Polls: Americans Stubbornly Refuse to Abandon Obama After Three Similarly-Timed Scandals

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 20 2013 3:42 PM

Polls: Americans Stubbornly Refuse to Abandon Obama After Three Similarly-Timed Scandals

It's been 10 days now, this Obama swoon. Ten days of scandal and hearings and that once press conference where the uniformed Marine held an umbrella, like some kind of banana republic butler. The pollsters have returned from the field. And... the president's doing fine, basically. Imagine poor Darrell Issa.

Reuters gives us a study of decline: Obama down from a -2 net negative approval rating to a -4 rating. Pretty small, and largely due to bleeding among Republicans. What had been a 12-87 positive/negative rating in that group is now a 9-86 rating; what had been a 37-56 rating among independents is a slightly worse 35-56.

And CNN? It's just confusing. Overall, Obama's approval number has jumped by four points. The differences among Democrats and Republicans are marginal -- from 87-11 to 87-13, from 12-86 to 15-85. The big swing occurs with independents, whose disapproval falls from the high single digits (45-52) to the low (47-49). The poll's salvaged by crosstabs on the scandals themselves.

Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 7.08.12 PM

Followed by:

Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 7.08.24 PM

Well, so much for the Narrative. The proportion of people who disbelieve that Obama, in private, acts like Philip Baker Hall's version of Richard Nixon, is higher than the proportion that profess to like the job he's doing. You usually get one pass like that, good for your first scandal and not thereafter.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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