Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
June 16th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
1 month 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. Nicole Modestino

    10 out of 10 Americans can't even point in a map where Benghazi is!!!

    June 16, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Ronnie Reynolds

    If a Republican was in charge when Benghazi happened, would you feel the same way you currently do about the whole situation.

    June 16, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Brooklynbl

    Who writes this crap? We had a meeting for an organization that has nothing to do with politics and just for fun we took a vote with over 800 people. Turned out 9 out of 10 don't care how Benghazi turned out. We are though ALL concerned with the amount of money and wasted time being spent on this. It was horrible, hope we learned lessons now for God's sake get on with it. You must pull these polls out of your butts.....

    June 16, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh good. BENGHAZI poll numbers.

    Rah. Rah.

    I suspect most Americans gave up on this story prior to the 2012 election.

    June 16, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Dan C

    The non-stop (and knee-jerk) republican criticism, where beating up on ANYTHING the president does, has usurped any fair and decent discourse on the issue is yet another reason I loath today's republican party. Recall that any criticism of George Bush foreign policy brought jeers and accusations of treason by their ranks – regardless of the myriad muddles his "leadership" provided. There were many more embassy attacks that occurred under Bush; many more lost their lives, yet there were no calls for any investigations – and I shan't even get into the whole Iraq fiasco where hundreds of thousands of lives were needlessly destroyed due to The Bush/Cheney Lie. I'll just mention it for perspective. Obama may not be perfect, but thank God, McCain or Romney are not in office. We would be in yet another senseless war by now

    June 16, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Mancee Graice

    As long as a person with brown skin is in the white house, the gee oh Taliban will keep beating their war drums for the lynch mob to assemble on the white house lawn.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Ryan S

    The other 4 in 10 are in denial.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. ira

    Stop covering CNN, do your job. It is because you fail to report this idiot got re elected.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. John Smith

    6 out of 10 Americans believe the garbage fed to them by the right wing propaganda machina

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Sarah

    Unbelievable. The left leaning CNN failed to mention it was actually 6.0000014 out of 10. Just unbelievable.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Mike

    I still don't know what the scandal is. We couldn't have beefed up the defense quick enough between the warning to attack. It's made up, and really sad as four Americans are dead and we are arguing over misspoken words or labeling. An act of terror is the same as saying a terrorist attack.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    lies, lies, and more lies.

    June 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    It's hilarious that CNN can write this article with a straight face as though this happened yesterday, not 2+ years ago, and as if it wasn't followed by big ranting partisan investigations that failed to prove any wrongdoing or generate the impeachment hearings the GOP/Teatrolls obviously hoped they would. Nope...yesterday and neverending.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. tom l

    But the gang keeps telling me that NOBODY cares about this.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Robert

    Everybody knows that the Benghazi Affair was handled and explained poorly, as in "by people who weren't up to task and didn't seem to care," yet for some incredible reason US citizens and voters have basically bought into the redirection away from the non-existent WMD's that formed the rationale for invading Iraq and later Afghanistan, in which 10s of 1000s of US military personnel were severely injured and 1000s more were killed. Today, in 2014, no one really cares enough to demand accountability for exactly why the Iraq conflict took place. We seem willing to froth over Benghazi while dismissing the massive national debt and the loss of life and time resulting from the Iraq decisions. We've done the same regarding the 2001-08 catastrophe that resulted in the collapse of the USA economy.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. sly

    I'm not satisfied with Republicans 3 times veto'ing President Obama's urgent request to increase security funding for that embassy.

    And of course the foolish ambassador also refused Secretary of State Clinton's request to take on increased security.

    Sorry, but the fool was living in LaLa land – walking freely about the city streets during a revolution?

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Joe Swanson

    This is the result of all the misinformation out there about the Benghazi. There is more BS out there then truth, too many people out there still believe there was a "stand down order" or "Obama left them to die".

    If people didn't have their heads up their a** and believe everything on the Internet and everything on FOX "news", Benghazi wouldn't even be memorable.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Larry

    John,
    I believe it was the cover up. The attacks are expected. W, didn't blame any of the attacks on anything other than what they were, terrorists attacks.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Ryan S

    A republican President would not have sat on his hands and let those heroes die.

    June 16, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. DW1

    Bill, at the time 'nobody cared' about Benghazi. We were too concerned about, say, jobs, where our next meals were coming from, losing our homes, etc. For which the Republicans 'still' haven't come up with any convincing answers. Four dead Americans compared to the numbers which die every year from things as minor as car accidents? More people have been killed in school shootings in the last year than died at Benghazi. A president, or any world leader would have to have no spine at all, to come unglued at the deaths of four people. He wouldn't be able to function. He couldn't send in the military, because 'they might be killed'! Well, every leader knows you're going to lose some people. I keep telling Republicans...if you're going to get people upset, you're going to have to do better. The only reason people are upset about Benghazi, is that they can't make Republicans quit whining about it. We'd like them to do some real work.

    June 16, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    What is bad is not just that the Ambassador and his men were killed. That has happened, it's part of the job. BUT, what is still lacking, is the explanation as to why Obama chose to blame Christians for what was an attack by Muslims. So far, no explanation, no reason. Does this indicate the President favors Islam? In the past, he has been bitterly critical of Christianity, and very favorable towards Islam (example, "One of the most beautiful sounds in the world, is the Islamic call to prayer") So, where is the apology to Christians, about this blame placed on them by Obama, for the Benghazi attack? And, in the Middle East, the President has favored the Muslim Brotherhood, and the formation of Islamic States. So, where is his belief in Christianity? Does he just say he is a Christian, because of the votes? And how can he blame Christians for Benghazi?

    June 16, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Roy Bishop

    What were they doing there and were their activities legal?

    June 16, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. 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.

    June 16, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. syntnw

    Who wrote this article? Some republican that can't think of anything important or helpful to write? Six out of ten? I for ONE don't believe it. Folks are tired of it ten out of ten.

    June 16, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Barry's revenge on America is almost complete!"

    Revenge for what? Are you accidentally admitting to the pervasive (particularly southern) white fright that makes them afraid that more minorities in power will mean minorities taking "revenge" on white people for slavery, segregation, discrimination, etc.?

    June 16, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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