Despite the many attempts by Republicans to generate a scandal, a new CNN/ORC poll found that the president’s approval ratings have increased by two points.
The latest CNN/ORC poll reveals that President Obama’s approval rating has gone up by two points from 51% in April to 53% today, while his disapproval rating has fallen by two points from 47% to 45%. While 85% of those polled agree that the IRS targeted of political groups is very or somewhat important issue, by a margin of 61%-37% respondents believed that President Obama’s statements on the matter have been completely mostly true. (That 37% number comes up a lot in polling. It represents the higher end of the number of self-identified conservatives/Republicans in the country.) By a margin of 54%-42% respondents think Republicans are reacting appropriately to the matter, but the vast majority (55%-37%) believe that the IRS acted alone without White House orders.
A majority of those polled were dissatisfied with the way the Obama administration handled Benghazi (53%), but they believe that the administration was passing along the facts as they knew them to be at that time (50%-44%).
These “scandals” haven’t hurt President Obama at all. The most logical reasons for this are that people aren’t paying attention, and those who are don’t believe the Republicans. President Obama has always been well liked trusted by a majority in this country. For years,Republicans have tried and repeatedly failed to damage the relationship that the president has with a majority of Americans.
President Obama has been consistently viewed by the majority in this country as honest. This hasn’t stopped Republicans from continuing to damage their own brand by trying to portray the president as dishonest, or covering up something.
This poll reveals that congressional Republicans are walking a fine line on the IRS scandal. People support them investigating the IRS, but they don’t support turning the investigation into an Obama witch hunt. Since House Republicans excel at self-destruction, they should be expected to try to link Obama to the IRS in their future hearings.
The scandals appear to be backfiring, and setting a dangerous trap for Republicans. The fundamental political dynamic of President Obama being much more popular than the Republican Party is shaping these numbers. If the unpopular congressional Republicans continue to attack Obama with scandals, they will make the president more popular and drive his poll numbers up.
The Obama scandals are backfiring in a big way. If Republicans don’t play it straight with these investigations, they could end up boosting Obama while burying their own party.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association