Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
6 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. Hillary Izexi

    Deal with it!
    Who cares if an American Ambassador and several other Anericans were killed. Obama was able to go to Vegas to campaign for his great 2012 victory.

    Obama Administration: learn Chinese and Spanish already. Barry's revenge on America is almost complete!

    June 16, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. susanmforrester

    Six in 10 Americans don't even know where Benghazi is! Or know which country and continent it is in! Not many care about Benghazi. People care about wages, health care, and providing for their family. Get over Benghazi.

    June 16, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Kelly

    Six in 10 Americans don't even know where Benghazi is, which should disqualify them from having any opinion.

    June 16, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Mike

    Oh the whining from the Right needs to stop. A LOT of our US Embassies were attacked under GW Bush, and people died. You did NOT see the GOP demanding peoples heads. And, the US Embassy in Lebanon under Reagan? Over 200 US military were killed. Very little GOP screaming.

    Let's face it, there is so much hatred and racism in today's GOP and it's congressional delegation – it's just pathetic. It's also pathetic that the news orgs are giving these people air time.

    June 16, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. dannyboy1313

    Hillary is sure doing a lot of dodging and weaving for someone who claims innocence in the proper handling of the events of Sept 11-12, 2012.

    June 16, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Big_D

    Amazing what the GOP can do with public opinion and a few lies. Of course they think the Marines stood down and didn't do their job and that's OK?

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. susanmforrester

    6 in 10 Americans don't even know if Benghazi is a city or a country, or where it is located! Can we stop talking about Benghazi and get back to wages, health care and job growth; things that actually matter to most people.

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. carlos

    Bill

    Obama got elected because Romney lost. Get over it.

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. tinykhan

    Yawn...two year old story. When will it stop being news? No one cares.

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Jim

    No answers from Obama, on why he was not in the situation room when this attack was taking place?

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. wes

    What the hell is wrong with the 37% who somehow believe these idiots handled Benghazi in any manner other than badly? Why is this number not down to around 10%? Are one third of Americans actually that stupid? I suppose these are the hard core lefties who will support this muslim fool and his regime no matter WHAT reprehensible behavior they demonstrate.

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. John

    I'm glad to see 60% of America still values accountability.

    June 16, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. PJ

    I think most of us are tired of this whole story. The GOP has tried to keep it alive. Get over it and move on!

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Jeffrey B

    And the Obama administrations response? They dont care.

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Spikemanlou

    Sorry Biil, you are wrong just like the rest of your party, Obama was reelected because what your party brought forward as a candidate was worse than what the other party had to offer. And before you start calling me names like liberal and the such, I did vote for Bush the first time because again I thought what the other party brought forward as their candidate was worse, so yes, I am an indepent voter who votes for what I deem the best candidate for this country is

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. John

    What % of americans approve of George Bush's handling of the 13 US embassy attacks he presided over resulting in 77 deaths? Since it was more than 1000% more attacks and deaths than have occurred under Obama, I would assume that Bush's approval rating would be lower, correct? If not why??

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. John

    Selective indignation. Nuff said.

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Lynn

    Nobody from CNN polled me. I'm more than disgusted they keep focusing on Benghazi and completely ignore the 5000 military dead and more to come in Iraq, based on lies and deceit.

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. LouAZ

    How it was reported ? Yes I am dissatisfied. That it happened at all. Unfortunate, but bad things can happen to good people in that part of the world. We cannot make our Embassies and Consulates some impregnable fortress. We insist on applying small town Iowa (just as an example) values to each and every thing that happens through out the world on a daily basis. Quit sniveling !

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. irock

    This just in, 4 in 10 Americans are sheep praising a turtle on a post.

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Mike Hunt

    Hillary Clinton stood in front of the relatives of the people who were killed in Benghazi and blamed the attack on a YouTube video.

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Steve

    "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"

    ...and 10 in 10 Americans have NO CLUE what happened in Benghazi.....but 6 in 10 will tell you they do!

    June 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. MDanielleM

    I am unhappy with the way the Obama Admin. has handled everything. Our president is a joke to other countries and to a lot of people in America.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Mo

    really think that's what got him elected Bill?
    i thought it was the 47% of freeloaders, more than half of whom happen to be republican ...

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Matt

    The other 4 votes were discarded or the 4 don't know what Benghazi is.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11