Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 51% Disapprove of Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy, 35% Say Obama Has Handled Foreign Policy Better than Bush

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According to the latest Reason-Rupe poll, 43 percent of Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President, while 50 percent of Americans disapprove. When asked specifically about President Obama's handling of foreign policy, the percentage of those who approve drops to 38 percent, while a majority of Americans—51 percent—disapprove of his handling of foreign policy. These results remain largely unchanged since August.

A third of political independents (includes partisan leaners) say they approve of both President Obama's job performance and his handling of foreign policy. Roughly 54 percent disapprove of his handling of both.

Democrats are more likely to favor Obama's overall job performance (76%) than foreign policy handling (65%). About a quarter of Democrats disapprove of President Obama. Only about 12 percent of Republicans approve of either the president's overall job performance or foreign policy.

Young people still like the President: 49 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-34 approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President. This number slightly declines to 40 percent who approve of his foreign policy. Americans over 55 are nearly equally likely to both disapprove of the president's foreign policy and overall job performance (56% disapprove, 36% approve).

Significant perception differences remain across race and ethnicity. About 3 in 10 white Americans oppose Obama's general job and foreign policy handling, while 6 in 10 disapprove. Among African-Americans, 84 percent approve of general job performance and 73 percent of his foreign policy. Among Hispanics, 57 percent approve of Obama overall and 49 percent of his foreign policy.

When asked to compare President Obama to his predecessor George W. Bush, only 35 percent prefer Obama's foreign policy. Twenty-eight percent think the two have handled foreign policy about the same, and 33 percent think Obama has done a worse job than Bush.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).