President Obama's Approval Drops by Eight Percent in Past Month

Katie Pavlich

6/17/2013 10:40:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

As scandalpalooza continues to unfold inside the Beltway, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows President Obama's approval rating has dropped by eight percent over the past month.

President Barack Obama's approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president's lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning comes as the White House has been reacting to controversies over a massive U.S. government surveillance program; the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status; the administration's handling of last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead; and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists' phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.

The poll indicates that for the first time in Obama’s presidency, half of the public says they don't believe he is honest and trustworthy. And Americans are split on the controversial National Security Agency anti-terrorism program to record metadata on U.S. phone calls, but they support the NSA program that targets records of Internet usage by people in other countries. That doesn't mean they necessarily like what is going on: Just over six in 10 believe that government is so large and powerful that it threatens the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans.

The number of Americans who think he is honest has dropped nine points over the past month, to 49%. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they disagree with the president's views on the size and power of the federal government, and 53% say he cannot manage the government effectively. Fifty-two percent say the president is a strong and decisive leader. That's still a majority, but it's down six points from last month.

The most important and interesting numbers come from Obama's base and loyal voters.

The president's approval rating stands at 45%, down from 53% in mid-May. And 54% say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his job, up nine points from last month. It's the first time in CNN polling since November 2011 that a majority of Americans have had a negative view of the president.

"The drop in Obama's support is fueled by a dramatic 17-point decline over the past month among people under 30, who, along with black Americans, had been the most loyal part of the Obama coalition," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The president also dropped 10 points among independent voters, from 47% last month to 37% now, with Obama's disapproval among independents jumping 12 points to 61%.


It doesn't help that President Obama has refused to address multiple scandals directly. He's been off at fundraisers and deputies have been sent on the Sunday talk shows to defend the administration rather than Obama's chief of staff. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has been bumbling through press conferences for weeks now and has repeatedly given the non-answer of "we cannot common on an ongoing investigation" for nearly every question asked.

As a reminder, this is what we are dealing with at the moment.

1. NSA scandal, secret monitoring of American citizens
2. IRS scandal, targeting of conservatives
3. The Department of Justice secretly monitoring hundreds of reporters and editors
4. The Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder naming Fox News correspondent James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator for practicing journalism and then lying about it under oath
5. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius extorting money from companies she regulates to pay for ObamaCare
6. Benghazi

How many answers do we have surrounding any of them? Hardly any, which explains the feeling among many that the Obama administration is dishonest.