A few observations on the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:
- This is the first time the president’s job approval numbers have been “upside down” — more people disapproving than approving — since June 2012.
- After spiking around the election, the right direction/wrong track numbers have slipped back to where they were last June. More than 6 in 10 people think the country is headed on the wrong track.
- The president’s handling of foreign policy numbers have never been worse. Only 46 percent approve of his performance in that area, which has been a strength for Obama. Interestingly, the president’s job approval for his handling of the economy, 47 percent, is higher than for his handling of foreign policy, 46 percent. That’s a reversal of where public opinion has been since he has been in office.
- The self-reported party ID numbers continue to reflect the Republican Party’s problems. While 44 percent of those responding said that they identified themselves as Democrats, only 35 percent identified themselves as Republicans. And self-described “strong Democrats” exceeded “strong Republicans” by 8 points, 21 percent to 13 percent. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of September 2004, 22 percent of respondents identified themselves as “strong Republicans.”
- Finally, when Hispanics were asked which party would do a better job of dealing with immigration, Democrats had a 37 percent to 11 percent advantage over the GOP. A total of 49 percent said either “both about the same” or “neither.” Personally, I was surprised the numbers weren’t worse for the GOP, given how Mitt Romney dealt with the issue.