the situation.
According to a new poll, two-thirds of Americans are opposed to the idea of sending ground troops back into Iraq to battle the Sunni militant group ISIS, which has overrun most of northern and western Iraq. Meanwhile, 52 percent disapprove of the way the president has handled the renascent crisis. Gary Langer unpacks the numbers:
Highlighting a disconnect between policy preferences and presidential approval, “strong” disapprovers of the way Obama is handling the situation outnumber strong approvers by a 2-1 margin, yet strong opposition to sending troops exceeds strong support by 3-1."
The poll also tackled how Americans feel about the potential use of airstrikes to combat the ISIS offensive. That was much more evenly split:
The meaning of these seemingly contradictory numbers may have something to do with American fatigue about the Iraq War. As it's been noted, just three years ago a whopping 78 percent of Americans approved after the president removed all troops from Iraq. (It also certainly doesn't help that President Obama's approval rating sunk to 41 percent just last week, tied for his all-time low.)
Another telling poll may shed some light on the discrepancy.
Obama has clearly explained what the US’s goals are in Iraq 23% / He hasn't done that yet 67% (CBS/NYT Poll, 6/20-22) http://t.co/iYoGrcMu94— PollingReport.com (@pollreport) June 24, 2014
That poll also cited that 58 percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama's foreign policy, "the highest level since Mr. Obama took office in 2009." That ten-point jump came in just over the course of a month with a third of Democrats signaling their disapproval. (Eight-four percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents disapprove.)
“I voted for him because he said, ‘Give me four more years and I will fix everything,’ but nothing is being fixed,” Michelle Roberts, 34, a Democrat from Salem, Mass., said to The Times.
Meanwhile, according to the UN, over 1000 people have been killed in Iraq this month.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.