The Washington Times - June 26, 2013, 08:53AM

President Obama’s approval rating sits at 43 percent, with 51 percent of registered voters and 61 percent of independent voters disapproving of his job performance, according to a new poll from Fox News.

The 43 percent mark is his lowest number since he sat at 42 percent in April 2012.

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A majority of voters — 52 percent — actually approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing on terrorism, but he’s underwater on every other issue included in the poll: foreign policy, health care, immigration, gun control and the federal deficit.

Sixty-one percent disapprove of how Mr. Obama is handling the government’s surveillance program that collects phone and Internet records of U.S. citizens.

One silver lining for the president? People still think he’s doing a better job than Congress. Just 15 percent approve of the job Congress is doing compared with 77 percent who disapprove.

The latest Real Clear Politics average of job approval numbers for the president from June 10 to 24 shows that 45.9 percent approve of Mr. Obama’s job performance and 48.8 percent disapprove.

In the Fox poll, voters appear to be more evenly divided on the potential ends of the government surveillance program than they are about Mr. Obama’s handling of it. Forty-four percent say that the surveillance is more likely to help catch terrorists and protect Americans from additional attacks, and 46 percent say it’s more likely to hurt law-abiding Americans by using private information improperly.

Twenty-two percent characterize NSA leaker Edward Snowden as a hero, 44 percent say he’s a misguided criminal, and 8 percent think he’s a spy for China. Twenty-four percent didn’t know.

The survey of 1,012 registered voters was taken June 22-24 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.