49% of Americans Approve of Obama, According to Pew

Have the IRS scandal and NSA surveillance hurt Obama's approval rating? Well, that depends on who you ask.

A Pew Poll released today shows that 49 percent approve of Obama, with 43 percent disapproving. These numbers are similar to Pew's May numbers, which had Obama's approval rating at 51 percent. So how do we explain the approval rating released on Monday from a CNN/ORC International Poll? Monday's results had Obama sitting at a 45 percent approval rating, his lowest since November.

Mark Blumenthal, a polling expert at Huffington Post, explained that CNN exaggerated Obama's approval decline since their previous polls contained outliers. In May, the same CNN poll found Obama to have a 53 percent approval. Blumenthal said out of 36 polls that month, CNN's was the only one to have Obama above 51 percent.

The takeaway? Obama's approval rating is down, but probably not by eight points.