Poll: Obama’s approval ratings dive amid surveillance controversy

Updated
President Barack Obama on May 28, 2013.
President Barack Obama on May 28, 2013.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The president’s approval ratings have dropped eight points to 45%, according to the latest CNN/ORC International poll, following news that the government is broadly running surveillance on Americans who interact with foreigners. It is the president’s worst approval rating since November 2011.

The polling shows a marked drop in support from people under the age of 30, black Americans, and independents, whose support for the president fell by 10 points, CNN reported.

It’s been a rough couple of months for President Obama: a leak revealed the National Security Agency’s anti-terror policy of widely running surveillance on Americans who interact with those abroad, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it had targeted Tea Party and Conservative nonprofits, Congressional hearings continued to hunt for more on the handling of the Benghazi attacks, and the Justice Department admitted it secretly subpoenaed journalist’s phone records while investigating a leak of classified information.

Support for Obama held on during the first weeks of scandals, but the controversies, particularly the news of the NSA surveillance, have clearly caught up to him—for the first time since Obama took office, 50% of Americans do not think the president is “honest and trustworthy.”

The 1,013 Americans polled last week were torn on which NSA programs they support: just over half support the government’s monitoring of phone records of Americans contacting those abroad, while a majority, 66%, support the government monitoring the internet behavior and communicators of Americans interacting with foreigners.

Despite that, 62% of those surveyed feel the government has become so ‘large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,’ and 61% disapprove of how the president is handling surveillance—more than the number of Americans who disapproved of of George W. Bush’s surveillance methods, 52%.

Another poll, however, found a distinct partisan shift when it comes to surveillance, where a majority of both parties approving the programs when their own party held the Oval Office, and disapproving when the opposing party was in power.

For the rest of the poll and its methodology, click here.

Poll: Obama’s approval ratings dive amid surveillance controversy

Updated