Still no polling backlash for Obama

But the Tea Party has gotten a boost from the ongoing IRS and Benghazi controversies

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 21, 2013 1:17PM (EDT)

A new poll from ABC News/Washington Post shows that there is still no backlash against President Obama in the polls amid the IRS, Benghazi and Associated Press phone records controversies.

The poll shows that Obama's approval rating is "stable" at 51 percent, close to a CNN/ORC International poll from earlier this week that showed Obama's approval at 53 percent -- up two points from the beginning of April.

Though it's not all good news. From the poll:

The public divides on whether or not the administration is honestly disclosing what it knows about the IRS’ actions; 45 percent suspect a cover-up, 42 percent instead see full transparency. And more than a third overall in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, think these actions not only are inappropriate, but illegal.

Further, on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last fall, suspicions of a cover-up rise to a majority, 55 percent. And in this case only a third of Americans are persuaded that the Obama administration is disclosing honestly what it knows about what occurred.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party has enjoyed a mid-scandal boost for its approval ratings, according to another CNN/ORC International poll, which shows that the movement now has a 37 percent favorability rating, an increase from 28 percent in March. Forty-five percent still have a negative view of the Tea Party, however.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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