CNN poll: 59% approve of GOP handling of Benghazi scandal

posted at 12:01 pm on May 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, voices in the media began warning Republicans about overreaching on scandal investigations involving the IRS and especially Benghazi.  Beware of the backlash! came the whispers among Republicans, and predictions of political damage came from other quarters.  According to a new CNN poll, however, the investigation into Benghazi polls higher than most other Republican initiatives have in the last several years — and even better than the opening round of the probe into the IRS scandal (via John Nolte at Breitbart):

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday morning also indicates that congressional Republicans are not overplaying their hand when it comes to their reaction to the three controversies that have consumed the nation’s capital over the past week and a half. And the poll finds that a majority of Americans take all three issues seriously. …

Republicans have ripped the administration for not providing adequate security for the Benghazi mission, botching the response to it, and misleading the public for political gain with the attack coming less than two months before last November’s presidential election.

According to the poll, 44% say statements made by the Obama administration soon after the attack were an attempt to intentionally mislead the public. Half of those questioned say those statements reflected what the Obama administration believed, at the time, had occurred.

But 59% now say that the U.S government could have prevented the attack in Benghazi, up 11 points from last November. And only 37% say that congressional Republicans are overreacting in their handling of the matter, with 59% saying they’ve reacted appropriately.

It’s the same story on the IRS controversy, with 54% saying the GOP in Congress has not overplayed its hand.

The IRS scandal registers very high across the board with Americans.  More than half (55%) consider it “very important,” with the same percentage among independents and 69% of Republicans agreeing.  Only 46% of Democrats agree that it’s very important, but when combined with “somewhat important,” the numbers tend to get pretty close — 79% of Democrats, 87% of independents, and 90% of Republicans.  The same pattern holds up for the AP scandal, even before the revelation about Rosen, with 86% of Democrats, 84% of independents, and 93% of Republicans considering it very or somewhat important.

That’s certainly not the case with Benghazi.  More than seven in ten Democrats pronounce themselves satisfied with the Obama administration’s handling of the issue (72/24), but those numbers flip dramatically among Republicans (13/85) and independents (34/58).  And yet, even among Democrats, only 56% think the GOP is overreacting to the scandal, with 41% saying the reaction is appropriate (independents are 57/33 in favor, Republicans 88/10).  So far, this doesn’t look like an overplay, and at least the IRS and AP scandals may sustain even more aggressive action.

Obama and his team may be having a bigger problem with their I-dunno responses.  While Obama’s approval rating remains steady, the difference between confidence in government vs this government is remarkable.  A majority of Americans feel some or a great deal of confidence in our system of government (56/43), but that changes when CNN asks about the people running the government now.  It flips to 43/56, with only 8% expressing a “great deal” of confidence.  Only 15% of Democrats feel a “great deal” of confidence in the current federal government and just 68/32 when including “some” confidence.  Among Republicans, it’s an unsurprising 26/74, but more problematically for Democrats, independents break 36/64 — a huge vote of no confidence in current leadership.

What’s more, the push for more investigation on all three fronts will probably produce even more data to make confidence decline in the current administration.  As it does, the big-government agenda will lose more and more credibility.

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overreacharound

Capitalist Hog on May 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

What’s more, the push for more investigation on all three fronts will probably produce even more data to make confidence decline in the current administration. As it does, the big-government agenda will lose more and more credibility.

I agree but will it make a difference? I pray so.

VegasRick on May 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM

wolfie speechless

cmsinaz on May 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

59% approve of GOP’s handling of Obama’s coverup that killed 4…

53% of Americans approve of Obama’s performance….

Square that circle won’t ya….

hillsoftx on May 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

overreacharound

Capitalist Hog on May 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I’m quite sure you have never faced that situation.

VegasRick on May 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Square that circle won’t ya….

hillsoftx on May 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Rush going on air as we speak. His theory explains it.

