Scandals Lead Voters to Question Obama’s Honesty

The White House is facing a significant credibility gap, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The scandals that have plagued the administration over the last several weeks — the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups, the DOJ’s intimidation of the press, and lingering questions over Benghazi — have caused voters to question the “honesty and integrity” of President Barack Obama and his administration:

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late Tuesday shows 55 percent believe the IRS targeting of conservative groups raised questions about the administration’s “overall honesty and integrity.”

A plurality, 43 percent, believe that the IRS scandal is part of a “widespread effort” on the administration’s part to target political opponents, while 29 percent blame the actions on a few rogue officials.

Fifty-eight percent say the administration’s handling of the attack on the Benghazi, Libya, diplomatic post also raises questions about the honesty of the White House. The same number say the Justice Department’s subpoenaing of reporter email and phone records in national security leak investigations also raises concerns. 
Thirty-three percent say Obama is mainly or totally responsible for the IRS scandal, with 37 percent holding him accountable for the DOJ reporter subpoena controversy. Obama faces the most questions over the Benghazi incident, with 41 percent believing he bears responsibility.

Poll: 76% Want a Special Prosecutor to Investigate the IRS

President Barack Obama may have refused to get behind an independent investigation into the IRS scandal, but a new Quinnipiac poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the idea (emphasis mine);

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday shows 76 percent want a special counsel to 17 percent opposing.

The idea has strong support across all parties, with 88 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents calling for a special prosecutor.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter Brown in a statement. “Voters apparently don’t like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don’t exactly think highly of him.”

Holder, who would appoint a special investigator, holds a negative 23 to 39 percent approval rating.

The poll also showed that President Obama’s job approval rating is now underwater, at 45/49, which the Wall Street Journal notes is down from the net-positive approval rating he had in a poll released by the same organization earlier this month. The IRS’s job approval rating is also vastly underwater, at 24/66.

Gallup: Majority Says Government Too Powerful

Throughout the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has been making the case for more government involvement in the lives of Americans. But the recent scandals that have become frontpage news have gone right to the heart of President Obama’s message. And they seem to have caught the eye of Americans.

According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe the government has too much power. That’s up from 51% just last year, but down from the high of 59% in late 2010, just before the mid-term elections:

 Majority Says Government Too Powerful

The case against a big government was perhaps best made by David Axelrod as he was trying to defend President Obama, to whom he served as an advisor. “[W]e have a large government,” he claimed as he made a case for President Obama’s lack of knowledge about the IRS scandal.

It’s been said that the conservative and libertarian case against big government often falls on deaf ears because Americans don’t know what it means and we, as limited government advocates, cannot properly relay it. But the IRS scandal is the one, as Chris Matthews recently explained, is the one that can resonate with voters because it hits so close to home.

Americans Prefer Old Healthcare System to ObamaCare

It’s no secret that ObamaCare is an unpopular law. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that only 35% of Americans viewed ObamaCare favorably, while 40% had an unfavorable view. The poll also found that 53% believe that the law should be altered or repealed.

Fox News has just released a poll that has even worse news for the Obama Administration. The talking point has been that the law is the fix for a broken healthcare system. But Americans aren’t buying it as 56% would rather go back to the old system than be forced to live under ObamaCare:

A Fox News poll released Wednesday finds that while 26 percent of voters say their health care situation will be better under the new law, twice as many — 53 percent — say it will be worse.  Another 13 percent say it won’t make a difference.
That helps explains why a 56-percent majority wants to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009.  Some 34 percent would stick with the new law.

Three in ten Democrats would rather go back to the pre-ObamaCare system (30 percent).  That view climbs to 55 percent among independents and 85 percent among Republicans.

The desire to go back to the 2009 system is widespread.  Majorities of higher and lower income groups feel that way, as do men, women, voters with and without college degrees, and voters across all age groups.

Poll Shows Benghazi is a Problem for Obama

The IRS and DOJ scandals may have taken Benghazi out of the headlines, but that doesn’t mean that Americans aren’t any less concerned. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 55% of Americans believe that the Obama Administration is trying to cover up the facts about the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four Americans:

Last year’s deadly attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya is shaping up as a real political problem for President Obama, with concern extending well beyond the conservative base. More than half of Americans say his administration is trying to cover up the facts of the attack, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Fully 55 percent say the Obama administration is trying to hide the facts, while just 33 percent say it has honestly disclosed what it knows of the incident. It’s not just Republicans crying foul: Six in 10 independents and nearly three in 10 Democrats say the administration is not being forthright.

