Majority Believe Benghazi Debacle Will Hurt Obama at the Polls

Rasmussen polled whether Benghazi has become an issue that can impact President Obama's re-election. A slim majority say yes.

Voters are now more critical of how the Obama administration has handled the situation in Libya, including the murder of the U.S. ambassador there, and most think it will hurt President Obama’s chances for reelection. However, they are slightly more confident in the president than Mitt Romney to handle events in the Middle East.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the way the administration has responded to the situation in Libya as good or excellent. That’s down nine points from 44% in mid-September just after the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Forty percent (40%) view the administration’s Libya response as poor, up from 34% a month ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Overall, 51% think it will hurt Obama at the polls on Nov. 6. The poll was conducted over the weekend Oct 13-14 and has a margin of error of 3%.

Obama's Benghazi problem is more than merely political. The attacks in Cairo and Benghazi on 9-11 blow a large hole in the Obama campaign's narrative that the killings of Obama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders, mainly by drone attacks, have "crippled" the terrorist network. Killing terror leaders generates headlines, but as Secretary of State Clinton noted in a speech last week, it's not the headlines but the trend lines that we should pay attention to. She was right, for the wrong reason. The trend line in the Middle East shows Islamists on the rise and al-Qaeda re-branding and on the comeback trail. The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government and al-Qaeda's messaging now seem to be in harmony should be raising alarms all over Washington, but the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge it for political reasons. Without the story of crippling al-Qaeda available to him, Obama has no serious foreign policy achievements to point to from his four years in office. The economy remains weak and his own policies remain unpopular.

So, it's time to try turning Mitt Romney into a Bain villain again. If you don't have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as somebody people should run from...

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Axelrod: Romney 'Cravenly Trying to Exploit' Benghazi Murders