VegasRick on May 20, 2013 at 12:08 PM

la la la, can’t hear you, there’s no there there
-msndc talking heads

cmsinaz on May 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Where is always the other number at or near that magic Romney 47%?

albill on May 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

What’s more, the push for more investigation on all three fronts will probably produce even more data to make confidence decline in the current administration. As it does, the big-government agenda will lose more and more credibility.

No worries….Valerie Jarrett will surely create a crisis for Barry to come to the rescue reassuring all of the need of the big-government agenda, thus restoring its credibility.

hawkeye54 on May 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Obama fundamentally transforms America (a brief introductory primer)

There was a time when the IRS acted against Al Capone. Now, under Obama, the IRS acts like Al Capone.

There was a time when the DOJ fought crime syndicates. Now, under Obama, the DOJ is a crime syndicate.

There was a time when the FBI investigated crime syndicates. Now, under Obama, the FBI investigates for a crime syndicate.

There was a time when the ATF stopped Gun Running Gangs. Now, under Obama, the ATF is a Gun Running Gang.

There was a time when the TSA protected women’s privacy at airports. Now, under Obama, the TSA inspects women’s privates at airports.

There was a time when the DOD left no man behind. Now, under Obama, every man has to watch his own behind (double meaning applies).

There was a time when people in India dreamed of coming to America to get Health Care. Soon now, under Obama, people in America will dream of going to India to get Health Care.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Saw this poll yesterday. The rise of 11 points in people saying we could have prevented the Benghazi attack is proof that the coverup isn’t working the way the Democrats wish it would.

Did anyone check to see how many Democrats they oversampled? They always do.

Del Dolemonte on May 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I will be interested to see how this shakes out in the coming weeks.

Square that circle won’t ya….

hillsoftx on May 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

This is pretty much spot on. This sort of cognitive dissonance (in this case, thinking Obama’s scandals are bad while still liking how Obama’s doing) isn’t going to hold up in the long term. Either the scandals will fade, or Obama will lose support.

LukeinNE on May 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The other day, one of the trolls wanted to know where there was a poll telling the Republicans had any sort of backing. I don’t pay much heed to polls, but when the troll sees this, he’s sure to say it’s biased, unfair, inaccurate, irrelevant, conducted by an outlet that has lost credibility, etc.

You know — a conspiracy (theory) against Obama.

Liam on May 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Hilllary, where for art thou?

Part of me imagines Clinton puppeteers pulling the strings. Notice how the intensity of Benghazi has shifted and been diffused over several scandals.

Watch for talk of Hillary NOT running to further “look nothing up my sleeve” facade. Clintons are still Democrat-royalty. The party will coalesce around the Queen when the time is right.

Tee up another GOP FAIL!ed opportunity.

Rand Paul is the antidote as long as he doesn’t go full-retard evangelical.

Capitalist Hog on May 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

If it gets too bad in the polls, Barry has Syria and Iran to fall back on, and a willing cadre of Republicans to help him shift the burden. Here’s lookin’ at you John and Lindsey.

a capella on May 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

What’s more, the push for more investigation on all three fronts will probably produce even more data to make confidence decline in the current administration. As it does, the big-government agenda will lose more and more credibility.

If so then the GOP needs to have more than smaller-government rhetoric for this trend to make a difference. For example, Boehner had better be able to pinpoint specific areas of government to be scaled back (Dept of Education for example) and not some general “principle” of smaller government.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

In other words the MSM overreached in claiming the GOP overreached in their investigations of Obama’s overreach in his constitutional powers and his cover ups…

Word of the Day: Overreach

William Eaton on May 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

If it gets too bad in the polls, Barry has Syria and Iran to fall back on, and a willing cadre of Republicans to help him shift the burden. Here’s lookin’ at you John Juan and Miss Lindsey.

a capella on May 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

FIFY

D-fusit on May 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

This is pretty much spot on. This sort of cognitive dissonance (in this case, thinking Obama’s scandals are bad while still liking how Obama’s doing) isn’t going to hold up in the long term. Either the scandals will fade, or Obama will lose support.

