Fox poll: 61% thinks Obama lies on important matters

The lesson here? If you like your personal approval ratings, you can keep your personal approval ratings. In the latest poll from Fox News, 61% believe that Barack Obama lies some or most of the time on “important matters,” while only 15% say Obama never lies:

About six in ten American voters think Barack Obama lies to the country on important matters some or most of the time, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.

Thirty-seven percent think Obama lies “most of the time,” while another 24 percent say he lies “some of the time.” Twenty percent of voters say “only now and then” and 15 percent “never.”

Only among his strongest constituencies does Obama’s reputation for honesty remain strong — or at least relatively so:

The number of voters saying Obama lies “most of the time” includes 13 percent of Democrats.  It also includes 12 percent of blacks, 16 percent of liberals, 31 percent of unmarried women and 34 percent of those under age 30 — all key Obama constituencies.

Yet some of those groups are also among those most likely to say Obama “never” lies to the country on important matters: blacks (37 percent), Democrats (31 percent), liberals (28 percent) and women (19 percent).

Yes, those are not exactly massive statements of confidence in Obama’s honesty. The problem for Obama is that even when he pursued unpopular policy, public perception of his intelligence and honesty helped keep his approval ratings from utterly tanking. His central conceit — that he was not just another politician — is what allowed him to endure the disastrous 2010 cycle and survive the 2012 re-election. The explosion of the “you can keep your plan” lie, combined with the more recent and more flagrant “women only earn 77 cents to men’s dollar” lie, has done the predictable damage to his reputation.

Even with that, though, Obama’s approval rating actually rebounded slightly in this series. It’s back to 42/51 from 38/54 six weeks ago in this series, which was an all-time low. Believe it or not, 42/51 is actually Obama’s best approval rating in this series for 2014 — a tie on approval, and the lowest disapproval of the year.

Not that anyone else is doing much better. Fox offered a few names and entities for favorability ratings, and the only one to have a net positive rating was … Hillary Clinton, at 49/45. Obama got a 45/51, a reflection of the honesty issue, and the only one to get a majority-unfavorable rating. Surprisingly, the GOP got a 45/45, with Democrats at 44/46. Chris Christie got within the MOE at 36/38, and Ted Cruz brought up the rear with 23/31.

Hillary shouldn’t get too excited about that finish, either. The Fox series doesn’t often ask that question about her, but it’s still the lowest since April 2008’s 47/46. She peaked in August 2012 at 63/31 just before Benghazi, and still got a 56/38 in June 2013 well after Benghazi and her departure from State. The 49/45 result this week is a fairly sharp drop, and it may mean that voters think of her differently as a retiree than they will as a candidate. That also was true in 2007/8, as it turned out.

Still, she blows all of the other Democrats out of the water in the 2016 question with 69% support; only Joe Biden gets double digits at 14%. Hillary also wins the head-to-head matchups, but those are much closer and less relevant this far out, especially with her favorability numbers already dropping.