Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
2 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. Poor Edgar Derby

    This poll has no bearing on anything.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Txsportsman2012

    6 in 10 Americans don't realize Benghazi sits 404 miles from the US Embassy in Tripoli.
    6 in 10 Americans don't realize General Carter Ham offered Amb Stevens more security at the Benghazi State Department compound 2 months before the attack.
    6 in 10 Americans believe a 4 man FEST team based in Tripoli would have been able to repel the attack if they had magically been transported there in time.
    6 in 10 Americans refuse to believe our brave State Department personnel put their lives in danger every day worldwide – and refusing State Department requests for additional security funds would have made any difference.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Rene

    This was more than obvious and sad that Obama has continued to think that he could keep throwing the story out there it would stick, but it hasn't. After seeing Amb. Rice's responses to the negotiating on PFC Bergdahl's trade it is apparent she is unable to clearly answer any questions.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. bob

    This had NOTHING to do with whether Obama got elected Bill. Bush presided over the largest f-up in American history (9-11), but I bet you still voted for him in 04, right?

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Bill Davis

    It seems Americans don't understand Congress voted NO to more funding for security at our consulates abroad...

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Fred

    This is what happens when a community organizer takes on a job that is just too big for him.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Glenn

    Can't we move on? So the administration didn't perfectly guess their exact motivation and exact terror classification from the first moment. Who cares? Some crazies attacked us. The end.

    June 16, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. TheSadTruth

    An attack in a foreign country kills 4 Americans, and yet conservatives continue to howl about it while ignoring that their mentally defective GW Bush personally STARTED a war in Iraq that killed 5,000 Americans- far more tha Bin Laden's 9/11 attack.

    No wonder the "Blame Obama, but do nothing" GOP is getting beaten by psycho Tea Party candidates.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Tim

    Well we now know Bill's education level. He believes if Obama called Benghazi a terrorist that he wouldn't have been re-elected. People voted for Obama because the other choice was worse. Good luck with your GED Bill, you're gonna need it.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. jason

    what about the 13+ Benghazis under Boosh? I want that investigated first

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Why won't CNN, FOX and the rest og the media take a look at the Congressional record and report on the fact that the republicans voted down a bill that would have provided more security for our Foreign Diplomats, and that every effort over the past 6 years has been rejected.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Joe Schmoe

    Is this Fox news with a CNN logo? 6 in 10 do not care how much you want to beat this dead horse. Let it go! Mistakes were made, this is true. Now lets focus on more important current events and learn from the past!

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Michael Smith

    Not satisfied with the overall handling, but I have a deep seated question: Was there anything that realistically could have been done in the time frame of the events and would the outcome have been different? This especially when the ambassador had a firm conviction to minimize the military guards. BTW, aren't some of the cadre so up in arms the same who cut the State Department security budget? So soon we forget the accompanying facts.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. linda

    "why don't you tell us every day who was killed or wounded in the war today, obama".

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. redmanrt

    "Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me,” she writes."

    The Hillary thing has been saying that for the last 40 years or so. The Reckoning is coming.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Michael Norris

    The "Dude" guy by his own admission was the person in the Situation room when the 3am call asking "What should we do?"came in. My question is Exactly Who did he call? The Presidents office? Sec of State Clinton's office? and what was he told to do?...and What did he do?

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. rednip

    4 in 10 believe that he should have sent in Iron Man.

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Bobby Conner

    I can not trust this woman with family in the Military

    June 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Bill Davis

    Tampa Tim in GOP speak 4 dead is more important that over 7K dead because they hate Obama....

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

    A stupid poll that gives know-nothings a place to whine.

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Larry

    I might tune it in. After CNN's debunking of the Bloomberg's phony gun stats it gives me hope of a more balanced CNN. I have my doubts on this interview, though.

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. jim Sailors

    Ask Hillary what her view is on "Ambassor Stevens was kidnapped, and drug behind a vehicle thru the streets of Benghazi, and that he was further tortured. She got her 3 AM call, and did not answer.

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. O'drama ya Mama

    Tampa Tim

    W Bush was reelected with an Amber alert, fear mongering, and on the backs of 3000 killed on 9-11-2001, 50 killed in 15 embassy attacks, 4500 of our troops killed, 45,000 soldiers wounded, and the worst recession since the Great Depression.
    June 16, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Now Tim, lets be fair here. The recession didnt start until after they re-elected Bush. Ultimate buyers remorse?

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. D

    It was a video that started the protests and no voted for or not for Obama because of what happened in Libya. The Republicans standing on the dead is what upsets most people

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. michael manuel

    Hillary is up to her eye balls in this cover up and she will just point the finger as Clintons do. Mike

    June 16, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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