November 24 at 8:04 AM
THE BIG IDEA:
— President Obama has fallen back into negative territory since the Paris attacks.
A slight majority approved of the job he was doing in our poll last month, but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll out this morning shows that his approval has slipped to 46 percent, with 50 percent disapproving.
The fall has been driven almost entirely by concerns about terrorism and refugees.
On how he’s handled the Islamic State, 57 percent of Americans disapprove, with 46 percent of the electorate strongly disapproving.
The intensity of anti-Obama sentiment has also flared up. Forty percent “strongly disapprove” of the president, the highest mark since right after the midterm elections last year.
Approval of Obama’s handling of the terrorism threat also fell to a new low of 40 percent in our survey, down seven points from January, per Post pollster Scott Clement. The share who “strongly disapprove” of Obama’s work on terrorism jumped from 31 percent to 43 percent. The previous record was 35 percent.
— So far, Obama’s losses have not hampered Hillary Clinton. His former Secretary of State still led all GOP challengers on the issue of terrorism in our survey. But his weakness explains why she’s worked to take a harder line and increasingly distance herself on the question of dealing with ISIS over the past two weeks.
— Obama is meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the White House today. Their joint press conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Hollande met with British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday and goes later this week to see the leaders of Germany, Italy and Russia. Above all, a senior administration official tells Karen DeYoung that Obama hopes to discuss how to “take advantage of what is clearly a new sense of momentum and urgency coming on the heels” of a series of recent militant attacks, not only in Paris, but in “Mali, Beirut, Ankara and elsewhere,” including last month’s bombing of a Russian commercial airliner. “We are hoping that more countries that have been in the game in Iraq are going to get deeper in the game in Syria,” said the official.