Obama buoyed by positive approval ratings despite scandal storm

May 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's approval ratings have climbed despite a trio of controversies involving his administration dominating the news, results indicated.

In a review of several recent national polls, The Hill Thursday reported Obama's ratings rose even though controversies -- the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya; the IRS targeting of conservative organizations; and the seizure of The Associated Press' phone records -- have dominated headlines in recent weeks.

In Gallup's three-day tracking poll released Wednesday, 50 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the job Obama is doing, while 43 percent say they disapprove.

Obama's latest numbers are up 3 percentage points since the Gallup's May 23-25 survey.

Real Clear Politics' average of approval ratings indicated Obama's ratings were closer -- 48.6 percent approval and 47.6 percent disapproval.

The timing of the controversies collided with positive economic news of a rising stock market, higher home values and a lower unemployment rate, The Hill said.

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

Dimock said it wasn't unusual for a president to survive the first round of a scandal; rather, it was a botched response, a sustained dribble of revelations, or a convergence of events that reinforce a pre-existing perception or turn public opinion.

"It's still kind of early," he said. "Around D.C., we tend to think this would have an immediate effect, but history suggests it will take a while for things to register."

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