Obama's Ratings Remain Steady Despite Controversies

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 19 2013 12:46 PM

Poll Shows Controversies Haven't Hurt Obama’s Approval Ratings

President Obama visits a class at Moravia Park Elementary School in Baltimore

Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images

President Obama may have suffered one of the worst weeks of his presidency, but so far it seems the public isn’t letting the controversies that have engulfed the White House affect their view of the president. At the same time, the CNN/ORC International survey also suggests Republicans “are not overplaying their hand” when it comes to the controversies considering that Americans take the issues seriously.

The survey conducted Friday and Saturday show 53 percent of American approve of Obama’s job performance, an insignificant increase of two percentage points from a poll conducted last month. And while more than 70 percent of Americans say the IRS targeting of conservative groups is unacceptable and serious, 55 percent contend that the agency acted on its own and more than 60 percent believe the president’s statements on the scandal. As for the controversy over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, only 42 percent is satisfied with how the administration responded, and 59 percent believe the attack could have been prevented, an increase of 11 percentage points since November.

Earlier in the week, Gallup reported that only a slim majority of Americans said they were following the IRS and Benghazi scandals closely, below the average of 60 percent that regularly claim to follow news stories. Yet the push on the controversies by GOP lawmakers makes sense considering Republicans report they are following the stories far more closely than Democrats and independents. And most Americans—74 percent for IRS and 69 percent for Benghazi—insist the scandals are serious enough that they should continue to be investigated.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.