A new CNN poll shows President Obama's approval ratings taking a nose dive in recent weeks, a development that is probably not unrelated to the deluge of second-term scandals that have taken over the media. The poll, conducted in the middle of last week, shows the president's disapproval rating at 54 percent, his worst marks in about a year and a half, since November of 2011. Even more notable, the rating has swung nine points since the last time the poll was taken in mid-May, which predates all of the NSA leaks that have been provided by Edward Snowden.
Normally, that would be understandable given all the negative news of the last week, but the president has to be concerned that the biggest drop came among people under 30 years old. His support among that key group dropped an astonishing 17 points in the last month.
A deeper dive into more specific questions shows that Obama is seeing his marks fall across the board, although on issues like the economy, the deficit, and immigration, his numbers are mostly unchanged. (Or at least within the margin or error.) When asked how he's handling terrorism, however, the president's numbers take the biggest hit. He's still at a 52-percent approval rating, but that's down from 65 percent in January, after having a consistent rating in the 60s since 2010.
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On most of the questions, regarding Snowden's revelations, the country seems pretty evenly split, both on whether what the government is doing is good or bad, and one whether leaking the information was good or bad. When asked if the U.S. should attempt to bring Edward Snowden back to America for prosecution, 54 percent said yes, and 42 percent said no. But when asked if the administration has "gone too far ... in restricting people's civil liberties in order to fight terrorism," a full 55 percent say either the government has been "about right" or has gone "not far enough," suggesting there's plenty of more wriggle room on that front. (White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Sunday that Obama doesn't believe the administration as violated privacy and that he'll say much "in the days ahead." NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander is supposed to release details on how the snooping has helped stop terror attacks early this week as well.)
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In the CNN poll, 8 percent of Americans believe they are currently being investigated by the NSA, while 34 percent believe their data hasn't even been collected. You can see the full breakdown here. [PDF file]