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Expand chart
Data: Survey Monkey online poll conducted Oct. 17-23, 2018 among 3,919 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±2.5 percentage points. Modeled error estimates: African-American women ±7.5, age 18 to 34 ±5.0, suburban white women ±5.0, “Never Hillary” Independent voters ±8.0, Rural voters ±4.5; Poll methodology; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Most Americans think President Trump hasn't been tough enough with Saudi Arabia in response to the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, with just one third saying his response has been "about right" and only 5% thinking he has been too tough, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: Trump's approval rating on foreign policy has actually jumped, from 41% in August to 45% now, just shy of his 46% overall approval rating. But when it comes to the Khashoggi case, 37% of Republicans believe he has been too soft on the Saudis, along with 55% of independents and 78% of Democrats.

  • That's also the view of majorities of all five voter subgroups Axios is tracking ahead of the midterm elections — including rural voters and "Never Hillary" independents, who have been more supportive of Trump on other issues.

Trump's repeated statements that Saudi Arabia is a "strong ally" of the U.S. are also out of step with public opinion. Asked whether Saudi Arabia is an "ally" of the U.S., "friendly but not an ally," "unfriendly" or an "enemy," more Americans chose "unfriendly" (the top choice) or "enemy" than the first two options.

How it breaks down...

  • Ally: 10% overall, 14% of Republicans, 7% of Democrats
  • Friendly: 35% overall, 44% of Republicans, 29% of Democrats
  • Unfriendly: 37% overall, 31% of Republicans, 45% of Democrats
  • Enemy: 12% overall, 9% of Republicans, 15% of Democrats

There's also a partisan divide on Trump's response to Khashoggi's killing. Most Republicans (56%) think he's getting it "about right," compared to 11% of Democrats. Most Democrats (78%) think he has been too soft, along with 37% of Republicans.

The bottom line: The Khashoggi case has been a top news story for three weeks now leading up to the midterms, and Americans generally disapprove of how Trump is handling it. Still, they have bigger concerns. Just 4% consider foreign policy their top issue.

Methodology: This analysis is based on SurveyMonkey online surveys conducted Oct. 17-23 among 3,919 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate  for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Sample sizes and modeled error estimates for the subgroups are as follows:

African-American Women (n=215 +/- 7.5%), Millennials Age 18 - 34  (n=642 +/- 5% ), White Suburban Women  (n=720 +/- 5% ), NeverHillary/Independent voters  (n=254 +/- 8% ), Rural  (n=963 +/- 4.5% ). Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. More information about our methodology here. Crosstabs available here.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Photo: DEBBIE HILL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

A small memorial of flowers and candles to Adam Toledo in Chicago. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.