Americans Like Obama About as Much as They Like Russia


Jedimentat44 / Foter / CC BY

President Obama can't seem to catch a break from the American people, particularly when it comes to his leadership throughout the Crimean crisis with Russia.

CBS News reports on a nationwide poll it conducted:

While a majority of Americans (56 percent) support U.S. sanctions against Russia, they are less pleased with President Obama's handling of the situation between Russia and Ukraine overall. Forty-six percent disapprove of how Mr. Obama is handling these events, while fewer—38 percent —approve.

Looking more broadly at the president and the United States' image in the world, more Americans now say the image of the U.S. has grown worse (43 percent) since Mr. Obama became president, rather than better (32 percent). One in five thinks his presidency has had no effect.

To be fair to the president, the situation is complex and opinions are bound to be conflicted as a reflection of that.

But other data from the CBS poll rubs salt in the wounds. Americans like the president about as much as they like Russia. Although the number is dropping, "42 percent of Americans think of Russia as either an ally or friendly to the U.S.," while 51 percent consider Russia unfriendly or an enemy. Obama's overall approval, by comparison, is 43 percent and disapproval is 50 percent.

Other polls give the president slightly higher ratings. Gallup reports that Obama has 45 percent approval and Rasmussen puts it at 46 percent.

The poor perception of the president may also be a result of domestic baggage, like the rollout of Obamacare and the economy. CBS highlights that Americans have negative outlooks about both.

Oddly, although Russians' rights are being clobbered as much as their economy thanks to their government's imperial desires in Crimea, President Vladimir Putin's domestic support is at a three-year high.