WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Nearly half of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the situation between Russia and Ukraine, and 43 percent of Americans say the international image of the U.S. has grown worse since the beginning of Obama’s presidency.

A new CBS News poll of Obama’s handling of both foreign and domestic issues shows that his overall approval rating (43 percent) is similar to last month, but the only area where the president now receives a majority of approval is on terrorism. His handling of Afghanistan, health care, foreign policy, immigration and the economy all sit at least 10 points below a 50 percent approval rating.

A majority of Americans (53 percent) do have at least some confidence that Obama can handle an international crisis, but only 28 percent expressed “a lot” of confidence in Obama – 40 percent of Americans showed “a lot” of confidence in the president in the fall of 2012.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that the situation between Russia and Ukraine is beyond the control of the U.S., and less than one-third (32 percent) of Americans think U.S. sanctions against Russia will be effective in altering actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

Just 26 percent of Americans think the U.S. should provide military aid and equipment to Ukraine amid the tensions with Russia, while 65 percent think the U.S. should refrain from such assistance.

In 2009, when Obama held his highest approval ratings, 60 percent of Americans said the image of the U.S. had improved throughout the world. Today, less than one-third (32 percent) of Americans say the U.S. image has improved internationally, while 43 percent say the U.S. looks worse.

Still, Obama continues to receive his highest rankings (53 percent) in regards to his handling of terrorism.

The poll’s first measure of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry showed that 44 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing, while 36 percent disapprove.

But at least one person didn’t receive such pessimistic poll numbers as 68 percent of Americans approve of how Michelle Obama is handling her role as first lady.


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