President Obama’s approval ratings, which received considerable interest in recent weeks after a Quinnipiac University survey found that voters rated him the worst president since World War II, have actually barely budged in 2014, but the White House received disappointing figures for his handling of two key foreign affairs issues and the migrant conflict.
Only 39 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, while more than 52 percent disapprove, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Obama has received slightly more positive reviews for how he has dealt with the Malaysian Airlines jetliner downing in the Ukraine, with 46 percent approving but 43 percent disapproving. On international affairs, the president received a 46 percent approval rating.
But a broad view of Obama’s overall poll numbers in 2014 show that American opinion has roughly stayed the same. According to Gallup, the president’s approval rating has never dropped below 40 percent and never exceeded 45 percent since the start of the year. In the same span, Obama’s disapproval rating has never dipped below 50 percent or exceeded 55 percent. In 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term, his approval rating hit a high of 54 percent in January, and finished at 43 percent, while never dipping below 40 percent. The disapproval rating began at 40 percent and climbed to 53 percent in November.
Meanwhile, Obama’s approval rating towers over Congress', which was at 15 percent on July 15. More than one in five Americans believe the best way to fix Congress is to replace all its members.
Perhaps a contributing factor to Washington’s negative approval numbers is the immigration crisis, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) disapproving of the president’s handling of the migrant crisis, according to an Associated Press-GFK poll. Immigration has become an increasingly hot political issue in 2014 as more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been detained this year. Obama sought $3.7 billion request in emergency funding earlier this month, while the House Republicans have proposed $659 million in funding.
In a Washington Post/ABC News Poll on July 15, 58 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama’s management of the migrant crisis, while congressional Republicans had a 66 percent disapproval rating.
On Thursday, a Quinnipiac poll in Ohio, which carries 18 electoral votes in 2016, showed Obama’s numbers had dropped to 36 percent, with a 59 percent disapproval rating. The numbers were far more encouraging for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is currently a consensus front-runner for the Democratic nomination. The same poll gave Clinton a clear advantage over possible Republican candidates in a hypothetical two-party matchup, with leads over Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (4 points), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (7 points), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (9 points) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (11 points).