Polls: Obama remains steady amid warning signs
June 5th, 2013
02:46 PM ET
2 years ago

Polls: Obama remains steady amid warning signs

Washington (CNN) - While President Barack Obama's overall approval rating appears to be holding steady, numbers from two new national polls on the trio of current controversies may give the White House cause for concern.

The surveys suggest increasing doubts about the administration's honesty and integrity as it deals with controversies over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax exempt status, the administration's handling and reaction to last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead, and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists' phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Tuesday evening, the president's approval-disapproval rating stands at 48%-47%, basically unchanged from 47%-48% a month ago.

The president's numbers stand at 49%-46% in a Bloomberg National poll, which also released Tuesday night. The 49% approval rating is a 6-point drop for Obama since the last time Bloomberg polled on the president. But that previous survey was conducted back in February, when Obama's numbers arguably were inflated coming out of a second inauguration high.

A CNN Poll of Polls on the president's approval rating, which includes those two surveys and the latest numbers from Gallup's daily tracking poll puts Obama at 48%-46%, which is relatively unchanged over the past couple of months.

But the numbers beyond the topline tell a different story.

While Obama's overall approval rating is weathering the storm, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey indicates it has plunged among independent voters, from 37% in April to 28% now. And the poll also suggests a drop in Obama's numbers on presidential qualities, such as being a strong leader, being honest and straightforward, and changing the business-as-usual culture in Washington.

"The IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust. That's especially true for the IRS," Obama said last month as the IRS controversy was first making headlines.

But the controversy appears to be eroding public trust. Fifty-five percent of those questioned in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll say that the IRS episode is raising doubts about the Obama administration's honesty and integrity.

And 47% questioned in the Bloomberg poll say they don't believe the president when he said he didn't know that the IRS was targeting tea party and other conservative groups. Four in 10 say the president's being truthful. The 47% figure rises to 53% among independents.

The NBC/WSJ poll indicates that nearly six in 10 say the State Department's handling of terror attack in Benghazi and the Justice Department's subpoena of journalists' phone records raise doubts about the Obama administration's honesty and integrity.

But, according to the poll, a majority don't directly fault the president for any of the three controversies. That may be one reason why Obama's overall approval rating is holding steady. Another reason is that the economy continues to outweigh the three controversies in importance among Americans. And favorable or positive opinions of the economy, while still a minority, continue to edge up in the NBC/WSJ survey and other recent polls.

But the surveys suggest the president isn't out of the woods when it comes to these three controversies.

"The new polls seem to indicate that the president can survive these problems if nothing new is uncovered. But they also indicate weaknesses that could become serious concerns if another shoe falls in any of these stories, and House Republicans are making sure that they won't fade away on their own," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.


Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "if nothing new is uncovered."

    Cue the GOP/Teatroll conspiracy theory manufacture machine..."more witch hunt, less evidence"....

    "and House Republicans are making sure that they won't fade away on their own"

    Indeed. It's extremely easy to fabricate things without any evidence or proof to back them up and then pretend that it's everyone else's job to disprove it, not your job to have proven it in the first place. Watch:

    "Wolf Blitzer eats giraffe and pays a black market smuggling ring to bring it to him from the Congo."

    Sorry, Wolfy, onus is on you to prove me wrong.

    June 5, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Evergreen

    Wow! With poll numbers like these I guess it is a good thing he can't run for President again. Keep focusing on the country's business and pay no attention to the GOP carnival. What about the poll numbers for the other branch of government?

    June 5, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    While the propaganda against the President may sway many, the approval ratings of Congress, and especially the republicans in Congress, must be scraping the bottom these days. In spite of the teabag righties, who welcome the total dysfunction they bring to government.

    June 5, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Time to change the playing field, Mr. President. Remind The People that we have budgetary concerns looming in the near future, which need to be addressed immediately. They are currently being ignored.

    June 5, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The new polls seem to indicate that the president can survive these problems if nothing new is uncovered. But they also indicate weaknesses that could become serious concerns if another shoe falls in any of these stories, and House Republicans are making sure that they won't fade away on their own,"
    ----------------------------------------------–
    And CNN is propagating these frivolous scandals.

    June 5, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    It looks like Fox-lite is back at it again......

    June 5, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. just sayin

    The surveys suggest increasing doubts about the administration's honesty and integrity as it deals with controversies over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax exempt status, the administration's handling and reaction to last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead, and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists' phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.
    --

    the rest of the country is now seeing what many have seen for years, the total dishonesty and lies coming from obama and his flunkies.

    June 5, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    awwww......the tightie righties and their fantasies of impeachment are going down the tubes. Get over it haters.

    June 5, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Pete

    Pres.Obama isn't a chess player that just jumps when its his turn to.move a piece..He knows around every corner there's an unpatriotic,uninformed ,bigotted ,disrespectful republican trying to derail his last term in the presidency and he's aware if he waits enough time the republicans will hand him something he's been waiting for ,a democratic house as well as senate because he knows if he's patient enough the republicans will destroy themselves with no outside help at midterms next November and everyone but republicans the arrogent ones surely know it!!

