Majority in WaPo/ABC poll backs Benghazi select committee

posted at 10:01 am on June 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

So much for “fringe” Republicans pursuing a “phony scandal.” Not only does the new House Select Committee on Benghazi get a majority of support in a new Washington Post/ABC poll (51/42), it gets support from almost a third of all Democratic respondents as well. An even larger majority of Americans believe that the White House conducted a cover-up in the aftermath of the attack that killed four Americans, including the first ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since the Carter administration:

Democrats in recent weeks weighed whether to abstain from involvement in House Republicans’ new Benghazi investigative committee, labeling it an unnecessary probe into questions that have already been answered.

The American people disagree.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows a majority of Americans — 51 percent — approve of the new panel, while 42 percent disapprove. …

In fact, the number of Americans who think the Obama administration has covered things up (58 percent) is even larger than the number who want the investigation (51 percent). Americans say 58 to 32 percent that Obama has covered things up rather than being honest about what happened. That’s a bigger gap than last year, when it was 55 to 33 percent (though the shift is not statistically significant).

They don’t think too highly of Hillary Clinton, either. Her approval rating on Benghazi is 37/50, which considering the circumstances is not as bad as she might fear. That’s helped in large part by Democrats, though, of whom only 22% disapprove of her handling of Benghazi — even though she blamed the video for weeks, and was responsible for the lack of security and readiness that led to the US failures before and during the attack. Among independents, that number leaps to 58%. So far, her PR effort with Hard Choices on Benghazi seems to have only paid off among the already converted.

This cuts the ground out from under the feet of Democrats who wanted to treat this as a freak show. In the end they wised up and put people of some significance on the select committee to counter Trey Gowdy, whose expertise as a prosecutor will presumably be put to good effect. Elijah Cummings was appointed to the panel to expertly gum up the works and declare the whole effort an exercise in partisanship and redundancy, but that’s going to be a difficult argument to make with the clear mandate presented to the committee. Americans feel as though the White House has lied to them, 58% overall and a whopping 65% among independents (and even 30% of Democrats). If Democrats obstruct this panel’s work, that will only reinforce their perception of a cover-up, one extending to the whole Democratic Party and not just the White House.

The poll results aren’t terrific for Barack Obama either. His approval rating has risen incrementally, but is still 46/51. That falls to 43/53 on the economy, 41/50 on foreign policy, and 39/56 on ObamaCare implementation. The latter shows that the April victory lap was mostly a figment of the White House’s collective imagination.

The generic Congressional ballot gives Democrats a two-point edge at 47/45, but the sample itself is D+9. Among independents, it’s 42/43. The turnout model will be key in November, and it’s not likely to be D+9.


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Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife hardest hit.

Galtian on June 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM

No one cares about Benghazi.

bayam on May 1, 2013 at 4:42 PM

bengazi is a political witchhunt

nonpartisan on May 1, 2013 at 5:42 PM

People need to grow up and stop assuming that there’s always a cover up or government incompetence involved.

bayam on May 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

yeah, they were wrong about it being a youtube video that sparked it. ok, thats not a crime. we have more pressing issues to deal with.

nonpartisan on May 1, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM

I’d expect Gowdy to get the Henry Hyde treatment now, as far as the efforts go to de-legitimize the committee by trying to de-legitimize their highest-profile Republican member. Not sure if they’re going to go as far as having Alec Baldwin go back on late-night TV and call for the public to stone Trey Gowdy to death as he did with Hyde, but odds are will have some equal level of progressive lunacy by the end of the hearing.

jon1979 on June 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Her approval rating on Benghazi is 37/50, which considering the circumstances is not as bad as she might fear.

The flip side to this is that the committee could still do her some real damage.

Flange on June 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Crickets will chirping on lsm on these numbers

cmsinaz on June 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Forty two percent don’t want an investigation to figure out how four Americans got killed in a coordinated terrorist attack at an unprotected embassy in a nation recently overthrown with the help of the US military. Joy.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The turnout model will be key in November, and it’s not likely to be D+9.

More likely D+15. It’s the Washington Post/ABC, after all.

leftamark on June 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

51% of Americans must be wing-nuts. ;)

WannabeAnglican on June 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

It’s that vast Right Wing conspiracy. It’s just like Hydra.