LukeinNE on May 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Kind of like with Limbaugh, Levin and Hannity all hating Rubios’s amnesty plans, at least they say they do, but loving them that Rubio. If these three bright fellows can’t figure out what cognitive dissonance is will the low infos be able to?

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

la la la, can’t hear you, there’s no there there
-msndc talking heads

cmsinaz on May 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I thought the meme was one of being tired that Benghazi keeps coming up. That the American public is perfectly satisfied with the investigation and it is time to move on.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

So when do the impeachment proceedings begin?

UltimateBob on May 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

If it gets too bad in the polls, Barry has Syria and Iran to fall back on, and a willing cadre of Republicans to help him shift the burden. Here’s lookin’ at you John and Lindsey.

a capella on May 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Don’t forget Marco, he loves those “rebels” too.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

59%, soon to grow to more than 80%.

More facts revealed equals more converts to conservatism.

platypus on May 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

that too depends on the msdnc talking head…

cmsinaz on May 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM

“Three letters – J O B S”. – Joe Biden

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM

The other day, one of the trolls wanted to know where there was a poll telling the Republicans had any sort of backing. I don’t pay much heed to polls, but when the troll sees this, he’s sure to say it’s biased, unfair, inaccurate, irrelevant, conducted by an outlet that has lost credibility, etc.

You know — a conspiracy (theory) against Obama.

Liam on May 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Take it or leave it GOP. Better, continue whining about irrelevant emails while Americans focus on better things that help improve their lives.

HotAirLib on May 19, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Obama still has a pretty moderately high approval rating as well. He still gets high marks from ‘persons of color’, illegals, & other recipients of Welfare,Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment, Obamaphones, Food Stamps, etc…

easyt65 on May 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Did anyone check to see how many Democrats they oversampled? They always do.

Del Dolemonte on May 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

D+9

lynncgb on May 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

So when the GOP is in charge, it’s cool to “Question Authority”, but when their Sal Alinsky radicals do the corruption dance, it’s all “hey can’t we talk about budgets and the economy?”

The biggest problem I have with the 59%, is that means that 41% aren’t paying attention, whatsoever.

kirkill on May 20, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Hardest Hit: HotLips

Resist We Much on May 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Is everyone in this COUNTRY paranoid EXCEPT me and my friends in THE newsroom?!

forest on May 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

there will be no backlash this isn’t a clinton SEX scandal this is a a government abuse scandal like the house banking scandal. americians will always support investigations into government abuses. Unlike what the media and liberals like to tell us the American people have a deep distrust for their government its in our DNA.

unseen on May 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Take it or leave it GOP. Better, continue whining about irrelevant emails while Americans focus on better things that help improve their lives.

HotAirLib on May 19, 2013 at 5:57 PM

you better go tell your boss that crap line isn’t working. The most important thing americans focus on is their freedoms.

unseen on May 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Again…..more proof that Conservatives have failed and that Americans are just to stupid and lazy to care.

More Stupidity please!!!!

PappyD61 on May 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Greenwald: Obama’s War On Journalism Escalates

Resist We Much on May 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

thanks RWM…excellent as usual

CoffeeLover on May 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

There is the Hope and Change.

Oil Can on May 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

59% approve of GOP’s handling of Obama’s coverup that killed 4…

53% of Americans approve of Obama’s performance….

Square that circle won’t ya….

hillsoftx on May 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

+9 Democrats, and both Republican and Democrat is heavily outnumbered by independents-or-unaffiliateds. Also, I suspect CNN/Orc is pressuring people to take sides on issues, as there are numerous questions where almost nobody puts down, no opinion.

