CNN Poll: Public upset over VA scandal; Obama remains at 43%
June 3rd, 2014
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: Public upset over VA scandal; Obama remains at 43%

Washington (CNN) - Nearly six in ten Americans give President Barack Obama a thumbs-down on how he is handling the Veterans Affairs controversy, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday indicates that the scandal at VA hospitals doesn't seem to be affecting the President's overall approval rating, which remains at 43%, identical to the last CNN poll conducted a month ago. The survey also indicates that Obama scores some of his highest numbers on the environment and terrorism, two other issues in the spotlight this week.

Read the full CNN/ORC International poll results

According to the poll, 58% say they disapprove of how the President's handling the VA scandal, with 37% saying they approve of Obama's actions.

The Veterans Affairs controversy has mushroomed since CNN first reported last November on allegations of alarming shortcomings within the VA medical care system that potentially have had deadly consequences in dozens of cases.

The most disturbing and striking problems emerged in Arizona last month, with sources revealing to CNN details of a secret waiting list for treatment. According to the sources, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix, Arizona, VA medical center.

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Republican calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign grew over the past month, and after the release last week of a damaging preliminary report from the VA's inspector general's office, a bunch of congressional Democrats also said it was time for Shinseki to step down. On Friday, the President announced that the secretary had handed in his resignation.

Nearly seven in ten agreed with Shinseki's move to resign, with 22% saying the embattled secretary shouldn't have stepped down. And nearly half questioned said the scandal made them angry, with another fifth saying it made them upset.

Obama's overall approval rating stands at 43%, with 55% saying they disapprove of the job he is doing in the White House.

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"Obama's approval rating has not budged since March, when it hit 43%. That's par for the course for the President, whose job approval numbers have been stuck in the mid-to-low 40s for nearly a year," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"The President doesn't get a majority approving of his track record on any of the 12 issues tested in our poll, but his highest scores come on terrorism and environmental policy, with 49% approving of how he is handling both of those issues," Holland added.

It should be noted that most interviews in the poll were conducted before any news broke of the controversial transfer of five terror prisoners from the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive in Afghanistan by the Taliban for five years. And the survey was conducted mostly before news of Monday's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency to dramatically limit carbon pollution.

"Given the administration's emphasis on environmental policy this week, it's worth noting that the number of Americans who say that the environment is the top issue has quadrupled since last year," added Holland. "But only 8% today name the environment as their top concern."

That puts the issue a distant fourth behind economic matters (40%), health care (19%), and the deficit (15%). According to the poll, more than six in ten disapprove of how the President's handling those three issues.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from May 29 to June 1, with 1,003 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. sly

    Ho ho ho ... the idea of a white and black man in the white really gets some neo-cons panties in a bind. After all – white men only rule. We'll see the same thing with President Hillary Clinton – after all, women are born to cook for white men.

    Reality is we have one of the best Presidents ever – record stock markets, record deficit reduction, health care for those 50 million (military vets) who were banned by the BigGOPPharma companies.

    The list goes on and on – killed Osama Bin Laden, killed Khadafy, freed our POW, finally someone takes on the dirty coal industry, record housing prices, record 401K's.

    Great President – best of my lifetime.

    June 3, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. dotofoz

    Is the public even aware that the Republican Congress blocked an increase to the VA, so they could build more facilities and hire more people, and actually cut spending to embassy security? No, because the media never reports that. Why not take a look at how your legislators voted on these issues.

    June 3, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @President Messiah Darkness
    Who cares what my approval ratings are! I can do whatever I want, to whoever I want to do it to. Just ask that video maker dude. Cross me and you can share his cell with him. The government is mine to do whatever I damn well please. I dare you to impeach me. Laws are merely a suggestion to me and most of the time I choose to not obey the laws. They are really just there to keep the common folk in line. You silly small people amuse me.
    ----------
    President "Darkness" – thanks for clarifying the core issue conservatives have with Obama!
    Gee – I wonder why the GOP cannot attract more black voters? hmmmmm hmmmmmm hmmmmmmm

    June 3, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Turdgyl

    ACA is law. Hillary 16 vote go!

    June 3, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. CryBabies

    Some good LW Whines today. Keep up the "quota" ...I hate it when "libs" fall down on the job.

    June 3, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. 1776usa2016

    Accountable is every Congress and administration going back 50 years for failing to deal with the problems at the VA.

    You have a cast of thousands of politicians that had a hand in manufacturing the crisis.

    After every single war it is the same thing. Funding is not ramped up quick enough and to a sufficient level far enough in advance to deal with the crushing influx of veterans returning home from the war.

    This theme has repeated itself time and time again going back to the very beginnings of the VA.

    .

    June 3, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Taken4granted

    Now that the can of worms are let out on the VA scandal, I wonder how much mess we will with OBAMACARE.
    How may patients that will be revolving door making their doctors appt., spent 5 minutes on annual physical exam?
    How many subscribers will default within 6 months of signing up with their healthcare coverage?
    How really is an improvement over your healthcare if your doctor will see you as a patient and not just a number incentive just like what the VA people in charge have done?

    June 3, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "If Republicans are going to send our soldiers off to war so eagerly then they should stand up for caring for them when they come home...."
    Hahahahahahaahahahahaaaahhhhaaaaaaaa!!!! Hahahahahahaahahahahaaaahhhhaaaaaaaa!!!!
    What a hoot!?!? The thought of republicants caring for ANYONE but their fat cat donors or their staff's wives or the guy in the next stall at the bus station is freakin' hilarious!!! They have shown time and time again they have no souls and would sell their grandmothers for a nickel in profit....
    Care about the vets after they send them off to fight their oil wars... yea, that's gonna happen!

