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Voters Are Closely Divided on Obama's Handling of National Security

Thursday, February 24, 2011

With President Obama maintaining a relatively low profile as political unrest spreads through the Arab world, the number of voters who rate his handling of national security issues as poor has hit its highest level since the beginning of December.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 40% of Likely U.S. voters give the president good or excellent marks in the national security area, down five points from surveys the last three weeks. Thirty-six percent (36%) view his performance as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Just after the president assumed office in January 2009, the number of voters who gave the president favorable ratings on national security hovered in the low 50s. Since late that year, however, those giving him good or excellent reviews have ranged from the high 30s to the mid-40s. Those who view his performance as poor have run from 28% late last month to 42% last summer.

The number of votes who give the president positive reviews for his overall leadership has fallen to its lowest level since he took office in January 2009.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

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