Polls: Obama remains steady amid warning signs
June 5th, 2013
02:46 PM ET
1 year 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. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Wake up People!

    I wonder what the House's ratings are? Single digits??
    ------
    The House or congress?

    June 5, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Peoples State of Illinois

    Aaaahhhh, the flyspecks continuing to try and defend the indefensible.

    June 5, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    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.
    -------–
    From a liberal? Best joke of the day there.

    June 5, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Peoples State of Illinois

    Aaaahhhh, the flyspecks continuing to try and defend the indefensible.
    --------------------
    Innocent until proven guilty. Witch hunting is not investigating. It's paranoid people looking to justify their paranoia.

    June 5, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    The House. Period.

    June 5, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    Aaaahhhh, the flyspecks continuing to try and defend the indefensible.
    ********************************
    Sorry, the article is not about the House of Representatives. However, we would be interested in hearing what the Right wing has in the way of an alternative vision for this country. Get back to us when you have some new ideas: by the way, I have no intention of holding my breath, since the Right has not had an original thought in over 20 years on empowering people.

    June 5, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    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.
    ---–
    From a liberal? Best joke of the day there.
    ***********
    Almost as good as " tax cuts pay for themselves".

    June 5, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Donna

    Rudy NYC - Witch hunting is not investigating.
    ---

    IRS admits wrong doing, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    Four Americans die and Obama administration pushes lie after lie on the American people to get re-elected, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    American Border agent is killed after Obama administration gives guns to Mexican cartels, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    Eric Holder goes after months and months of AP phone records from hundreds of reports, Democrats call that a targetted investigation.

    Too funny.

    June 5, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The Senate is much more to blame for the coutries problems than just the House. Reid has played Mr. Obstrutionist (Obama's whipping boy) for years now.

    June 5, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The Real Tom Paine

    -Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    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.
    -–
    From a liberal? Best joke of the day there.
    ***********
    Almost as good as " tax cuts pay for themselves".
    ---–
    Or have to pass the bill to find out what's in it?

    June 5, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Rudy NYC

    Peoples State of Illinois

    Aaaahhhh, the flyspecks continuing to try and defend the indefensible.
    ------–
    Innocent until proven guilty. Witch hunting is not investigating. It's paranoid people looking to justify their paranoia.
    ---------
    It has been proven that just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.

    June 5, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Rudy NYC – Witch hunting is not investigating.
    -

    IRS admits wrong doing, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    Four Americans die and Obama administration pushes lie after lie on the American people to get re-elected, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    American Border agent is killed after Obama administration gives guns to Mexican cartels, Democrats claim it is a witch hunt.

    Eric Holder goes after months and months of AP phone records from hundreds of reports, Democrats call that a targetted investigation.

    Too funny.
    ****************
    Yes, nothing makes a rightie smile more than Americans dying and a tragedy they can profit from. You must be rolling on the floor, absolutely beside yourself with mirth over deaths. You must have been in heaven after Newtown.

    June 5, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. truth hurts but reality bites

    More and more of the American people are not believing Obama and his people because all of the lies are getting too much to ignore, even for the most ardent Obama supporters. And it is always the same old retort from him and his supporters. It isn't his fault, he wasn't there, he didn't know anything, he was out golfing, whatever. The same pattern has now been seen over and over and people are starting to think enough is enough.

    June 5, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
1 2