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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quinnipiac Poll Sees White House Scandals Starting To Affect Obama's Approval Rating

By Susan Duclos

Some polls are finally showing news of the controversies and scandals rocking the White House affecting Obama's approval ratings.  Quinnipiac shows a significant drop considering the time it usually takes for details of major news stories to trickle into American's homes, and the fact the new details are emerging every day.

Obama gets a negative 45 - 49 percent job approval rating, compared to 48 - 45 percent positive in a May 1 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, conducted before the IRS allegations surfaced. 

The biggest drop for Obama was from Independent voters, who give him a 37 percent approval and a 57 percent disapproval compared to 42-48 on May 1st.

Obama has not only taken a hit on approval, but on the issue of trustworthiness:

Americans are divided 49 - 47 percent on whether Obama is honest and trustworthy, down from 58 - 37 percent, the last time Quinnipiac University asked the question September 1, 2011.

The IRS and AP/FOX News attack on media scandals are rated as "legitimate" concerns by voters as well, but the Benghazi scandal called "politics."

Support for an independent prosecutor to probe the IRS issue is 88 - 6 percent among Republicans and 78 - 17 percent among independent voters, 78 - 17 percent among men and 74 - 18 percent among women.

"There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "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 gets a negative 23 - 39 percent job approval rating."

American voters say 43 - 32 percent that congressional criticism of the Obama Administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Libya is 'just politics.' Voters say 44 - 33 percent, however, that members of Congress who criticize the way the Obama Administration handled the IRS are raising 'legitimate concerns.' Criticism of the Justice Department's seizure of journalists' phone records also raises 'legitimate concerns,' voters say 37 - 24 percent.
Anti-Government sentiment is being compared to the the voter's mindset in 2010 about trust in the federal government:

Only 3 percent of voters trust the federal government to do the right thing almost all the time, while 12 percent say they trust it most of the time; 47 percent say some of the time and 36 percent hardly ever. That compares to results of a Quinnipiac University poll in July 2010, four months before the Republican sweep that year on the back of anti-government sentiment, when 2 percent said almost always, 16 percent said most of the time; 50 percent said some of the time and 31 percent said hardly ever.

"All of these investigations may be having a negative effect on voters' willingness to trust the federal do the right thing," said Brown.

Obama's fading approval numbers in the Quinnipiac poll are on par with the most recent The Economist/YouGov poll which has Obama underwater with a 52 percent disapproval and 47 percent approval and the Fox News poll which has Obama's disapproval at 51 percent and 45 percent approval.

Both Rasmussen and Gallup polls still show Obama at 50-51 percent approval.