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Poll: Americans' views of U.S. fight against ISIS hit new low

By Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton and Fred Backus

Americans' evaluations of how the U.S. fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is going are now at their worst level since the question was first asked in this poll about one year ago. Seventy-two percent now say that fight is going badly, up from 64 percent in August. Only 21 percent of Americans say it is going well, down from 28 percent.


Just over a year ago, views were negative but still more optimistic than they are now: then, 33 percent said things were going well. The poll was conducted before the current U.S. offensive against ISIS in Iraq.

Democrats (31 percent) are more positive than Republicans (11 percent) or independents (19 percent) about U.S. progress against ISIS, but by two to one they still say the fight against ISIS is going badly.

President Obama

And approval of the president's handling of ISIS has dropped to its lowest level ever in this poll. Now, just 31 percent approve of his handling the situation with ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. That is the lowest approval rating he has received on this measure since the question was first asked in September 2014.

Forty-four percent approve of how he is handling the economy, slightly more, 51 percent, disapprove. Just 33 percent approve of how he is handling foreign policy, also a new low.

This poll was conducted by telephone November 6-10, 2015 among a random sample of 1,495 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and The New York Times by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers.

The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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