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Nancy Smith

Obama's Plunging Approval

June 2, 2013 - 6:00pm

Scandals have apparently caught up with Barack Obama. All of a sudden polls are showing the once-popular president's approval ratings as upside-down as a bad mortgage.

Results of a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday reveal Obamas public support has been hit hard by the metastasizing scandals.

His support among swing voters flopped by 14 points since May 1, according to the poll of 1,418 registered voters conducted between May 22 and May 28.

Swing voters gave him a 37 percent approval rating and a 57 percent disapproval rating -- that's down from 42 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval on May 1.

Also, the Sunday Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that 48 percent of 500 Likely U.S. Voters approve of Obama's job performance; 51 percent now disapprove.

Already political observers are analyzing the president's plummeting numbers, weighing how low they will go and for how long, and how much damage they will wreak in November 2014.

Of the three major scandals facing Obama virtually at the same time -- theBenghazi cover-up, the federal surveillance of journalists, and the IRS big-brothering -- themost important, said Quinnipiac respondents, is the IRS debacle. In that case, mounting evidence shows that multiple senior IRS officials used their legal powers to target and harass citizens tea party groups, pro-life organizations, conservative training centers and pro-Israel groups.

Seventy-eight percent of independent voters want an independent counsel to investigate the IRS activities. Only 17 percent of independents oppose the appointment of a counsel.

Voters apparently dont like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they dont exactly think highly of him, concluded Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, in a statement.

Holder gets a negative 23 -- 39 percent job approval rating, Brown added.

More and more, fingers are pointing at Obama.

The American people cut the president a lot of slack at first. Washington watchers say they felt sorry for him. For the last four years he's been plagued by a cornucopia of wild conspiracy theories -- everything from accusations of being secretly Muslim and born in Kenya to faking Bin Laden's death and being trained to overthrow the U.S.


"I think a lot of people in the middle waited to see where the IRS scandal fell among all the absurd charges leveled against this president," said Marielle Bishop, a Republican political operative in Washington. "Now they're coming around, making up their minds, and what they've observed isn't flattering to the president."

And IRS ties to the White House continue to pile up.

We now know former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a regular visitor to the White House. By regular, I mean 157 times regular since the start of the Obama administration. That's more even than the most trusted members of the president's Cabinet.

The Daily Caller analyzed the White Houses public visitor access records. The online newspaper showed that every current and former member of President Obamas Cabinet would have had to rack up at least 60 more public visits to the presidents home to catch up with Shulman.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Obamas friend and loyal lieutenant, logged 62 publicly known White House visits, claims the Caller, not even half as many as Shulmans 157.

IRS is the kind of scandal, says Bishop, that could add heavy chains to Democratic election hopes in key races in all 50 U.S. states. "Look at the Quinnipiac survey.Forty-seven percent of the respondents are telling us they think the Obama administration deliberately misled the American people about the situation with the IRS. Only 39 percent said the administration 'shared facts.'

"You think something like this has a lot of time to blow over before the next election, but not anymore. Campaigns are already under way. Fundraising is in full swing."

Randall Garcia, an operative with Democratic campaigns in Virginia, told Sunshine State News, "Most presidents are extreme lame ducks in their second term. Obama is allowed to go there. Where he's not allowed to go is anyplace he's dragging the party down, altering the future course for our leaders. This IRS mess could hurt if it goes on much longer."

It will be interesting to see if the Obama administration's scandals spill over to affect the key 2014 races in Florida.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (228) 282-2423.

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