Here’s a look at the results:

WaPO/ABC News Benghazi Poll

Unfortunately, the White House has been trying to avoid the scandal. And many of President Obama’s apologists treat Benghazi in much the same way former DNC Howard Dean does. In an appearance on CNBC last week, Dean called the concerns over Benghazi a “laughable joke.”


Tea Party Favorability Rises, Americans Believe Targeting was Intentional

Obama and Tyranny

The Internal Revenue Service has given the Tea Party movement just the boost it needed to motivate the grassroots around the country. The movement that pundits had once declared dead is beginning to gain favorability in the aftermath of the scandal, according to a new CNN poll:

And according to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, it’s also boosted the favorable rating for the tea party movement. Thirty-seven percent of people questioned said they see the tea party in a favorable light, up nine percentage points from CNN’s March poll. But a plurality still view the movement unfavorably.
The 37% favorable rating for tea party is just one point shy of their all-time high in CNN polling, which they reached twice in 2010, during the heyday of the movement.

But according to the new poll, 45% of the public continues to hold an unfavorable view of the tea party, with just over one in ten saying they don’t have an opinion. The 45% unfavorable rating for the tea party is down five points from a CNN survey from last November.

Nearly Half of Small Businesses Believe ObamaCare will Hurt Them


The White House and leading congressional Democrats are still trying to fight back against critics of ObamaCare, but their specious case isn’t convincing skeptical small business owners. According to a recent survey from Gallup, only 9% believe that the law will help them, while 48% of small business owners believe ObamaCare is going to be bad for business:

To show how deep the concern over the law goes and the messaging problem before apologists of the law, only 13% of small business owners believe that ObamaCare will improve quality of healthcare.

FreeEnterprise.com, the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, also points to a separate poll of business owners showing the confusion over ObamaCare and points to the fact that “41% said [of sma held off on hiring workers, and 38% said they’ve pulled back on growing their businesses because of the law.”

Voters Want Action on the Economy, Not Guns

Vice President Joe Biden has telegraphed his plan to make another push for new gun control laws and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is still pushing to gain support for his completely pointless background check proposal. But the public has other priorities. According to a recent Gallup poll, 86% of Americans rank job creation and the economy as their top priorities:

A new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds 86 percent of voters saying Congress should make its top focus job creation, with 86 percent saying Congress should prioritize work on improving the economy.

Those two issues are the top concerns for voters, with gun violence and an overhaul of the nation’s immigration reform laws at the bottom of the list of 12 priorities.

Only 55 percent of those surveyed said reducing gun violence should be a top priority, and a similar 50 percent said that Congress should focus on immigration reform.

Rand Paul Leads Big Lead Over Marco Rubio in Iowa

Late last month, Public Policy Polling showed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) with a slight edge in a very early survey of possible GOP presidential candidates among New Hampshire Republican primary voters. New Hampshire has traditionally been an early primary state and is already seeing some activity.

Likewise, Iowa also getting some early attention, and a new poll out of the Hawkeye State shows Paul with a 19-point lead over his closest competition, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):

The poll, provided to The Daily Caller, surveyed 804 registered Iowa voters using phone interviews. 328 usually participated in the Republican presidential caucuses, and 247 said they usually participated in the Democratic caucuses. The poll was conducted on April 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Among voters who said they usually took part in the Republican presidential caucuses, 39 percent said they would vote for Paul if the caucuses were held today. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was in a distant second place with 20 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 11 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at 10 percent, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was tied with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at three percent.

As was the case in New Hampshire, independents are what is propelling Paul to the top in Iowa. The junior Senator from Kentucky takes 67% of independents. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) takes the other 33%. Paul bests Rubio among self-identified Republicans by a 6-point margin, 30/24.

Cautious Optimism for Republicans in SC-01

A little more than a week ago, many reporters seemed more than ready to write Mark Sanford’s political obituary. Public Policy Polling had him down by 9 points to Elizabeth Colbert Busch, perhaps properly known as “Stephen Colbert’s sister,” and the spin of a Democratic Party win in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, which strongly leans Republican, was already beginning.

But there has been a notable shift in the race over the last few days. Sanford’s campaign has nationalized their message, making the race about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Democratic Party, and big labor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and grassroots groups like FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express have also went to bat for Sanford when the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) wouldn’t.

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