New poll: Obama’s executive-privilege assertion not as popular as WH imagined

posted at 8:41 am on June 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Jammie Wearing Fool, the numbers are as brutal as he says.  In a poll taken by The Hill after last week’s assertion of executive privilege by Barack Obama in the Operation Fast and Furious probe, only 29% of likely voters supported Obama’s move to block access to Department of Justice documentation, while a clear majority disapproved:

A clear majority of likely voters believes President Obama has exercised his executive power inappropriately — particularly in blocking the release of documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, according to a new poll for The Hill. …

The Hill Poll found that likely voters disapproved by an almost 2-to-1 margin of Obama’s assertion of presidential power in the case. Overall, 56 percent of voters disapproved of his action, while only 29 percent approved.

The news is even worse among independents, and it’s not exactly a slam-dunk among Obama’s base, either:

The defense is not proving an easy sell with voters, particularly independents.

Sixty-one percent of independents said they disapproved of the president’s actions, and just 25 percent approved. Among Republicans, opposition to the president’s use of executive privilege was more entrenched at 78 percent.

Even 28 percent of Democrats, and 30 percent of self-identified liberals disapproved of Obama’s position.

When asked more generically (“Has President Obama used his Executive Authority appropriately or inappropriately?”), the numbers narrow, but not all that much.  Obama still loses by a majority, 43/52, and does slightly worse than that among younger voters (42/56) and independents (40/55).  On the specific question, younger voters — on whom Obama depends for support and enthusiasm — give him worse marks than the overall rating, at just 24/60.

Congress doesn’t do terribly well in this poll either, but still fares better than Obama.  A plurality believe that Congress has been obstructive (48/41), with a majority of independents agreeing (51/38), but that’s of small comfort to Obama.  That point is now moot.  Now that Obama has asserted executive privilege to block access to these documents, the onus has shifted to the White House to explain itself.  Clearly, the explanations given have not sufficed, and Obama’s supporters are a small minority on this issue.  The more he pushes it, the more damage he will do even within his base.

Don’t be surprised to see the White House cut a deal on this if more polling corroborates this result.  If not, then it’s further confirmation that whatever they’re hiding is more damaging than the political hit they’ll take from pursuing a Nixon strategy four months before the election.

Update: I had “abused” in the poll question where it should be “used.” I fixed it, but in truth the actual poll report has the word “Oabamused” (I edited it for clarity), so it was a little difficult to get right.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Obama has signalled to the country what a second Obama term would be like.

OxyCon on June 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

To which obama replies: You think this was bad politics? Well, it beats the alternative – impeachment!

paul1149 on June 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The Obamas Monarchy not so beloved…

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

What we really need here right now is the 2012 answer to “Woodstein”!

So where the hell are they?

pilamaye on June 25, 2012 at 8:51 AM

There are hundreds of ‘journalists’ with the skills required, but they put politics first. They will never treat democratics the way they do Republicans.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I bet this was another Valerie Jarette special.

Vera on June 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

That’s little Bammie’s problem. Jarrett ran this scam out of the White House, and she is absolutely essential to little Bammie and his administration. She is not disposable, and that’s why the assertion of EP had to be made.

Holder IS disposable, but the documents Congress wants can’t take down Holder without also taking down Jarrett.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The Bones of Fast and Furious: Hillary Clinton Deep In It? June 25, 2012

petefrt on June 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Excellent points. I believe that Valerie Jarrett is the one being shielded, but as this article points out it, it is likely that other departments in little Bammie’s administration are involved as well, and the assertion of EP is an attempt to firewall this inside the idiot Holder’s DOJ.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2012 at 12:31 PM

On the 40th Anniversary of Watergate—The Eerie Nixon-Obama Parallels:

NIXON: Invoked Executive Privilege to cover up his involvement in a scheme to subvert an election
OBOZO: Invoked Executive Privilege to cover up his involvement in a scheme to subvert the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which resulted in the deaths of two US border Patrol agents and thousands of mexican citizens.

NIXON: Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Colson and Mitchell
OBOZO: Jarrett, Emanuel, Axelrod, van Jones, Ayers, Dorn, Wright, Holder, Rezko, Jennings….

NIXON: Appointed a political hack Attorney General who politicized ALL DOJ actions and became the SECOND WORST AG IN AMERICAN HISTORY
OBOZO: Appointed a racist political hack Attorney General who racially focused and politicized ALL DOJ actions and became the WORST AG IN AMERICAN HISTORY

NIXON: A lawyer who disrespected the law
OBOZO: A lawyer who disrespects the law, the US Constitution, American values, Catholics, free enterprise, Jews, job creators, American Exceptionalism, Israel, American citizens….

NIXON: Kissed butt of America’s enemy, the Chinese Communists
OBOZO: Kisses butt of each and every enemy of America

NIXON: A chronic LIAR
OBOZO: A chronic, habitual, pathological LIAR – to the billionth power

NIXON: Resigned is disgrace; pardoned by his dumb-@$$, incompetent, bumbling former VP
OBOZO: Hopefully resigns in disgrace or is thrown out of office in Nov. and takes his dumb-@$$, incompetent, bumbling VP with him.

TeaPartyNation on June 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

NIXON: A lawyer who disrespected the law
OBOZO: A lawyer who disrespects the law, the US Constitution, American values, Catholics, free enterprise, Jews, job creators, American Exceptionalism, Israel, American citizens….

TeaPartyNation on June 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

and despises the United States and all Americans, freedom, religion…

talkingpoints on June 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

…Zogby even admitted once he would only poll on weekends if he wanted a poll to favor Democrats, because more Democrats than Republicans are likely to be at home during the weekends.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Ah, then you’ll like this Zogby poll of Republicans only:

What is the primary reason you’re not available on weekends for me to poll you?
- Working at a second job: 25%
- At church/synagogue/other religious institution: 25%
- Spending time with family: 25%
- Out scoring with sophisticated, gorgeous women/suave, handsome men (according to preference): 25%
- Sitting on butt at home watching taped soap operas and eating Cheetos: 0%

Your numbers may vary. :-)

Mary in LA on June 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I’m really surprised that no one told him that by claiming executive privilege he’s admitting his involvement in it.

single stack on June 25, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Comment pages: 1 2