Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
4 months ago

CNN/ORC Poll: Majority dissatisfied with handling of Benghazi

What do you want to ask Hillary Clinton? Send your questions here and CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour might ask it during CNN's town hall meeting with Clinton at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington.

(CNN) – Six in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with the way the Obama administration has handled the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a new poll shows.

The CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday indicates only 37% are satisfied with the administration’s response to the September 2012 assault that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya.

Republicans have been strident in their criticism of the slow-to-evolve explanation of what happened in Benghazi, first said to be linked to demonstrations over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States. That proved untrue.

The administration also has come under scrutiny over security arrangements at the consulate before the attack and its response to the armed assault by militants as it was happening.

Poll: Clinton tops Obama on every issue

The issue has been a major point of attack against Hillary Clinton, who oversaw the State Department at the time and ultimately took responsibility for the safety of diplomatic personnel.

As she weighs another presidential bid, she faces continued questions and criticism from her political opponents about Benghazi.

Despite the political offense mounted against her, Clinton still fares slightly better than the administration in terms of public opinion, according to the survey. Forty-three percent are satisfied with her role in the matter, while 55% have a negative view.

Poll: Clinton 2016 victory a sure thing?

Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed think the administration has generally been dishonest in providing information about Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack.

“That may be one reason why overall dissatisfaction with the White House has gone from 50% in 2012 to 60% now,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Congress has launched multiple investigations to review the matter, and Clinton appeared for hearings on Capitol Hill last year.

In her new book, “Hard Choices,” Clinton bashed her critics for trying to launch a “political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans."

She also casts doubt about her participation in the latest congressional investigation, which involves the formation of a new House Republican select committee focused on the issue.

"It's just plain wrong, and it's unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me,” she writes.

How enthusiastic are Democrats about Clinton as nominee?

According to the poll, the public is divided on whether Republicans have been too aggressive in their probe. Forty-eight percent say the hearings have been handled appropriately, while 44% say the GOP has gone too far.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International May 29-June 1, before the rollout of Clinton's new memoir. In the survey, 1,003 adults nationwide were questioned by telephone. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN’s Ashley Killough and Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • CNN/ORC International poll • Hillary Clinton • Libya • Polls
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. jerry

    We have been lied to and Americans deplore liars. It's time to drain the DC swamp!

    June 16, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Allen Gingrich

    These are sad times. We talk about things for years, like healthcare or Benghazi, instead of learning from our mistakes and moving onto different things. We literally NEVER change subjects. It's all about how the other guy is so bad. Demonizing the president is about 75% of all press coverage.

    This is not the nation I grew up in.

    June 16, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. Steve

    What does it matter anyway? Four men lost their lives and no one on the left cares. Sad day for America. I know, like the economy, can we blame it on the weather, liberals?

    June 16, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. Cindy

    I just love all those people that keep going back to the Iraq war. The decision to proceed was a BIPARTISAN decision based on the best intelligence we had at the time. A good many Democrats were involved in that decision at the time.

    June 16, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. jib76

    Iraq and Afghanistan were totally mishandled by former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of States Condeleza Rice and Colin Power. They have the lives of over 4000 American service members on their hands and over 35,000 wounded.

    June 16, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. Yea Right

    6 of 10 people polled – in a survey that was made up for this article.
    The general population in this country are a bunch of uneducated morons. American Idol, The Bachelor, Honey Boo Boo and the rest are much more important than any real news going on in the world. But then look at CNN, not a lot of news on this website.

    June 16, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. king

    its amazing how repubs harp on the lies that the administration left four Americans to die, and on the other hand harp on the administration for not letting an american soldier die by the hands of terrorist. the dems need to stop allowing the repubs to push their political agenda so easily. i know that they controls the media and are paying bloggers to come on cnn to push their backward talking points. but some how some way dems got to stand up and start getting in the discussion when repubs tries to push their political spellbinder all over the place with no kind of structure. they are for this when the president is not, they are against that when the president is for it. come on even i am getting confused writing this ring around the roses crap the repubs are pushing down the american people's throat. i guess the american people were for the 13 Benghazi during the bush administration too huh.

    June 16, 2014 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  8. Allen

    Ambassador Stevens was a very close, personal friend and ally of President Obama. The last thing on earth either President Obama or Sec. of State Clinton would have wanted was for him to be killed. Anytime you are in a US Embassy in the Middle East your life is in danger. On the other hand, working in the World Trade Center on US Soil should be among the safest places on Earth, yet 3,000 Americans were killed there. I do not get why President Obama is excoriated for the loss of four lives on the other side of the world in Libya . . . yet W is hardly ever mentioned as being responsible for the 3,000 lives lost in NY. Republicans denied funding for security that might have helped those in Libya . . . and it might not have helped. There is no scandal as relates to Benghazi except in the eyes of Republicans who are 24/7 obsessed with finding SOME sort of scandal to pin on President Obama. Five investigations already and continuing . . . for crying out loud, give it a rest. What are you doing to prevent a future occurrence? That is the more important issue. The Republicans are 100% politicizing - and wasting taxpayer money investigating - the loss of 4 lives in Libya and that is shameful.

