CNN: Obama’s approval ratings take a nosedive, Americans view government as a threat to their rights
It looks like the string of scandals have finally caught up with President Barack Obama, and in a big way. The White House’s credibility had already started to suffer in recent polls and Obama’s approval ratings were beginning to show the impact of the scandals.
But it seems that the latest scandal concerning the NSA’s broad surveillance of Americans phone records has had a dramatic impact on the public perception of the White House. According to a new CNN poll, President Obama’s approval rating has taken a nosedive as 54% of Americans are unhappy with his job performance (emphasis mine):
President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president’s lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.
Looking back on his four-plus years as President Barack Obama’s Attorney General, one has to wonder if Eric Holder regrets taking the job. The job has its trials and and hardships, as does any political appointment or office, but Holder’s actions have frequently been the source of controversy.
The first significant controversy that Holder faced was over Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF’s now-infamous gunrunning scandal that led to the deaths of 200 innocent people, and the subsequent congressional investigation. The Justice Department was less than cooperative in the investigation and President Obama invoked executive privilege to block investigators access to documents relating to the scandal, an action that Americans opposed. Holder was eventually found in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
It seems that Americans have finally awakened to the abuses of their civil liberties. Two new polls show that a solid majority of the public isn’t happy about revelations that the National Security Agency has been collecting their phone data for datamining purposes (emphasis mine):
At first blush, it seemed, most Americans haven’t gotten too exercised about the revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly tracking everyone’s phone data, in the name of protecting national security.
That was the take-away from a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday. But two new polls out Wednesday – one by Gallup, another by YouGov taken for The Economist – paint a difference picture. Both find that a majority of Americans disapprove of the NSA data-mining programs.
In the Gallup poll, conducted June 10 and 11, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the programs, while 37 percent approve. YouGov found that 59 percent disapprove of the programs, and only 35 percent approve.
Americans are also skeptical that the snooping is doing much good. Per YouGov, only 35 percent say it’s likely the information has prevented a terror attack, while 54 percent doubt it has. And while President Obama insists that “nobody is listening to your phone calls,” it turns out only 17 percent of Americans think that’s true, according to the YouGov poll, taken June 8 to 10.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 24% of Americans believe that the welfare is the main reason for persistent poverty:
Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it,” Americans blame government handouts for persistent poverty in the United States more than any other single factor, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday.
Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose “too much government welfare that prevents initiative.”
Whether Americans are too dependent on government was a flashpoint of the presidential campaign last year, and shrinking government has been a focus of the Tea Party movement, which has risen since the election of President Barack Obama.
“Lack of job opportunities” was the second most popular answer, at 18 percent, followed by “lack of good educational opportunities” and “breakdown of families,” with 13 percent apiece.
The other four options in the poll, in descending order, were “lack of work ethic,” “lack of government funding,” “drugs” and “racial discrimination.” Eight percent of respondents said that all eight factors were equally responsible.
It’s not surprising that a tough economy reduces job prospects for those who are willing and able to work. Many Americans want to work, but job opportunities are hard to come by. But too frequently there are many who rather live off the forced generousity of taxpayers than go out and work for a job.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.