Poll: Defense Chief Hagel Rates Low on Job Approval

Image: Poll: Defense Chief Hagel Rates Low on Job Approval

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 11:20 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's job approval is getting low marks, with nearly 45 percent of those surveyed in a new poll disapproving of his performance so far, Defense News reports.

According to the Defense News Thought-Leader Poll, just 36.2 percent of those surveyed – who included leaders of government, industry and academia – approved of Hagel's job performance, while 44.9 percent disapproved, Defense News reported Sunday.

Hagel pulled in his strongest support from Democrats, with 82.6 percent approving of the way he's performing the job.

But the disapproval of 62.4 percent of Republicans and 50.9 percent of those in industry pushed the defense secretary into negative territory, Defense News reported.

Those in the military were more supportive: 44 percent approved of his job performance, while 36 percent disapproved, the poll noted.

Hagel's low polling with industry leaders isn't surprising, Mackenzie Eaglen, of the American Enterprise Institute, told Defense News.

"The first thing that anyone would have to question is whether industry would give low marks to anyone who had the job right now because they are the front man for implementing sequestration," she said.

Hagel's inexperience is also costing him, Gordon Adams, a professor at American University, told Defense News.

"Hagel came into this job with very little experience in defense, so his learning curve is actually pretty steep and I don’t think many people realize that," Adams said.
"Even though he was once a soldier in uniform, his actual defense management experience is extremely small. Getting up to speed and getting on top of the building is a challenge."

Doing much better in the survey was the Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, who had a 44.1 percent approval rating and a 31 percent disapproval rating, Defense News reported.

The survey was conducted over two weeks in April, asking 245 people a dozen questions, including their opinions of the job performance of various officials, Defense News reported.

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