Barack Obama's approval numbers have been hitting record lows in our polls and others of late and one of the things that's really hurting him right now is Libya- even though barely half of voters in the country actually know where it is.
Our most recent national poll found that only 27% of Americans supported the military intervention in Libya to 40% who were opposed and 33% who had no opinion. Democrats only narrowly stand behind the President in supporting the action in Libya, 31/28. Meanwhile Republicans (21/51) and independents (29/42) are considerably more unified in their opposition.
Libya doesn't seem likely to be a big vote shifter next year- 52% of voters say it won't make a difference in their decision on whether to support Obama for reelection or not. But for the voters who do say it could be a game change it's a negative- 31% say what's going on in Libya right now make them less likely to vote for Obama compared to only 17% who say it makes them more likely to vote for him.
Obama's not picking up any Republicans on Libya- just 4% say his actions there make them more likely to vote for him. He's losing more Democrats on the issue- 14% say it makes them less inclined to support him again. And it's also hurting him with independents, who split 13% more likely to vote for him because of Libya to 29% less likely.
Libya is definitely proving to be a political loser for Obama which is interesting because only a little more than half of Americans, 58%, can actually correctly identify that it's in northern Africa. 27% think that it's in the Middle East, 4% think it's in South Asia, 2% think it's in South America, and 9% don't offer an opinion. Voters may not be terribly informed when it comes to Libya but they know they don't like what they're seeing.
There's a wide array of things causing Obama's popularity issue and it would be a mistake to try to pin it all on Libya- but it's certainly not helping.
Full results here