WolvenOne on May 20, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Let me be clear. At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing or to whom they were doing it.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM

More polls? So what if Obama is at 53% approval? What is his approval on the issues? That is what matters… The man is finished on the domestic policies… It is over… He is not going to pass anything on the domestic front except trivial stuff…

mnjg on May 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

CNN poll: 59% approve of GOP handling of Benghazi scandal

Finally, something for the press to work on, they can’t let that continue…

right2bright on May 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM

D+9

lynncgb on May 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

It will be hard for the libtoons to deal with that.

INC on May 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Wow. Now everything is coming out. This will become a flood as all those who have held back out of fear come forward.

dogsoldier on May 20, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Perfect example of the Limbaugh Theorem in practice. People don’t like the scandals, but nobody associates Obama with them. They perceive that Obama is out there fighting AGAINST these scandals. If fact, Obama is fighting AGAINST his own agenda.

TarheelBen on May 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM

sigh, All of this should have been happening in May of 2012…

kirkill on May 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

So what if Obama is at 53% approval?

mnjg on May 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Rasmussen’s daily tracking has Obama at 48% approval.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

lynncgb on May 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM

God Made a Democrat

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

That’s certainly not the case with Benghazi. More than seven in ten Democrats pronounce themselves satisfied with the Obama administration’s handling of the issue (72/24), but those numbers flip dramatically among Republicans (13/85) and independents (34/58). And yet, even among Democrats, only 56% think the GOP is overreacting to the scandal, with 41% saying the reaction is appropriate (independents are 57/33 in favor, Republicans 88/10). So far, this doesn’t look like an overplay, and at least the IRS and AP scandals may sustain even more aggressive action.

So NOW a majority of voters are dissatisfied with the Obama Administration’s handling of Benghazi. When all anyone can do about it is watch the Issa committee’s hearings and hope that some of the culprits will be thrown out of office, while the EgObama skates through and bungles foreign policy with other enemies and “frenemies” such as North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and any other country he sticks his hi-falutin’ nose into.

Back in November, when voters had the chance to throw Obama out, the press was all kissing Obama’s butt over a You Tube video that was a last-minute addition to the talking points, including the infamous Candy Crowley who injected herself into the last debate.

Heads might roll, but the strategery worked–Obama is in for another 3-1/2 years, and he’ll pardon them all…

Steve Z on May 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I suspect interest in the IRS scandal will grow as more and more information passes in one ear and out the other of low info short attention span voters.

In passing though some sticks. It may begin to accumulate. At some point the critical mass required to overcome apathy should be reached. At that point some of them might realize they too could be targeted for their politic views, associations, and activities. After all, we;ve been told it is not illegal, just “wrong”. That is, now it is deemed wrong. Apparently it was not considered wrong for about 27 months.

Some might even begin to realize IRS agents, some malicious, some incompetent, might soon start asking for their health records.

farsighted on May 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM

And yet, even among Democrats, only 56% think the GOP is overreacting to the scandal,

Except among HA trolls, where the percentage approaches 100%.

farsighted on May 20, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Only 15% of Democrats feel a “great deal” of confidence in the current federal government and just 68/32 when including “some” confidence.

Let’s not misinterpret this.

This number is low because a large percentage of that group thinks America not socialist enough, that the government is not confiscating and redistributing enough, and that it includes too many politicians in the pockets of capitalists.

farsighted on May 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Only 15% of Democrats feel a “great deal” of confidence in the current federal government and just 68/32 when including “some” confidence.

Let’s not misinterpret this.

This number is low because a large percentage of that group thinks America not socialist enough, that the government is not confiscating and redistributing enough, and that it includes too many politicians in the pockets of capitalists.

farsighted on May 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I’d also submit the possibility that many of them lied about their level of confidence to save face. Remember that most of them would never publicly admit their beliefs unless they were comfortable. This story is anything but a comfortable setting.

Regardless, I expected the number to be in the mid-upper twenties. Not at 15%. A lot of hiding is taking place right now…

Myron Falwell on May 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM