Obama's approval ticks up; low on foreign policy

President Obama’s overall approval rating has ticked up in recent months, but he received one of his lowest foreign policy grades in a new poll.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 42 percent approve of Obama’s job as president, compared to half who disapprove.

That approval rating is up 2 percentage points since January, according to Quinnipiac.

Despite his overall improvement, only 39 percent approve of Obama’s job handling foreign policy issues, while 55 percent disapprove.

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Just over 40 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, but 47 percent disapprove.

The poll found voters are evenly split, 42 percent-42 percent, on whether Obama or Russian President Vladimir Putin is the stronger leader.

More than half of respondents are concerned the crisis could lead to a renewal of the Cold War. 

Eighty percent are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” the situation could lead to a larger regional conflict that could involve the United States military, the survey said. 

Nearly 70 percent support the economic sanctions the U.S. and its European allies imposed against Russia, but more than half of voters say the U.S. shouldn’t get too involved.

Thirty-nine percent, meanwhile, say they want the U.S. to take a firm stand in the conflict.

The poll comes a day after NATO suspended its programs with Russia, and Secretary of State John Kerry met with officials in Brussels to discuss how to move forward in the crisis. 

The survey was conducted March 26 to 31 and polled 1,578 voters nationwide.