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Half of Americans say President Obama is a ‘dove’ on foreign policy

- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2014

The nation, for the most part, says President Obama does not appear to be too fond of military aggression.

"Anti-war positions have defined Barack Obama as a candidate from early in his career as a national politician. His opposition to the Iraq war allowed him to take on the mantle of the anti-war left during the 2008 Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton as well as the subsequent presidential campaign," says William Jordan, an analyst with YouGov, which conducted a survey about American impressions of the president.

Reality calls, though. Things have become a little less clear cut during his years in office.

"His use of unmanned drones and support for intervention in Libya, for instance, have earned criticisms from anti-war campaigners on the left and right. At the same time, the administration's decision not to do more about crises in Syria or Ukraine have led to accusations of weakness," Mr. Jordan says.

A significant number don't know what to make of Mr. Obama's foreign policy. Here are some numbers:

47 percent of Americans say President Obama is a foreign policy "dove"; 69 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say Mr. Obama's foreign policy is about what they "expected" since he took office in 2009; 41 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent approve of the president's foreign policy; 8 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall are not sure how to describe the tone of Mr. Obama's policy; 14 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent say Mr. Obama is a "hawk" on foreign policy; 17 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 990 U.S. adults conducted May 16-19.

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