More voters now approve of President Barack Obama's handling of national security, but far fewer Americans are willing to praise the president's approach to economic recovery, healthcare reform or foreign affairs, according to a new Gallup poll.

Separately, in a Quinnipiac poll also released on Wednesday, the president's approval rating has fallen to about 47 percent. For the first time in his presidency, Obama's approval and disapproval ratings are tied, according to pollsters.

Together, those numbers mark clear departures from the president's popularity ratings when he took office just one year ago.


The only bits of good news for the White House in Gallup's latest survey are the president's national security numbers. About 49 percent said in January they approved of Obama's handling of terrorism -- an increase of two points since November. Quinnipiac's poll similarly noted that Obama's highest marks were on mattes of domestic security.

While those upticks were relatively small, they still occurred over the course of a month in which a Nigerian suspect tried to bomb Flight 253 over Detroit -- a security breach the president later classified as a "systemic failure" of the nation's intelligence community.

But pollsters' latest numbers on jobs, healthcare reform and foreign affairs are now far less desirable than the Obama White House would like to see.

About 56 percent of surveyed voters said they disapprove of the president's handling of the economy  -- an increase of roughly three points since pollsters last gauged that metric in November, according to Gallup. At the same time, approval for the White House's economic recovery strategy has fallen four points, to 40 percent, pollsters found.

On healthcare, nearly 60 percent told Gallup they disapprove of the way Obama is handling the ongoing debate -- an uptick of about five points over four months. Quinnipiac reported a similar result, noting about 58 percent are dissatisfied with the president's healthcare approach. All told, those numbers are interesting, given they coincide with a clear decline in Obama's approval on this issue since about August.

The most staggering drop in the Gallup poll occurs in the realm of foreign policy. Voters viewed the president's handling of international affairs quite positively in November, approving of his approcah by a seven-point margin. However, that gap has since dissipated, and now voters regard Obama's foreign policy as equally favorable and unfavorable -- tied at 47 percent.

Quinnipiac also posited those numbers were tied, but added more than half agree the Obama White House has improved the country's standing in the world's eyes.