The trio of scandals that have swirled around the White House in recent weeks have made Americans doubt the administration's honesty and integrity, but they have not affected President Barack Obama's job-approval rating, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found.
Despite controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice and State Department, Obama's job approval rating is holding at 48 percent—essentially unchanged from April.
According to the survey of 1,000 adults conducted May 30 to June 2, a combined 58 percent of respondents said they believe the State Department's handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, "raises either major or minor doubts" about the Obama administration’s honesty and integrity.
The same percentage said the DOJ’s subpoena of Associated Press reporters’ phone records has left them doubting the administration. And 55 percent said the IRS’ targeting of conservative-sounding groups that applied for tax-exempt status raises similar concerns.
But Americans do not appear to be holding the president responsible for the scandals.
A minority (41 percent) hold Obama “totally” or “mainly” responsible for the Benghazi attack. Even less (37 percent) blame the president for the DOJ debacle, and just 33 percent "directly blame him for the IRS’s targeting of conservative-sounding groups."
The responses fell, predictably, along party lines:
Fewer than one-quarter of Democrats hold Obama directly responsible for these three controversies, versus a majority of Republicans who do so—including 68 percent for the Benghazi attack.
And while Obama's overall job approval rating may be holding steady, he's seen a decline among independents. Just 28 percent of independents polled approve of his job, down from 37 percent in April.