With an approval rating of 43 percent, it’s no secret that many Americans have lost faith in President Barack Obama’s ability to do his job. But, a poll concerning the Presidential response—and that of Obama’s international counterparts— to the situation in Syria, reveals that Americans may be even more concerned about the President’s ability to handle foreign affairs than his responsibilities at home.
An Economist/YouGov poll found that Americans feel that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response to the Syrian civil war was more appropriate than Obama’s. Forty-nine percent of respondents said Putin responded correctly, compared to just 25 percent expressing faith in Obama’s tactics.
As might be expected with any issue involving the President in these polarized times, hardly any Republicans think the Democratic President was the most effective leader: overwhelmingly they say Putin was most effective (63% of Republicans say this, while only 4% pick Obama). But there is even concern from Democrats. Fewer than half of Democrats say the President was most effective, while 37% choose Putin.
To Americans, President Obama was the “least effective” world leader, with more choosing him than British Prime Minister David Cameron, who lost a vote in his Parliament on the issue, and Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has said he will submit to international pressure and give up his chemical weapons.
While only 23 percent of respondents said that they believed Syria will follow through with the conditions of Syrian chemical disarmament fleshed out by the international community, few Americans support military intervention if the country fails to comply. According to the poll, just 26 percent support the use of military force against Syria (only 35 percent of Democrats are in favor) and 58 percent oppose action.