President Barack Obama’s job approval has taken a hit over the last month as his administration deals with a trifecta of scandals, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Obama’s numbers are underwater with 45 percent approving of the job he is doing and 49 percent disapproving. A month ago, before the Internal Revenue Service admitted to targeting tea party groups, the same poll found Obama with a 48 percent to 45 percent positive rating. The new numbers come more than a week after an ABC News/Washington Post poll found Obama’s approval holding steady despite the controversies.
But the news isn’t all bad for the president, who is dealing with the IRS scandal, continued Republican attacks on his handling of the Benghazi, Libya, attack and criticism over the Justice Department obtaining journalists’ communications records as they investigated two separate national security leaks. By a wide margin, 76 percent to 17 percent, respondents said a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the charges against the IRS.
Despite the scandals, a whopping 73 percent to 22 percent of respondents said unemployment and the economy are a higher priority than the scandals. Analysts with Quinnipiac and the ABC/Washington Post poll said optimism about the economy was likely elevating Obama’s numbers.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,419 registered voters between May 22 and Tuesday. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 2.6 percentage points.