    June 16, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  9. RB

    I have lost count of how many poor or bad decisions that government, humans or organizations have made in my lifetime. My only way to find satisfaction in the human factor of imperfection is that we learn from those mistakes and move on in improving the previous standards. Whenever reveler's use a human mistake as an excuse to preach hatred, it turns my stomach and stimulates my mind to censor their words from that point forward! I have seen countless mistakes that have cost human lives, large and small! Although lives were lost, this in reality was a small loss and is best viewed as a lesson to be learned from! Some say that this was a political coverup by Obama and Clinton, others say it is a coverup by Republican's that cut security funding to all embassies world wide through the political budget cuts battle! I think this is all unproductive and we need to make corrections and move forward!

    June 16, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. mike

    The Majority don't remember Benghazi.

    June 16, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Erasrhedd

    How many of those 60% even know where Benghazi is located?

    June 16, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  12. revolting peasant

    With the entire GOP harping on Benghazi over and over again, it is no surprise that people are believing that the situation was handled poorly. I wonder, however, how many of them really care and would cast their vote accordingly. This is where the GOP is out of touch.

    June 16, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. Nodack

    I cannot wait to vote against Republicans again.

    June 16, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. lerianis

    With all due respect, we have had ambassadors killed before and we will have them killed in the future. Who you should be blaming is the Republicans for blocking every single attempt to fund embassy security better and improve embassy security.

    June 16, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. PtBarnumBoy

    How can so many people know so little about something yet offer an opinion as if they knew everything??

    June 16, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. BeverlyNC

    Benghazi was NOT mishandled. Republicans took a tragic attack on a remote consulate and tried to turn it into a scandal of epic proportion. All it was an epic Republican lie and yet another slanderous conspiracy theory they waste our time creating instead of doing their job of governing and passing legislation.
    More diplomats died under Bush in large numbers than any incident with President Obama.
    Benghazi is just more Republican hate, lies, and a betrayal of our nation with taxpayer-wasted hearings that never find any wrongdoing.
    Out of desperation, Republicans will bring it back – the whole lie – as they try to find anything to slander Hillary with on her path to being our next President.

    June 16, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. Glenn NM

    I find it absolutely hilarious listening to all of the hypocrites rail on Obama and Clinton regarding Benghazi. The real crime is not how it was described by the administration to the media but rather four Americans dying at the hands of terrorists, but Republicans are hell-bent on blaming someone other than the TRUE criminals.

    That being said, tell me why it is that there has been more investigations and monies spent on an incident a half-world away in the most volatile region on the planet because Ambassador Stevens didn't listen to the warnings that he shouldn't be in that area, and one that even respected military leaders such as Robert Gates and Stanley McChrystal have stated could not have been avoided nor help sent in time to rescue the four, yet virtually none of these hypocrites, both in the public sector as well as our do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for Congress, barely raised their voices when we were attacked in our own country and almost 3,000 people died? Not one single Bush Administration official, or anyone from NORAD, the FAA or the military for that matter, received even a slap on the wrist. If 9/11 had happened during Obama's presidency all of these hypocrites would be calling for his head, yet unlike the Republicans and their ilk the nation rallied around their President during a time of national crisis.

    What a bunch of hypocrites........

    June 16, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. kamarasune

    "What difference does it make"~ Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary has said some very callous things over the years but that one statement was so cold and displayed such indifference its not forgettable...or forgivable having been the Secretary of State at the time and happening on her watch. Men died.
    Shameful just shameful.

    June 16, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. Winston Smith

    Truth be known, not to many of us care for the way Iraq, has been handled. But back in 2003, we had no voice in the matter. The (Weapons Of Mass Destruction), were looming large over the head of a transplanted Texan, who's only guide was two or three brain cells that refused to touch one another.

    June 16, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. Dana

    Bullpucky, CNN. I live in a HUGELY red & rural area, and I am the only liberal for miles in any direction. I love getting in the mix with my neighbors, and they enjoy trying to beat down my opinions. None of them EVER bring up Benghazi. The economy, Iraq, Syria, jobs, Bergdahl, gun control, the bank bailout (yes, some think it happened after Obama took office). Never Benghazi.

    June 16, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Steve

    No kidding. Our government is too powerful and when they politics with a major mistake like this, it just reminds you that if we don't stop playing partisanship and denounce this stuff, we are all going to be standing at the gates of Washington, peering in to the palaces and wondering if they are ever going to allow us to eat again.

    June 16, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. Ben Ghazi

    It looks like I have the presidency locked up in 2016!! Vote for Ben Ghazi!!!

    June 16, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  23. Vicki

    Republicans and Fox are the place where the tea party was formed. These are people who do not have the sense to think for themselves. The ignorant people who think that Fox is telling the truth are the idiots that will keep voting for the GOP that will end Social Security and Medicare. Republican politicians do not care about the middle class or the working poor. They just care about the wealthy that they cater to.

    June 17, 2014 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Vicki

    People have facts here especially Bill Davis. The GOP can mislead and they can lie but there are more and more people who see that they are always lying and they are always going to lie about everything.

    June 17, 2014 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  25. yeahright

    O'drama ya Mama
    I bet a majority of Republicans think this poll is perfectly accurate but wont accept the poll that says Hillary will STILL win the 2016 election.
    ----------–

    They still don't accept the "poll" done in 2012, which is what all of this is really about.

    June 17, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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