A recent Fox News poll shows more than two-thirds of American voters believe the federal government is “out of control” and a threat to their liberties. Meanwhile, a separate survey commissioned by WND revealed that more than half of the public supports impeaching President Obama for a series of explosive scandals: spying on journalists, IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups, as well as what has become known as “Benghazigate.” Other major scandals such as the administration's Fast and Furious gun-running to cartels, executing Americans without trial, and unconstitutional wars were not addressed in the surveys.
According to the Fox News poll, released on May 21 and conducted under the guidance of two polling firms, a whopping 68 percent of likely voters “feel like the federal government has gotten out of control and is threatening the basic civil liberties of Americans.” Almost half of Democrats agree that Washington, D.C., is out of control as well — more than the number who disagreed. Just a quarter of respondents did not feel that way, while four percent said they had mixed feelings or it “depends.”
Some six in 10 likely voters, meanwhile, believe the Justice Department went “too far” in seizing records from journalists, while less than a third did not think so. Even among Democrats, only 50 percent approved of disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, who is currently in criminal contempt of Congress for covering up the deadly Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
However, among the three most recent and explosive scandals swirling around the embattled administration, more respondents felt the IRS targeting of conservative organizations was the most concerning. That was followed by the White House’s handling of the terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi. Seizing phone records from reporters was viewed as the most concerning of the three issues by 21 percent of respondents.
The Fox survey also found that disapproval of the president’s job performance had soared above 50 percent for the first time in a year, with 15 percent of Democrats disapproving. Obama’s credibility among the public, meanwhile, hit new lows, with less than half of respondents saying the president was honest and trustworthy. About the same number did think Obama was honest.
Congress, however, was extraordinarily unpopular — far more unpopular than even the scandal-plagued president. According to the poll, more than three-fourths of likely voters disapproved of the job lawmakers were doing, with just 16 percent saying they approved. It was not immediately clear why Congress remains so unpopular among Republicans and Democrats.
The WND survey, conducted by Wenzel Strategies and also released this week, found even more astounding sentiments among voters. According to the poll, half or nearly half of those surveyed said Obama should be impeached over the scandals currently swamping the administration. On Benghazi, slightly more than 50 percent said they thought Obama should be impeached — including more than a fourth of Democrats.
The poll, which has a margin of error of 4.63 percent, also found that almost half of respondents — 49 percent — agreed that the president should be impeached over the IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups. Almost one out of four Democrats thought the scandal merited impeachment as well, according to the survey. IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner pled the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearings this week, adding fuel to the fire as congressional investigations continue.
Finally, about 48 percent of respondents said impeaching the president would be appropriate in light of the Department of Justice’s controversial seizure of phone records belonging to AP reporters and editors. More than a fourth of Democrats also thought the media scandal, which has since extended to Fox News after one of its reporters was targeted, merited impeachment.
“It may be early in the process for members of Congress to start planning for impeachment of Barack Obama, but the American public is building a serious appetite for it,” Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, which did the telephone poll last week, was quoted as saying by WND. “Half or nearly half of those surveyed said they believed Obama should be impeached for the trifecta of scandals now consuming Washington.”
WND also cited numerous lawmakers who have openly discussed impeachment, along with commentators and experts who suggested that the time had come. Among those who have discussed impeaching the president was Democrat former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who proposed impeachment over Obama’s unconstitutional war on Libya.
There was more bad news for the president in other polls, too. Another Fox News poll released on May 22, the day after the survey that found more than two thirds of Americans thought the government was “out of control,” revealed more trouble for the administration and its agenda on multiple fronts. On the economy, for example, about half of those surveyed said Obama’s ideas were “bad” and too many had been implemented. Only 41 percent said the president’s ideas were good but not enough had come to pass.
Among the most important findings: 56 percent of respondents felt scrapping ObamaCare would be better than leaving it in place. Just one third thought the statute should be kept, and the trend is moving further against the administration’s controversial healthcare takeover. More than half of those surveyed said they would be worse off under ObamaCare — including a fourth of Democrats — while only 26 percent thought they would be better off.
Despite the survey findings published by Fox News and WND, polls from the liberal-minded establishment media released in recent days suggested that the administration’s public support had remained essentially unchanged amid the mounting tsunami of scandals. For instance, a survey commissioned by CNN, which has been losing credibility faster than other “mainstream” outlets in recent years amid a series of major mistakes, put the president’s approval rating at 53 percent. Still, more than seven out of ten said the IRS behavior was unacceptable, and 37 percent thought the IRS was acting on White House orders.
Another poll by the Washington Post and ABC released this week found that about 51 percent approved of Obama, with 44 percent disapproving. However, that survey also found that more than 55 percent of respondents believed the IRS scandal was a deliberate attempt at harassment, and that the administration was trying to cover something up about the Benghazi attack.
The extremely liberal Huffington Post, however, noted that its polls put the president’s approval rating at closer to 47.5 percent — well below other liberal-leaning media outlets’ survey results. “HuffPost,” which has developed a reputation as a far-left defender of the president on par with MSNBC, also reported on other polls that showed Americans were more interested in news about the economy than the three major scandals swirling around Obama.
The varying results between different polls showed strong differences based on how questions were phrased, for example. However, the latest numbers still suggest that the establishment media’s oft-repeated claims that administration has remained relatively unscathed by the scandals are almost certainly not accurate.
Numerous media outlets, including left-leaning establishment publications, have been openly speculating about where all of these scandals may lead. Some analysts, even among openly liberal sources, have suggested that the president will inevitably be impeached. Others speculated that Obama may try to offer Holder’s scalp in an effort to protect his presidency. How all of it will play out, however, remains to be seen.
Photo of President Barack Obama: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at
Amid Political Posturing, Real Benghazi Scandals Ignored