- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

President Obama’s job approval has sunk to its lowest level in more than a year in a new poll as terrorism and national security emerge as top concerns for Americans.

Mr. Obama had a 43 percent job approval rating in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll — his lowest standing since last fall. Fifty-one percent said they disapproved.

Forty percent of Americans said national security and terrorism is the top priority for the federal government — up 19 points since April. Twenty-three percent said job creation and economic growth are the top priority — down 6 points since the spring.

Thirty-seven percent said they approve of Mr. Obama’s handling of foreign policy, and 34 percent said they approve of his handling of the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Seventy percent of the public also said they think the country is on the wrong track, compared to 20 percent who think it’s headed in the right direction.

Sixty percent said they think military action against the Islamic State is in the country’s interest. Forty-two percent say the action should include both airstrikes and combat troops, 36 percent said it should be limited to air strikes, and 12 percent said military action shouldn’t be taken.

And in a reversal from a few years ago, 55 percent now say they’re more worried that the United States won’t go far enough in monitoring the activities and communications of potential terrorists, compared to 40 percent who are more worried the government will go too far.

In July 2013, in the wake of the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, 56 percent had said they were more concerned that the government would go too far with surveillance.

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