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Controversies raise doubts about Obama administration, but president's approval rate steady: poll

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President Obama’s approval rating has remained steady, but the recent dust-ups over the Internal Revenue Service, the attack in Benghazi and the Justice Department’s targeting of journalists has raised doubts about the administration, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll showed that 48 percent of Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, while 47 percent disapprove. Nearly six in 10 voters, though, said the State Department’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi and the Department of Justice’s subpoena of phone records to investigate national security leaks have raised doubts about the Obama administration. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status raises doubts.

The poll of 1,000 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

The survey also showed that 47 percent of the respondents held Mr. Obama in a positive light and that 40 percent saw him in a negative fashion.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, has a 32 percent positive rating and a 41 percent negative rating.

Democrats have a total positive rating of 39 percent and a total negative rating of 37 percent.

Looking forward, 45 percent of respondents said they would like to see a Democrat-controlled Congress following the 2014 midterm elections, while 42 percent want a Republican-controlled Congress.

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