President Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 40 percent on the heels of his controversial decision to take executive action on immigration, according to Tuesday poll.
Some 54 percent of Americans surveyed by Quinnipiac University disapprove of the president, while 39 percent approve. That’s approaching the president’s all-time low of 38 percent approval in December 2013, during the botched HealthCare.gov rollout and anger over revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.
"With the exception of voters born after 1985, Obama's approval is deep under water,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.
The survey shows little indication that the president’s decision last week to take action to defer deportations and offer work permits to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants would help him rebound.
While Democrats support the move at a 74 percent-18 percent clip, 75 percent of Republicans, and 51 percent of independent voters oppose the executive action. Voters 29 years old and under back the move 59 percent-33 percent, but those over 65 oppose it 53 percent-36 percent.
And overall support for comprehensive immigration reform is flagging. A record low 48 percent of American voters now say illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. with a pathway to citizenship — down 9 percentage points from a year ago. And 35 percent now say illegal immigrants should be forced to leave the U.S., a record high.
"While President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaWHCA: White House staff to skip dinner Overnight Energy: Trump signs climate order | Greens vow to fight back GOP lawmakers defend Trump military rules of engagement MORE's popularity wallows, support for immigrants wanes as Americans look at immigration reform with ambivalence," Malloy said.
Still, voters would be upset if Republicans forced a government shutdown in a bid to block the president’s executive action. Some 68 percent oppose such an action, and even Republicans oppose the maneuver by a 47 percent-44 percent margin.
"Americans seem divided on immigration, but they agree on one thing: They don't want a government shutdown over President Obama's action on immigration," Malloy said.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 18 to Nov. 23, so it began before Obama's immigration action was officially announced.