2008 record      

 

The U.S. standing in the world is in decline, and the public blames President Obama. That's the unambiguous finding of the December IBD/TIPP Poll.

 

The poll comes amid a growing list of global crises that the U.S. appears unwilling or unable to control, from the rise of the Islamic State, Russia's defiance over Ukraine and stalled nuclear talks with Iran.

When asked whether they agree that "America's global influence is on the decline," 69% said yes. That's up from 65% in March, which was the first time IBD/TIPP asked this question.

IBD/TIPP's Standing in the World Index — based on ongoing foreign policy questions — is also at all-time lows. For all of 2014, the index averaged 36.1, down sharply from 55.6 in Obama's first year in office. The December index was 36.5. A reading below 50 signals pessimism.

The public's belief in America's decline is incredibly widespread, with majorities in every age, demographic and ideological group. Even among Democrats, more than half (53%), see the country's influence falling. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of independents do. Among Republicans, it's 83%.

Broken down by age, the young are the most downbeat, with 80% of those age 18-24 saying the U.S. is in decline. That compares with 69% of those age 45-64.

The latest poll also finds that among those who say U.S. influence is waning, 75% say Obama's policies are responsible, while just 23% say they're not.

This sentiment, too, is widespread. Among Democrats, 57% blame Obama, as do 73% of independents.

Only liberals give Obama a pass — with just 46% holding his policies responsible.

And while most think America's declining influence is bad, more than one-third of liberals (37%) see that as a good thing. Nearly a quarter of those who identify themselves as Democrats say it's good. In contrast, just 1% of Republicans say this.

The poll also found that an overwhelming majority (88%) of those who see U.S. influence slipping believe that it is reversible.

But only 8% of all those polled believe the U.S. standing in the world will improve in six months. That's down from 15% two months ago.

Closer to home, the public is more upbeat, with 56% saying the economy is improving vs. 45% last month. And the share who think the country is still in a recession fell to 38% from 43% last month.

Support for ObamaCare, however, remains elusive, with only 47% saying they support the law. Outright opposition to the law, however, fell from 51% in November to 48% this month.

A majority of the public, meanwhile, does not back Obama's immigration executive order that effectively granted amnesty to about 5 million illegal immigrants. Fifty-five percent oppose his action, while 43% back Obama. By the same margins, the public believes he should instead have worked with the new Congress starting in January.

Obama can take solace in the fact that his low approval ratings haven't declined further due to Democrats' big midterm election losses or his actions since then.

The IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index was 43.7, up from November's 43.2 and October's 41, the lowest of Obama's presidency. The gauge has been below 50 for 21 straight months.

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