Poll: Low Approval Rating for Chuck Hagel

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A new poll shows that leaders in government, the defense industry, and academia disapprove of the job that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is doing.

The Defense News Thought-Leader poll showed 44.9 percent of respondents disapprove of Hagel’s work, compared to only 36.2 who approve.

Defense News polled 245 subscribers in the United States; respondents were chosen based on job category and seniority. The majority of respondents were from the defense industry, followed by civilian workers of the Department of Defense, and active military.

Hagel’s inexperience in the field is a major source of concern, according to Defense News.

Part of the challenge that Hagel has faced is relative inexperience in defense management, said Gordon Adams, a fellow at the Stimson Center and professor at American University.

“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. “He didn’t sit on the [Senate] Armed Services Committee, he sat on the Foreign Relations Committee. So 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.”

President Barack Obama didn’t fare well in the poll either. Obama received only 20.3 percent job approval.