Despite so-called scandals, more Americans approve of the job Obama is doing than disapprove


HERE‘s the latest on a trend we’ve mentioned on several occasions in recent weeks:

President Obama’s approval ratings have increased since a trio of controversies involving his administration began dominating the news cycle.

Fifty percent of those surveyed in Gallup’s three-day tracking poll released Wednesday say they approve of the job the president is doing, compared to 43 percent who said they disapprove.

The 7 percentage-point positive margin is better than where the president stood in the poll over the two weeks before the IRS and Department of Justice scandals broke, and is near Obama’s rating over the waning days of the 2012 campaign when voters convincingly elected him to a second term in office.

Obama’s Gallup numbers are up three percentage points since the pollster’s May 23-25 survey, and suggests Obama’s approval ratings held steady even as the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups made headlines.


[T]he timing of the controversies has intersected with positive economic headlines. The stock market is rising, as are home values, while the unemployment rate has fallen to a new low under Obama. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high in May.

“We know that in the big picture, national conditions matter an enormous amount,” Pew Research director Michael Dimock told The Hill in an interview. “I think the jury is still out how on how optimistic the public is, but [the economic data] is certainly a good argument.”

Dimock says it’s usually not the first round of scandal that will lose public support for a president, but rather a bungled response to a controversy, a sustained drip of new revelations, or a confluence of events that reinforce a pre-existing perception.


[A] recent CNN-ORC poll showed Obama at 53 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable. According to that poll, more than 70 percent called the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups unacceptable, but 55 percent said they believed the IRS acted on its own, and more than 60 percent said they believed the president was unaware of the practice while it was going on.

“I think it’s probably a lot to expect that these kinds of scandals would move the needle in a big way early on,” Dimock said. “These things have been modest in their visibility so far… the battles over whose to blame and how much on just reinforces the views of the engaged electorate and probably skims over the top of the part of the electorate open to changing its views.”


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