    June 3, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. tom l

    Ho ho ho ... the idea of a white and black man in the white really gets some neo-cons panties in a bind. After all – white men only rule. We'll see the same thing with President Hillary Clinton – after all, women are born to cook for white men.
    =======

    I'm white. I don't think that whatsoever and would have seriously considered Colin Powell in the past. I also think Ben Carson is someone to consider. I think it's a bummer that you would go through life thinking this. As far as Obama is concerned, of my white friends, most voted for him (granted, I lived in LA at the time, but it doesn't change the fact that this is diametrically the opposite of your comment for which you have now grouped any entire race and labeled them to think/act in one way.) How does that make you any better when you make an assumption about someone based only on their race?

    June 3, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Mathew

    I'm sorry to read about the problems at the VA, but hardly surprised....the drumroll to "cut the budget" has been relentless for years, and has resulted in problems like this one. Remember during the Bush administration, when soldiers were going into battle with ill-equipped vehicles lacking armor? Not at all surprising to learn the VA can't fund the healthcare our veterans need during the Obama administration, either.

    I don't place the blame for this entirely on either Obama or Bush (though W did rush into the Iraq war when it could have been avoided.) This is the fault of Congress.

    June 3, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Yet Rassmussen daily tracking has Obama's approval rate at 50%. Nice try CNN. You really need to fire your outdated polling group.

    June 3, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Rogue351

    Angry over vets not getting help, but what about the elderly or the poor ? Yes Vets should get the best help possible because of their sacrifice. However isn't this exactly what they are fighting for in the first place ? A better America for all ?

    June 3, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Ol' Yeller – Best post of the day.

    June 3, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. dave

    It's pretty much obvious that vets don't get treatment because VA is underfunded, not enough doctors/nurses/facilities. It's sickening that the republicans gave tax breaks to the rich in war time, and didn't fund VA. That kind of supply side economics was supposed to lead to millions of jobs, also, we got no jobs from supply side economics. As far as impeachment, I would be in favor of impeaching Obama IF they included failure to enforce immigration laws also, as that's the only cure to the illegal immigration problem, a President must be impeached for it, otherwise it will just grow and continue to fester.

    June 3, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. pete

    How can anyone blame Obama? He never ran anything before. Never in charge of anything, never managed anyone, never in charge of a budget, He had absolutely no experience at anything so how can he be blamed? He first learned about the VA scandal when he read the morning paper just like all the other scandals. Although he made multiple speeches on how he was going to fix the VA my guess is that the White House never met with them. It was hard to get meeting time when all the meeting time slots were filled with IRS and Muslim Brotherhood meetings.

    June 3, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. cjb

    The Democrats will not win an election for a long long time. The fact that this president just put a price tag on every American's head is insanity. He just released 5 Osama Bin Laden's back to their country so they can attack and kill us again and again. Even the head of the Taliban is laughing at his stupidity. Only problem is, we have those who are blinded by the color of his skin and do not recognize he has no character in his heart.

    June 3, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. buccabiscuit

    You ARE kidding. It's that high ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    June 3, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. SniffinPoopSki

    Yet Rassmussen daily tracking has Obama's approval rate at 50%. Nice try CNN. You really need to fire your outdated polling group.
    ---

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! A lefty now using Rasmussen polls??? Desperation is setting in for sure. Yeah, Obama is really setting up the Democrats running for re-elect really really good. Obama=Democrat=Failure=ReleaseTerrorists=Democrat=LOSER

    June 3, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Congress is riding high on the increase of those who think they are doing an excellent job, from 6% to a whopping 9%.

    June 3, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Steve

    dave – you would be incorrect about the VA funding. There is plenty of funding. Face it, President Obama is a good man with the most incompetent cabinet outside of Hagel.

    June 3, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Lavender_Lady1

    Senator Obama, while running for President, claimed that he would keep the VA system strong for our Vets. Another broken promise....how many does that make?

    The list is ridiculously long.

    June 3, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Americans Wakeup

    No president in U.S. History has had so many Scandals. This administration is incompetent and has the moral fibers of a junk yard dogs. So much for hope and change. He's such a disappointment. Voted for him once. If you voted for him twice there's something seriously wrong with you.

    June 3, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Tampa Tim

    Poopski- A right leaning polling group has Obama's approval at 50% makes you laugh. Glad you are easily amused, as that says a lot about your mental state. Sniffit must have upset you and your party of brain dead.

    June 3, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @pete
    How can anyone blame Obama? He never ran anything before. Never in charge of anything, never managed anyone, never in charge of a budget, He had absolutely no experience at anything so how can he be blamed? He first learned about the VA scandal when he read the morning paper just like all the other scandals. Although he made multiple speeches on how he was going to fix the VA my guess is that the White House never met with them. It was hard to get meeting time when all the meeting time slots were filled with IRS and Muslim Brotherhood meetings.
    --------------
    I think when you choose the Obama-is-Muslim conspiracy theory, you are only allowed to combine it with the totalitarian dictator genius, not with the do-nothing know-nothing inept guy. Makes more sense.

    June 3, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. sonny crapman

    If Obama was a white Republican, the media destruction of him would be in full swing. Numbers in the 20s. But the LSM protects Obama and keeps him high in the polls. They are his waterboys because they are the ones that sold him to the low information voters in this country. They have to protect their investment at all costs. And lately you are starting to see their investment be transferred to Hillary Clinton. Will American be stupid enough to fall for it again?

    June 3, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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