President Barack Obama’s approval rating has increased in the past two months, despite a growing scandal within the Department of Veterans Affairs that led to now-former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation.
Forty-six percent of the public approves of Obama’s job as president, up five points from late April, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published Tuesday. Fifty-one percent disapprove.
His current approval rating matches numbers from January and March of this year.
Shinseki resigned last week, a decision supported by 65% of respondents in the poll. Shinseki, a veteran himself, was embroiled in a weeks-long scandal over the treatment of service members at the agency’s hospitals. Eighty-two percent of the public, the poll found, said the current situation at some of the military veteran hospitals is a “very serious” issue.
But 43% of Americans said they trust Obama will handle the country’s main problems in the years ahead, compared with 38% who believe Republicans can do a better job. Forty-one percent of the public surveyed said Obama is not to blame for the VA problems, whereas 19% said he is responsible. The new poll was conducted among a random national sample of 1,002 adults between May 29 and June 1, the days surrounding Shinseki’s resignation.
Obama’s decision to end the longest war in U.S. history was met with favorability. The poll found that 77% of Americans support his plans to deplete U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a normal Embassy presence by 2016.
Researchers leading the poll also asked respondents about gay marriage, immigration, climate change, and the Benghazi attack.