Libyan followers of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades burn the U.S. flag during a protest in Benghazi, Libya, on Friday. …President Barack Obama's once-robust approval rating on foreign policy has slipped since August: He's down five points among all respondents in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, and 12 points among independents.
The survey, teased here, came after a wave of Muslim anger at an anti-Islam movie online unfurled across the Middle East and North Africa, and unknown gunmen stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in clashes that claimed the life of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The poll found that 49 percent of the respondents approved of Obama's handling of world affairs, down from 54 percent in August. Forty-six percent disapproved.
Unsurprisingly, the survey found a deep partisan split, with 86 percent of Democrats approving against 10 percent of Republicans. But the Republican number was down from August, as well, when 19 percent said they viewed Obama's foreign policy positively.
The numbers fell more sharply among independents: 41 percent said they approved, against 53 percent last month. The poll was conducted Wednesday through Sunday and had an error margin of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.