Poll: Blame for VA mess not Obama's alone

 

Nearly 8 in 10 surveyed people blame the Veterans Affairs scandal, at least in part, on President Obama. 

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday found 38 percent of people blame the president either a great deal or a good amount for findings that some VA facilities around the country falsified statistics to hide long wait times for medical care. 

Another 41 percent said Obama deserves some of the blame, while 20 percent said he shoulders no blame. 

Eighty-two percent describe the allegations as very serious, while 15 percent describe them as somewhat serious. 

Republicans are the most likely to blame Obama, with 59 percent saying he deserves at least a good amount of the blame. Thirty-nine percent of independents said the same, while only 19 percent of Democrats put the blame on the President. 

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned last week after an inspector general's report found that 1,700 veterans who sought appointments were not included on a Phoenix clinic’s official wait list. The report found the average wait time at the clinic was 115 days.

Sixty-five percent of people agree with Shinseki's decision to resign. 

Tuesday’s poll found 77 percent of people support the administration's plan to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan to 9,800 at the end of the year, down from 32,000. That number is expected to shrink to near zero by 2016. Only 19 percent oppose the plan. 

Forty-five percent of people approve of Obama's handling of the situation in Afghanistan, while an equal amount disapprove. Those numbers mirror the president’s overall approval rating. Forty-six percent approve of his job performance, while 51 percent disapprove.

The poll surveyed 1,002 people from May 29-June 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.