President Obama’s public approval rating has dropped to just 37 percent, with 55 percent disapproving of his job performance, according to the first Reuters/Ipsos political tracking poll of the year.

The poll clashes with Gallup, which last had Obama at a 46 percent approval rate. During the period, the president was hit for not sending an important member of his team to the protests in Paris over recent al Qaeda terrorist killings.

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Worse, with the GOP in charge of Congress, more say that the Republicans “have better plans on the economy, taxes and foreign policy than do Democrats,” said the newly released poll.

Democrats, however, continue to hold the edge on the environment and welfare.

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The poll was conducted Jan. 10-14 and included 634 Democrats, 646 Republicans and 230 independents.

Overall, 56 percent said that the nation is on the “wrong track,” while 26 percent said the nation is on the right track.

The national poll was released along with one that looked at how blacks, Hispanics and whites view police. The bottom line: 70 percent of blacks and 52 percent of Hispanic Americans agree that “police officers tend to unfairly target minorities,” compared to 29 percent of whites who agree with the statement.

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Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at