Voters Give Obama a Pass on Gulf Oil Spill

Both before and after the spill the president's numbers are relatively flat.

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By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers

Despite the slow-motion environmental cataclysm unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and the widely panned Oval Office address this week, President Obama's approval ratings haven't taken too much of a hit. Both before and after the spill, his numbers are relatively flat, says Andrew Kohut, the polling guru from the Pew Research Center. "The public understands the difficulties associated with this,and they think the fault lies with BP rather than the government."

Indeed, BP CEO Tony Hayward took a historic public flogging before a House committee on Thursday. As for comparisons with the situation five years ago in Louisiana, they don't stack up. "So far," Kohut says, "it's not Katrina."

  • See photos of the Gulf oil spill disaster.
  • Check out a roundup of editorial cartoons on the Gulf oil spill.