Oil Can on June 3, 2014 at 10:18 AM

If it comes out that Hillary was in on the Taliban/deserter swap, her numbers will plummet when (not if) one of those released Taliban escape their ‘house arrest” and kill more Americans.

LASue on June 3, 2014 at 10:19 AM

I think it’s time for a Crossroads “3:00 AM” ad buy.

Tater Salad on June 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Bob Bechel on The Five refuses to talk about Benghazi anymore since it is a fake scandal. I suspect more in the media will follow this tactic. Especially if it looks like the committee is close to scorching Killary or the rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Forty two percent don’t want an investigation to figure out how four Americans got killed in a coordinated terrorist attack at an unprotected embassy in a nation recently overthrown with the help of the US military. Joy.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Your post is perhaps a bit too Highbrow for that 42%…

Now if you had posed the summary this way:

Do you want to know why Prisoners at Abu Ghrab were Forced to
form a pyramid, and wear skivvies, why you would have 90%+

Someone needs to ask a poll question this way

Are you concerned that Hillary Clinton was Drunk, and eating a
a Taco, when one of our Consulates was under attack by Terrorists,
on the Anniversay of the 9-11 attacks?

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

In fact, the number of Americans who think the Obama administration has covered things up (58 percent) is even larger than the number who want the investigation (51 percent).

I guess that 7% difference is the “what-difference-at-this-point-does-it-make?” crowd.

leftamark on June 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

This panel has the potential to do some real damage to Hillary now that the “nobody cares about Benghazi” meme has collapsed.

Doomberg on June 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Are you concerned that Hillary Clinton was Drunk, and eating a
a Taco, when one of our Consulates was under attack by Terrorists,
on the Anniversay of the 9-11 attacks?

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Huma was in Manhattan at the time.

There, my inner 12 year old got his time in the sun, get back in the brain.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Huma was in Manhattan at the time.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

“Mmmmm, Manhattan clam chowder.” -Shrillary

Flange on June 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Forty two percent don’t want an investigation to figure out how four Americans got killed in a coordinated terrorist attack at an unprotected embassy in a nation recently overthrown with the help of the US military. Joy.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

I would think that the 42% breaks down into several key groups.

1. Racists who will back Obama no matter what. He’s black so he can’t possibly be a lazy stupid liar, a filthy politician, or an incompetent boob whose foreign policy involves shucking and jiving with no coherent over-arching goals.

2. Partisans that don’t want anything that would taint the Democrat brand going into the next cycle of elections.

3. The disillusioned who don’t see anything of substance ever coming out of these DC investigations.

4. And frends of Ben Ghazi who don’t know who he is or what he did but thinks Congress shouldn’t be picking on the guy.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Just yesterday in the WaPo, Tommasskey said this:

But of course, that doesn’t matter to the right. No one outside their base cares much about Benghazi, but that hasn’t stopped them. They’ll keep pursuing Benghazi mostly to see if they can pin anything on Hillary

Del Dolemonte on June 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Huma was in Manhattan at the time.

There, my inner 12 year old got his time in the sun, get back in the brain.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

“Mmmmm, Manhattan clam chowder.” -Shrillary

Flange on June 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

I did not start this!

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Secretary Clinton testifies:

CHAIRMAN GOWDY: Secretary Clinton, thank you for honoring the subpoena requiring your presence today under threat of arrest.
HILLARY: Your pleasure, I’m sure.
GOWDY: When you heard about the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, what did you . . . ?
HILLARY AIDE: [interjecting] Secretary Clinton returned from a fund raiser in Mali yesterday, Mr. Chairman. While there, someone threw a grenade at her as she entered a restaurant. She caught it in mid-air, flung it back, and covered the body of a Secret Service agent with her own just as the grenade exploded. Secretary Clinton’s still suffering effects from the incident.
[repeats Gowdy’s question in Clinton’s ear]
HILLARY: Fatigued after an overseas trip, I suffered a fugue episode as I arrived in the Situation Room that evening, Mr. Chairman.
GOWDY: Who gave the order to “Stand down”?
HILLARY: I was unsteady on my feet and the president told me to “Sit down.”
GOWDY: Did you ignore repeated requests to boost security at the Benghazi compound?
HILLARY: Mr. Chairman, I . . .
[momentarily loses consciousness; doctor attends]
GOWDY: Let’s move on. Did a YouTube video provoke the incident?
HILLARY: No, It was the result of overmedication.
GOWDY: Why did Susan Rice cover for you on the Sunday talk shows?
HILLARY: Uncovered, rice loses moisture when simmering.
GOWDY: Madame Secretary, I ask again: who is ultimately responsible for the Benghazi debacle?
CLINTON: Normally, in a Christian church, the resident clergyman assumes responsibility for the tabernacle. In any case, I accept responsibility for whatever happened that I had nothing to do with. Now, please excuse me as I feint [sic] again.

