Poll: Americans divided on Benghazi accounts, but many not watching
May 13th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Americans divided on Benghazi accounts, but many not watching

(CNN) - Americans are split over whether the Obama administration has been honest or dishonest about the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, according to a new poll out Monday.

The Pew Research Center conducted the survey between Thursday and Sunday as new developments emerged about what top State Department and White House officials knew and when.

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But the poll also finds that many people have not been the story.

More than half - 56% - of those surveyed said they were not at all following the congressional hearings or coverage of the developments, while 44% said they were following it very or fairly closely. That's down from the 61% who said they were tracking the story last October, just weeks after the attacks.

Four in ten said the Obama administration had generally been dishonest when addressing the attack and 37% viewed the Obama administration as honest.

A significantly larger portion of Republicans see dishonesty in the administration with seven in ten saying the Obama administration has been dishonest. Independents' views split 48% dishonest and 30% honest.

Republicans are also following the story more closely than Democrats or independents, the poll found.

Sixty percent of Democrats said Republicans have gone too far in congressional hearings into the matter.

The poll included 1,000 American adults contacted by telephone between May 9 and May 12. The overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Libya • Polls
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. PJ

    RE: Shulman (comments were closed)
    Thanks for the explanation. Sounds right to me.

    May 13, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. vickster

    And for John....Regarding the Embassy attacks you listed. No complaints, no invesitgation, and no finger point would be because there was no false narrative (i.e. Lies), no denied requests for security and no American died.

    May 13, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Citizen

    Why aren't more citizens outraged? Wars have been started when fewer citizens were assassinated. They were assassinated. Where is the retribution? Remember archduke Ferdinand?

    May 13, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Dan5404

    56% of Americans are not even watching the developments. All the GOP can do until 2016 is hold witch hunts to try to turn any possible negative that may be gleaned about Obama into a sinister Communist, Socialist, Muslim plot created and heafed up by Obama himself, hands-on. And, if they can create a false scandal about anyone close to him, all the better. Meanwhile, they block any meaningful legislation to help the country, just as they have for more than four years. It is amazing what Obama and the Democrats have done in the face of an extreme right-wing party of billionaire lobbyists and a minority Tea Party nutjobs able to hold progress down with filibusters. It is a shameful period in the Congress.

    May 13, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Borderless

    Between the lies, the coverups, the spying on reporters, the abuse of power at the IRS...if you are still a fan of this administration, you haven't been paying attention.

    May 13, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. ST

    GOP must get rid of Karl Rove. If this is his strategy of how to win, he is quite wrong. His art in politics seem to be worn out. His Ohio fiasco on election night 2012, was just a warning to GOP. How can anyone who is thinking right, bring the past and make it the future. Just stick on Benghazi GOP, you will never put a leg in the White House.

    May 13, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. ivotedueu

    maybe if the story was covered more more people would be watching and learning the true facts. I would like to say
    i have not made any decision but the more I read the more it looks like a major coverup while I voted for Obama. 4 Americans were killed after begging for extra military or security protection and they did not get it. We should have pulled them out if we could not protect them.

    May 13, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. illvotewillu

    maybe if the story was covered more more people would be watching and learning the true facts. I would like to say
    i have not made any decision but the more I read the more it looks like a major coverup while I voted for Obama. 4 Americans were killed after begging for extra military or security protection and they did not get it. We should have pulled them out if we could not protect them.

    May 13, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. mc

    they are not watching it because you are not reproting it CNN! Duh!!

    May 13, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Evergreen

    Apparently the GOP are still trying to make President Obama a one term President. Also, I guess I missed the talking point memo that we are now comparing the President to Mr. Nixon instead of Mr. Carter. FYI it won't either.

    May 13, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. simplefaith

    Republicans should be concentrating on passing bills and doing some real work. Hope when it is time to vote, please vote these clowns out of office.

    May 13, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Thomas

    stop blaming Nixon !

    May 13, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. iratenate

    Of course you would expect the country to be divided – what else has Obama been truly successful at except dividing America? Besides gun and ammunition sales, of course.

    Then again, who on earth puts any faith in these public opinion surveys? They are absolutely meaningless, and it defies all logic that so many "intelligent" people will accept poll results as gospel.

    May 13, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. rob

    The only reason most people were not watching or aware of the Bengazi story CNN is because liberal news editors like the ones in your outlet DECIDED THEY WOULD NOT COVER THE STORY. Now that the whistle blowers (democrats BTY) came forward, you in the liberal media were forced to follow Fox in its coverage. All of the sudden ABC comes up with the Emails proving the President and Hillary and their respective spokespeople were LYING ALL ALONG.

    The President asking that we not make a circus out of this is only a desparate attempt to keep it buried by the media. It is too late now, especially with the IRS bombshell out this week which was another story the media was not interested in untill a right leaning law firm forcrd the IRS to respond. And the AP"s phones being monitored by the Justice Dept etc.

    May 13, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. GonzoinHouston

    Benghazi, it's the new birther!

    May 13, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. truth hurts but reality bites

    Yeah, so what? Half of the American people don't know who is President and Vice President at any point in time. Half of the country are idiots that don't pay attention to anything that isn't a reality TV show.

    May 13, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. rs

    It is a good thing the Right doesn't believe polls anymore. With the number of Americans paying attention to Bengahzi-mania, the GOP might otherwise they are wasting their time.

    May 13, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. rs

    Obama still covering up the Benghazi deaths while his hands are covered in blood, how dare he play politics blaming the GOP. Obama must release all e-mails now, allow the survivers to testify, stop intimidating witnesses and share all memos between agency's. This is a cover up that will not go away anytme soon, to many lies and to many dead boidies for him to bury.
    And just what are those lies, eh? Every question has been answered, and more than 25,000 pages of information provided. If the RIGHT feels it hasn't gotten the answers THEY WANT (i.e. some sort of malfeasance, or lies, or a cover-up)- that IS NOT proof anything happened- this is simply the usual GOP political gamesmanship- or paranoia-not to mention hypocracy!

    May 13, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Name Carl

    Its all a side show for the GOP. To stop anything from getting done for president obama. SHAME ON THE GOP.

    May 13, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. Wanting The Truth

    All I know, is that four American's are dead. The Republican's have been trying to ask questions since it happened. Clinton kept delaying, instead of answering. Now we know why, they had to get together to get their stories straight. E-mails show changes made in the talking points, someone said that one actually change talk about "Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack". I think the delay to get their story straight and the questionable actions described in e-mail forces the government to investigate more. I want answers, you should also.

    May 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    I hate when CNN says x% this y% that and 2 out of 10. Why not say 20% ???

    May 13, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. Data Driven

    And count me in with the majority of the posters here: of course Americans aren't following this because the whole investigation stinks of partisan politics. Most normal people tune that stuff out. Life is fractious enough without Darrell Issa getting all up in our collective grill. Shut it down, Issa.

    May 13, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Concerned citizen

    If Obama's hands are covered in blood for four dead Americans; then Bush and Dick should be all covered in blood from over 4,000 dead soldiers, and thousands of Iraq civilians! What about this, GOP?

    May 13, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. margaret bentley

    Why does everyone not care about what is really going on? Disturbing that we have become so apathetic.

    May 13, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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