    June 5, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Stuffit

    I don't think that steady is the word to describe his presidency. It would be more like unconscious.

    June 5, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Cam

    Obama is ok if you like tyrannical qualities.

    June 5, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Now we find IRS officials were accepting gifts at conferences???????

    Now we ALL know accepting gifts, is a conflict of interest for the IRS.

    June 5, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Sniffit

    "According to the state of California unemployment payouts have been cut 17.69% due to Obama's sequester. This is stated on the phone message from the EDD. Interesting how the sequester was only for 2-3%. They're making the people suffer greatly because that's what they want."

    You should just hold up a sign announcing that you really have no idea how the budget and the sequester work. I'll help you make it so you can avoid the predictable Teatroll spelling errors.
    -----
    Ignore what I stated after all that's what you people do so well.

    Your name calling makes you look pathetic.

    June 5, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Darren

    You are so cool! I don't suppose I've truly read something like this before. So nice to find another person with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

    June 5, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    How to pay for it? Seriously??? Stop all green energy boondoggles, BILLIONS there. Cut EPA by half, BILLIONS there. Cut Planned Parenthood off, half a billion there. Open Anwar for oil drilling and use all royalties to enforce immigration laws.

    We have PLENTY of money to do it. We have plenty of law enforcement ready, willing and able to do it. What we need are the politicians with the GUTS to do it! To ENFORCE OUR LAWS.
    ******************
    They ARE enforcing the laws, and far more effectively than any administration has in a generation. Why not can the subsidies to the oil and gas industries ( who clearly do not need it)? How about closing the loopholes in the tax code? That ought to pay for your fence that you are so fixated on: by the way, has anyone bothered to point out to you that any defense can be breached, given enough time? Why waste money on building an immigration version of the Maginot Line that only serves to soothe the nerves of frightened bigots who fear a multi-racial country where they will be the minority within a generation? Do you really want to pour billions of dollars into border security that will never secure the border to your satisfaction? You can build a fence, but it will not eliminate the problem. Money is no issue to you on that, but you won't spend a dime on anything else while the country decays from neglect.

    June 5, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "....and House Republicans are making sure that they won't fade away on their own...."
    ----------------
    What House Republicans? They're extinct. The GOP has been replaced by the GOTP. Sen. Cruz defined himself as being separate from Republicans when he declared that he didn't trust them. Look at most of the committees in the House. They're either chaired by Tea Partiers, or most of the members are Tea Partiers.

    If I'm not mistaken, that quote from the article is highly suggestive of the fact that the Republican Party has begun to fade away into the dust bin history. I say the Republicans passed the event horizon on election night 2012. How else would you explain Karl Rove's meltdown? He knows the end of the Republican Party is already here.

    June 5, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Dems must be so proud that Holder had to go judge shopping. HA HA HA so sad.

    June 5, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. jinx9to88

    What do you expect, his approval rating should drop some considering the GOP has thrown everything at Obama including the kitchen sink for the past 5 years. Name one thing the GOP has helped Obama on or pass that was good for this country?

    June 5, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well lessee,
    Unemployment is moving at a snail's pace if it is moving at all. Nearly 50 Million on Food Stamps, a real huge victory, floating around a 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt, Social Security, Medicare running out of money, Most State Governments deep in the Red, No money to fund Obama Care all glaring failures by big liberal thinking. Aw yes, everything is just peachy !!

    June 5, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and MORE JOBS has been created under President Obama 2times over than under GW Bush!!! ***FACT***

    Obama is STILL the president...get over it already GOP-TEA-BAGGERS!!!

    June 5, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Donna

    The Democrats and Obama's supporters in the LSM have been shielding them from the truth for 4.5 years. Refusing to report on his failures, helping to cover up his disasters, carrying his water and pushing his talking points. In short, playing Obama's propaganda machine.

    Now that even they can't avoid all of the scandals and now that Obama has shown he will even attack his media lackeys, he is in trouble. Had the LSM done their job instead of pushing their hand chosen candidate, Obama never would have been re-elected, let alone be talking about approval numbers.

    The LSM has pretty much indoctrinated a large portion of population and elevated Obama to "Dear Leader" status where anything he does is deemed correct and faultless.

    June 5, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. rs

    Stuffit

    I don't think that steady is the word to describe his presidency. It would be more like unconscious.
    ___________________________
    Sorry, Reagan really did sleep through much of his second term while Bush vacationed through 3.5 years of his entire Presidency. Concious is as conscious does.

    June 5, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Wake up People!

    I wonder what the House's ratings are? Single digits??

    June 5, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Know why none of us liberals give a flying squirrel turd about all this hyped up nontroversy and the attempts to tie it all directly to Obama wih silly fabrications and conspiracy theories? Here's a very very good reason:

    "I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats,”
    – Tea Party activist Ken Emanuelson at a May 20 "Battlefield Dallas" event in Dallas.

    "Outreach" BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    June 5, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Ignore what I stated after all that's what you people do so well. "

    If you don't understand the math, ask for help.

    June 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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