Our take is that it all depends on how the issue is framed and what’s going on in the world. Polls show that President Obama gets better marks on handling foreign policy than on domestic policy. But still, his ratings aren’t that strong. In the latest poll, for example, 46 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove (Quinnipiac).
In the February AP/GfK Roper poll, 48 percent trusted Republicans to do a better job on protecting the country while 40 percent trusted the Democrats. In the December 2011 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Republicans had a 3-point advantage on handling Afghanistan (26 to 23 percent) and a 13-point advantage on handling terrorism.
President Obama receives high marks for his planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In a February Pew poll, a majority (53 percent) thought that Obama was handling removing troops from Afghanistan “about right.” Twenty-two percent thought he wasn’t withdrawing troops quickly enough. While Iraq receives scant news coverage, Obama receives positive marks for handling the situation there in all recent major polls.