Lucian1944 on June 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I did not start this!

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Oh the Humanity! Where’s the brain bleach…

Oil Can on June 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Amazing that Obama’s approval is still that high.

He could run again and again and never be beaten.

mypalfish on June 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

I did not start this!

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Oh the Humanity! Where’s the brain bleach…

Oil Can on June 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

here, let me help.

Gina McCarthy was on stand by that evening for Madame Secretary.

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

ToddPA on June 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Oh, man. You just invented sex drive suppressor. It takes 48 hours to wear off.

Oil Can on June 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I asked yesterday to hear from Hillary.

The Greta and Baier interviews s/b hell for the scumhag.

Today it was made known that she knew about the Bergdahl release. You know what the lunch was about.

Schadenfreude on June 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Forty two percent don’t want an investigation to figure out how four Americans got killed in a coordinated terrorist attack at an unprotected embassy in a nation recently overthrown with the help of the US military. Joy.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Glass half-full perspective: 5% of the mooching-class are starting to see the light?

MistyLane on June 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

The oaf, who’s chief, thought that the non-disclosures would remain in place.

Hallelujah that there still are a few real men in the services and otherwise.

Schadenfreude on June 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Trey Gowdy and the other Republicans on the committee should see this poll, even with its D+9 sample, as a mandate to get to the truth about Benghazi. Start by calling in witnesses from the military and the CIA, and work their way up to Hillary.

Tommy Vietor already told the Fox News “dude” that Obama was not in the Situation Room the night Benghazi was attacked. So where was he? Vegas? Where was Hillary that night? She couldn’t answer questions from September 11, 2012 until January 2013 because she bumped her head?

What difference does it make? Well, if there’s a national emergency and we need a President to respond to a 3 AM phone call, we need somebody wide awake and thinking clearly, not somebody who has a headache and sends a U.N. ambassador out telling fairy tales about anti-Muslim videos no one ever heard of.

Ring-ring: It’s Vladimir on the line. Who do we want to answer?

Steve Z on June 3, 2014 at 11:54 AM

There is a callousness about Hills. You get the “what difference at this point does it make?” and then the “I’m not going to get involved in witch hunts” crap. I really hope the American people wake up and see what she is really like.

COgirl on June 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

…the poll…is still sad!

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Bob Bechel on The Five refuses to talk about Benghazi anymore since it is a fake scandal. I suspect more in the media will follow this tactic. Especially if it looks like the committee is close to scorching Killary or the rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

The media have already been following this tactic. Hardly a peep is ever mentioned about Benghazi. How pathetic is that?

Bob Davis on June 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I weep for the 46% who approve of this incompetent POTUS.

fishstick on June 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

There is a callousness about Hills. You get the “what difference at this point does it make?” and then the “I’m not going to get involved in witch hunts” crap. I really hope the American people wake up and see what she is really like.

COgirl on June 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

My wish for this beach is to lose all her teeth, most of her hearing (I want her to hear the insults), the use of her lower extremities, incontinence bowel/bladder and then have whoever is taking care of her say, “What difference does it make??” when she asks for help.

Then, when she calls to mumble some kind of complaint to the healthcare company (funded by the VA)over the phone she’s holding under her chin on her shoulder, have someone say, “I”m not going to get involved in witch hunts crap.”

avagreen on June 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

…the first ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since the Carter administration…

“To lose one US ambassador under an incompetent Democratic president may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness.”

neocon stormtrooper on June 4, 2014 at 3:02 AM