Obama Drops on Foreign Policy, With Independents

But president did slow defections with speech on health reform
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 6:42 PM CDT
President Barack Obama listens as China's President Hu Jintao speaks during their meeting in New York today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s speech on health reform did stem movement away from him on the issue, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows, but he’s losing steam among independent voters—a key constituency for him and fellow Democrats in recent elections—and facing more doubt about his handling of the war in Afghanistan and of foreign policy in general.

Some of the findings:

  • 46% of independent voters disapprove of how he’s doing his job, to 41% who approve. It’s the first time more have held a negative view, and up from a 38% disapproval in July.
  • On health care, 45% now approve of Obama’s handling of the issue, with 46% disapproving. In August, the balance was 41%-47%. 45% favor a new plan to 39% who want the status quo; 53% say Obama’s plan won’t change or will improve their care, while 36%—down 4 points since last month—say the president’s plan will worsen care.