The president’s approval rating has dropped seven points among independents. Forty-five percent of independents now approve of how the president is handling his job. Last month, a majority of 52 percent approved.

Assessments of how Mr. Obama is handling the war in Afghanistan have become more negative since early October. Thirty-eight percent now approve of how President Obama is handling the war – but even more, 43 percent, disapprove. Disapproval has risen nine points, from 34 percent last month.

Again, most of the change has occurred among independents. Last month, 44 percent of independents approved and 36 percent disapproved of the job Mr. Obama was doing on Afghanistan. Now, more independents disapprove than approve: 49 percent disapprove, and just 30 percent approve.