Washington (CNN) – Although public support for a no-fly zone in Libya has grown in the past week, President Barack Obama's overall approval rating has so far remained virtually unchanged, according to a new national poll conducted Friday through Sunday.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Monday indicates that 51 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 47 percent saying they disapprove. The 51 percent approval rating is virtually unchanged from the 50 percent figure found in a poll conducted on March 11-13.
At the same time, support for the U.S. and other countries to establish a no-fly zone against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is up 14 points in a week, to 70 percent.
In the past, air strikes and other actions have often produced a so-called 'rally effect' that have boosted a president's approval rating in interviews conducted after the military action has been taken.
"The current poll is based on interviews that occurred both before and after the air strikes, so it's possible that the 'rally effect' will only be seen in polls released later this week that were conducted entirely after the military action began," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "On the other hand, President Obama has not taken on the trappings of a commander-in-chief as previous presidents have done when launching military action."
After the bombing began, for example, Obama chose to make taped remarks from a foreign country (the president was in Brazil, as part of an on-going three nation visit to Latin America) rather than a prime-time address from the Oval Office.
"The president's overall approval rating also may not have changed because people who are most likely to support the air strikes are Republicans, who continue to give Obama low marks overall," adds Holland.
The poll indicates the typical partisan divide, with 82 percent of Democrats approving of the job Obama is doing in office, while only 17 percent of Republicans give a thumbs up to how the president's handling his duties. Independent voters are divided.
As with previous presidents, the survey suggests that Obama has a natural advantage on foreign policy compared to domestic issues. Fifty-four percent approve of how the president is handling foreign affairs, and 50 percent approve of his policy in Libya. By contrast, only 36 percent approve of Obama's track record on the deficit, only 39 percent like his economic policy, and 41 percent approve of how he's handling health care.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report