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Obama Approval Rating Drops Again, Tying All-Time Low

Obama-BlindWith a number of foreign policy crises plaguing the Obama administration, in addition to the regular drumbeat of partisan attacks by the president’s Republican enemies, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dipped to a tie for the lowest point since the beginning of his presidency.

Just 41 percent of Americans who responded to the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll said they approved of Obama’s performance as president. In addition, his approval rating on foreign policy sits at 37 percent, setting a new low — likely affected by the recent implosion of Iraq into sectarian in-fighting and government ineffectiveness in the wake of the American troop withdrawal in 2011.

Obama also faced a chorus of criticism after he approved a prisoner swap that released five Taliban prisoners to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who many of his military colleagues had accused of desertion before he was captured by the Taliban.

When he spoke about the Bergdahl swap last month during a European trip, Obama was dismissive of the critics.

“The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule, and that is: We don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind,” Obama said.

When the president was asked about the allegations that Bergdahl had been a deserter, Obama said nothing changes the responsibility to recover Bergdahl, the last American prisoner in Afghanistan.

“Regardless of circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American prisoner back,” he said. “Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that.”

“I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought it would be contrary to American national security,” Obama said. “This is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington. That was true for Abraham Lincoln … at some point you try to get your folks back.”

Fifty-four percent of voters said that they don’t believe Obama “is able to lead the country and get the job done,” compared with 42 percent who said they think he can.

The president’s approval rating among Hispanics has taken a big hit, dropping from 67 percent in January 2013, when he was inaugurated for a second term, to 44 percent in the June 2014 poll.

In addition, 41 percent of respondents said the Obama administration’s performance has worsened over the past year.

The president might be heartened by the fact that two-thirds of respondents said they supported his recent announcement of new EPA regulations to cut emissions at coal-fired power plants, a measure that has been attacked by many Republicans and some Democrats in coal-producing states. The president’s executive action aims to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants by 30 percent by 2030, which could potentially close hundreds of the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants. The New York Times said the change could lead to systemic changes in how power is generated and used in the U.S.

As for the ongoing scandal in the Veteran Affairs administration, the survey found that just 14 percent of respondents blame the problems on the Obama administration — 61 percent say the VA is plagued by a longstanding bureaucracy.

The survey was conducted June 11-15 with 1,000 adults. The margin for error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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“This is a bad poll for President Obama, and not a good poll for anybody else,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democrats Peter Hart and Fred Yang, told NBC.

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