Obama's Presidency Is on the Ropes -- Again

June 18, 2014 2:41 PM

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Obama's Presidency Is on the Ropes -- Again

Just when our NBC/WSJ poll from April showed President Barack Obama bouncing back a bit after the surge of enrollment in the health-care exchanges, then came the crisis in Ukraine. Then the VA hospital controversy. The controversial Bowe Bergdahl release. And now the current instability in Iraq. And they’ve knocked Obama back down to where he was during the HealthCare.Gov woes -- or even worse. Our brand-new NBC/WSJ poll shows Obama’s overall job-approval rating at 41%, a three-point drop from two months ago. His foreign-policy handling has declined to 37%, his all-time low. His fav/unfav numbers are back underwater (41%-45%) after being in the positive territory in April (44%-41%). And perhaps most troubling of all for Obama, 54% of Americans believe that he no longer can lead the country and get the job done for the remainder of his term. “This is a bad poll for President Obama, and not a good poll for anybody else,” said NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R). Added co-pollster Peter Hart (D): “Whether it’s [Vladimir] Putin, Ukraine, the VA hospitals, Bowe Bergdahl, the events have controlled Obama, rather than Obama having controlled the events,” he said. “He may be winning the issues debate, but he’s losing the political debate, because they don’t see him as a leader.” We’ve seen Obama on the ropes before during his presidency (think after the debt-ceiling fiasco, after the health-care website crash). Can he get off of them one more time? He’s getting awfully close to that “he doesn’t have time to recover” period of the presidency.

Our NBC/WSJ poll was crafted before the instability in Iraq grabbed headlines, so it doesn’t contain questions on that subject (though we will have Iraq data in a few days). It also was conducted before the United States arrested a suspect in the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. S...

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