Republicans are running with a new Quinnipiac University National Poll that shows the President’s approval ratings dropping to 45%, but they are ignoring the other information from that poll — namely that by a 3-1 margin, Americans say the economy is more important than investigating the “controversies” (aka, largely GOP-manufactured scandals).
Seventy-three percent of American voters believe that dealing with the economy should be a bigger priority than investigating the controversies of the IRS, Benghazi, and the AP, according to Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.
Of the scandals, 44% of voters say the IRS is the most important one (luckily for the GOP, as their Benghazi scandal backfired and revealed their machinations behind the scenes to create said scandal). Twenty-four percent say the Benghazi attack, and 15% say the AP scandal. However, “American voters say 43 – 32 percent that congressional criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Libya is ‘just politics.'” That number should alarm Republicans, who already face poor poll numbers and the appearance of doing nothing but obstructing the President.
By 76 – 17 percent, voters say a special prosecutor should be appointed in the IRS scandal. I agree, and would suggest that the special prosecutor also investigate undue pressure on the IRS to lay off of conservative nonprofits that are clearly acting as PACs instead of social welfare groups.
The president’s job approval rating dropped to 45% in this poll, but polls released last week showed him steady and on May 19, he actually had a bump, when by all conventional wisdom, his polls should have dropped. It should be noted that this poll may be slightly skewed by the demographics, which were 73% white voters and a majority older voters (age: 18-29 15%, 30-44 25%, 45-64 38%, 65+ 21%). While whites made up 72% of the 2012 election turnout, skewing older likely impacted the results.
Last week, Speaker John Boehner gave a press conference in which he tried to convince the press that the Republican Party’s number one priority was jobs, but his party has not proposed a single jobs bill. He then proceeded to detail his outrage over the scandals, while explaining that it was their job to investigate the executive branch. We do need checks and balances, but those checks shouldn’t prohibit the House from doing their first job, which is to actually pass legislation and then reconcile said legislation with the Senate in order to actually legislate.
This week, we got excellent news about the economy, showing home prices surging and stocks soaring. Cable media spent a combined 9 minutes and 32 seconds on the improving economy, preferring to delve into the Kardashian drama of Republican trumped scandals, while at the same time avoiding asking why Republicans are not investigating which of their members leaked the edited Benghazi emails to the press.
Republicans are clinging to the President’s bad poll numbers (still not as bad as theirs) and the support for a special prosecutor. It would be odd if the President’s poll numbers didn’t drop, after the relentless accusations in the press regarding the “controversies”. The big stories have been the talking points disseminated by Congressional Republicans, and when the truth came out later (e.g., the edited Benghazi emails), the press was uninterested. ABC still hasn’t apologized for allowing Jonathan Karl to mislead readers into believing that he had read the actual emails, when in fact he had taken a Republican’s word on their content.
As Republicans gloat, they once again miss the number that has legs. Poll approvals come and go based on the daily news cycle. But the economy remains the number one issue with American voters. Republicans made this mistake during the last election, they made it during the last four years when they gambled that doing nothing but obstructing would help their party. But the President doesn’t need to run for office again, so his poll numbers aren’t critical for him, and his agenda is stymied by Republicans no matter how high his approval ratings are.
The number that has legs is the 73% who think the economy is more important than these largely trumped up scandals. A year from now, Americans won’t remember much if anything about these scandals. They will remember that once again, Republicans were on a witch hunt instead of doing their job. That will only appeal to the conservative base of the Republican Party. The rest of the country doesn’t see much more than they see with the Benghazi witch hunt– petty partisan politics of a desperate party.
Demographics: 1,419 registered voters, cell and landlines, 73% white, 11% black, 9% Hispanic, 8% other, age: 18-29 15%, 30-44 25%, 45-64 38%, 65+ 21%.