President Obama’s popularity among voters under age 30 has dropped 17 points over the past month in the midst of revelations over the administration’s most recent scandals involving the National Security Administration. This has helped fuel an 8 point drop in his overall popularity rating, which now sits at 45 percent — Obama’s lowest rating in more than a year and a half.
The poll, conducted by CNN/ORC International, was released Monday, and indicates that for the first time since Obama took office, half of Americans say they do not believe he is “honest and trustworthy.”
The new numbers come as the Administration handles the fallout over four separate political scandals: The massive surveillance program conducted by the NSA involving phone tapping and Internet tracking; the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status; the Justice Department’s tracking of journalists’ phone records to investigate government leaks; and the administration’s mishandling of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
The poll also indicates that 6 in 10 Americans believe government programs are so large that they threaten the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans. But, still, poll takers indicate they maintain a healthy level of approval for those “big government” programs —while they were split 51 to 48 percent on the NSA’s tracking of metadata on U.S. phone calls, an overwhelming 66 percent say the NSA program that tracks Internet usage by people in other countries is “right.”
Forty-three percent of Americans maintain that the Obama administration has stepped over the line in restricting civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. Only 38 percent said the administration has been right, and 17 percent say he hasn’t gone far enough.
Forty-three percent of the public says that the Obama administration has gone too far in restricting civil liberties to fight terrorism, with 38% saying the administration has been about right and 17% saying it has not gone far enough. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said that this is “roughly the same reaction that the public had to the Bush administration in 2006 when details of a similar program to gather phone records were made public” in 2006.
And while the reaction may be similar, 60 percent disapprove of how Obama is handling surveillance of U.S. citizens — quite a bit higher than the 52 percent who felt the same of Bush in 2006.