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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama’s Numbers on Job Approval, Honesty Suddenly Tumble



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Another busy Jolt today . . . two sections to preview this morning:

BOOM: Quinnipiac Sees Obama’s Approval Take a Sudden Tumble

For a couple of weeks, Obama fans have been high-fiving each other, looking at polling numbers and concluding the public didn’t really blame the president for any of the scandals engulfing his administration.

Well, looks like they celebrated too early:

American voters say 76 – 17 percent, including 63 – 30 percent among Democrats, that a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate charges the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

President Barack Obama gets a negative 45 – 49 percent job approval rating, compared to 48 – 45 percent positive in a May 1 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, conducted before the IRS allegations surfaced.

The president’s biggest drop is among independent voters, who give him a negative 37 – 57 percent score, compared to a negative 42 – 48 percent May 1. He gets a negative 9 – 86 percent from Republicans and a positive 87 – 8 percent from Democrats, both virtually unchanged. Women approve 49 – 45 percent while men give a negative 40 – 54 percent score.

Americans are divided 49 – 47 percent on whether Obama is honest and trustworthy, down from 58 – 37 percent, the last time Quinnipiac University asked the question September 1, 2011.

Gee, what could cause that drop? Moving along . . . 

News-Junkie Hipster-ism and ‘The Real Scandal’

If you’ll allow me to quote Matt Welch twice, he articulates an irritation buzzing around the back of my head, pundits’ all-too-frequent declaration that whatever scandal is in the headlines is an obviously frivolous and inconsequential distraction, and that they’ve figured out what we really ought to be talking about if we’re serious, thoughtful people. You know . . . “the real scandal,” as they incessantly declare.

But the real party comes when you search on “the real scandal.” So much to choose from!

There’s “child poverty” (Jesse Jackson, Chicago Sun-Times), “political gridlock” (Ned Barnett, Charlotte News & Observer), “the Republican party’s devotion to grandstanding over governance and its preference for slime over substance” (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Huffington Post), “secret money influencing US elections” (Ari Berman, The Nation), “that 501(c)(4) groups have been engaged in political activity in such a sustained and open way” (Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker), that “they let General Electric not pay any taxes” (Michael Moore, HuffPost Live), sex abuse in the military (Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post), and even “the IRS itself” (John Tamny, Forbes).

This is like news junkie hipster-ism. “Oh, you’re following that news story? Pshaw. I was following that story years ago. The really important story now is [some obscure story they’re fairly certain you haven’t read about yet].”

Now, some of those items are real problems, i.e., child poverty and sex abuse in the military. But only a fool would argue that the existence of one problem automatically de-prioritizes any other problem. Maybe there are a lot of big problems in our government and society that the American people should be concerned about and try to solve or improve. Maybe we really have a lot of scandals going on.

The real scandal is that we have so many real scandals going on.


Tags: Polling , President Obama , IRS Scandal


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