The only problem with the question asked in an NBC News/WSJ poll released this morning — “Do you think President Obama is still able to lead the country?” — is its implication that he ever was able to lead the country.
The poll as a whole is nothing short of a disaster for Obama. It augurs poorly for Hillary Clinton, too. We’ll get to her numbers shortly.
Back to the big question: A majority of Americans (54%) believe Obama is no longer able to lead the country, while 42% believe he is still able. Additionally, while the public is evenly divided (50% to 50%) on the question of whether the administration overall is competently managing he federal government, those numbers are lower than those recorded for the Bush administration at approximately the same time in his tenure (53% to 46%).
Obama’s overall approval rating fell back to his all-time low of only 41%. The number of people believing the country is heading in the right direction continued to decline, with only 25% saying the U.S. is going the right way.
One of Obama’s selling points in the 2012 election was his handling of foreign policy. The poll reflects a loss of approval for his performance in this area. Disapproval grew from 53% to 57%. Note: The survey was completed before the recent upheavals in Iraq.
In the past even when Obama’s job approval had fallen, his overall rating stayed high, indicating that Americans “like” him as a person. Since just before the 2012 election however, his overall likability numbers have been in free fall. Currently 20% feel very positive about Obama while 31% feel very negative toward him.
In other key Obama issues, 59% of Americans oppose closing Gitmo, and a plurality of votes (44% to 30%) disagree with the Bergdahl prisoner exchange.
On to Hillary: Her ratings have fallen also. Forty-four percent have a very or somewhat positive view of the former Secretary of State, while 37% have a very or somewhat negative view. In April, the last time this question was asked, those ratings were 48% and 32% respectively. And surprisingly, only 38% say they will probably or almost certainly vote for her if she runs in 2016.
Cross-posted at The Lid