Scandals haven't hurt Obama - yet

Despite extensive coverage in the media, the trio of scandals that have enthralled Washington have yet to make much of an impression on the American people.

A new CNN poll shows the president's approval rating holding steady at 53%.

Politico:

The CNN poll is in-line with Gallup, which also indicated a very slight rise in Obama's approval rating over the same time period. And Gallup's daily tracking poll also indicated a slight upward movement of Obama's approval rating over the past week. But as with the CNN poll, it was within that survey's sampling error.

More than seven in 10 in the CNN poll say that the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of tea party and other conservative groups that were applying for tax exempt status was unacceptable. While the White House and both parties in Congress are criticizing the IRS actions, congressional Republicans are depicting the controversy as a case of the federal government gone wild.

But more than six in 10 say that the president's statements about the IRS scandal are completely or mostly true, with 35% not agreeing with Obama's characterizations. And 55% say that IRS acted on its own, with 37% saying that White House ordered the IRS to target tea party and other conservative groups.

Only 42% of the public is satisfied with how the Obama administration has handled the September attack in Benghazi, Libya, which left the U.S ambassador to that country and three other Americans dead. Fifty-three percent say they are dissatisfied. But those numbers are virtually unchanged from November.

Republicans have ripped the administration for not providing adequate security for the Benghazi mission, botching the response to it, and misleading the public for political gain with the attack coming less than two months before last November's presidential election.

The American people are taking a sensible approach to the scandals. It will take hard, incontrovertible evidence for them to turn on the president completely and with the IRS matter in its early stages, there may yet be more compelling evidence of White House perfidy. For example, if it comes out that Obama knew of the IRS scandal prior to news reports - as seems very likely - that would shake public confidence in the president's truthfulness.

But until then, the president will enjoy public support - if not for his agenda then for him personally.


Despite extensive coverage in the media, the trio of scandals that have enthralled Washington have yet to make much of an impression on the American people.

A new CNN poll shows the president's approval rating holding steady at 53%.

Politico:

The CNN poll is in-line with Gallup, which also indicated a very slight rise in Obama's approval rating over the same time period. And Gallup's daily tracking poll also indicated a slight upward movement of Obama's approval rating over the past week. But as with the CNN poll, it was within that survey's sampling error.

More than seven in 10 in the CNN poll say that the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of tea party and other conservative groups that were applying for tax exempt status was unacceptable. While the White House and both parties in Congress are criticizing the IRS actions, congressional Republicans are depicting the controversy as a case of the federal government gone wild.

But more than six in 10 say that the president's statements about the IRS scandal are completely or mostly true, with 35% not agreeing with Obama's characterizations. And 55% say that IRS acted on its own, with 37% saying that White House ordered the IRS to target tea party and other conservative groups.

Only 42% of the public is satisfied with how the Obama administration has handled the September attack in Benghazi, Libya, which left the U.S ambassador to that country and three other Americans dead. Fifty-three percent say they are dissatisfied. But those numbers are virtually unchanged from November.

Republicans have ripped the administration for not providing adequate security for the Benghazi mission, botching the response to it, and misleading the public for political gain with the attack coming less than two months before last November's presidential election.

The American people are taking a sensible approach to the scandals. It will take hard, incontrovertible evidence for them to turn on the president completely and with the IRS matter in its early stages, there may yet be more compelling evidence of White House perfidy. For example, if it comes out that Obama knew of the IRS scandal prior to news reports - as seems very likely - that would shake public confidence in the president's truthfulness.

But until then, the president will enjoy public support - if not for his agenda then for him personally.


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