Historically when a president initiates a military action the nation rallies behind the Commander-in-Chief and his approval levels rise. What the new Quinnipiac Poll teaches us that this does not apply to Kinetic Military actions, like the one in Libya as Obama’s approval is at an all time low.

Forty-eight percent of American voters disapprove of Obamas performance (vs 42% approve), on March 3 approval was split 46%-46%. Fifty percent believe that Obama does not deserve to be reelected (vs 41% who believe he does as opposed to a 45%-47% split in early March.

As you would expect, Democrats still approve of Obama’s job performance ( 80% – 13%) and Republicans disapprove (81% – 9%). The worrisome number for the President’s supporters is Independents are not happy with Obama’s performance (50% – 39%)

Most of the Libyan part of the Poll was concluded before Monday night’s speech, so things may have improved since then. Voters oppose 47 – 41 percent America’s involvement in Libya and by a percentage of 58% – 29% they feel hes not clearly stated U.S. goals for Libya. But then there are conflicting results:

  • 53% – 35% approve of using cruise missiles to destroy Libya’s air defense;
  • 48% – 41% say the U.S. should not use military force to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power
  • 65% – 27% agree that the U.S. should use military force to protect civilians from Gadhafi.

American voters split 46 – 45 percent on whether protecting Libyan civilians from Gadhafi is a goal worth having U.S. troops “fight and possibly die.” And voters say 61 – 30 percent that removing Gadhafi is not worth having American troops “fight and possibly die.” A total of 62 percent of voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that the U.S. mission to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi will be successful. But 74 percent of voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that the U.S. will get embroiled in a long-term military conflict in Libya.

This oleo of results seem to indicate that Americans are OK with the US action just as long as it could be fought at arm’s length, without ground troops. They are not confident that it will be possible and  feel that we will be stuck in a quagmire.

Beyond Libya, American’s approval of the President is deteriorating on a host of issues:  
  • The Budget Deficit-30% approve, 64% disapprove (approval was at 36% on March 3)
  • The Economy -34% approve, 60% disapprove (approval was at 38% on March 3)
  • Foreign Policy-41% approve, 47% disapprove (43% approval on March 3)
  • Health Care– 38% approve, 55% disapprove (40% approval on March 3)
  • Energy Policy– 35% approve, 47% disapprove (no trend)
The bottom line is at least according to this particular poll, American voters believe that just about everything the President does is wrong….and that’s about right.