President Obama's handling of Libya gets the approval of half of Americans who have an opinion on it (and about one-fifth do not), despite criticism from right, left
, according to a CBS News poll conducted
March 18-21. (Poll data here.
) Critics say the administration waited too long to act or, once it did, took military action whose goals were not as defined
as Obama had said they would be.
Fifty percent said they approved of Obama's handling of the situation, 29 percent disapproved, while 21 percent expressed no opinion.
Obama does better when it comes to ratings on his performance on Libya and other foreign policy matters than on some major domestic issues. The CBS poll found that Republicans, who uniformly give Obama low marks on domestic issues, particularly health care, the economy and the deficit, approve of his handling of the Libya situation by a 43 percent to 41 percent margin.
A CNN/Opinion Research poll
, conducted March 18-20, found that 54 percent of those surveyed approved of Obama's handling of foreign affairs, and 50 percent agree with the way he's dealt with the Libyan crisis. By contrast, CNN's polling found that only 36 percent approved of Obama's handling of the deficit, 39 percent approved of his economic policy and 41 percent liked the way he was handling health care.
While the CBS poll found little change in Obama's overall job approval rating -- 49 percent approve and 41 percent disapprove -- there was a good sign for him in the fact that independents, who soured on him last year, approved of his performance by 46 percent to 39 percent, with the remainder undecided.
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