As scandals engulf the Obama Administration, Democrats and the media have consoled themselves that Obama’s overall approval numbers have remained steady. That is certainly true and, for many, suggests that Obama is evading political fallout from the scandals. A number of recent polls, however, show potentially dark clouds on the horizon. Obama is losing the public’s trust.
In an NBC/WSJ poll released Wednesday, 58% of voters said the recent scandals raised doubts about the Administration’s honesty and integrity. 45% said the scandals raised “major doubts.” 68% of voters said President Obama was in some part responsible for the scandals. On whether Obama is personally “honest and straightforward,” voters split 42-40.
In a Bloomberg poll released this week, almost a majority of voters, 47%, said Obama was not telling the complete truth about his knowledge of the IRS scandal. 53% of Independents said Obama wasn’t being truthful about the scandal.
Last week, Quinnipiac released a poll showing a precipitous erosion in views of Obama’s honesty. A mere plurality, 49-47, agreed that Obama personally was “honest and trustworthy.” Two years ago, 63% of voters believed Obama to be honest.
All of this comes as we have only scant details about the current scandals. The White House has not been directly implicated in any of them yet. These numbers also come before news broke on Thursday that the government had seized phone records for all of Verizon’s wireless customers. The challenge for the Obama Administration is that this latest revelation is similar to recent scandals, where the government was found to be inappropriately prying into certain Americans’ private lives.
Obama’s overall approval rating may hold steady for now. That number, however, is in many cases a lagging indicator. If voters continue to question his honesty and truthfulness, that number is likely to collapse soon.