Survey Shows Skepticism of Benghazi Committee Motives

Clinton will testify on Oct. 22 to a panel that 30 percent of poll respondents think is politically motivated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roughly half of Republicans think Congress is seriously interested in finding out the truth about the Benghazi attacks, according to a recent Economist Group/YouGov Poll.  

Only 49 percent of GOP respondents agreed that the 17-month investigation into events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 assault on the U.S. diplomatic consulate in Libya represents a "mostly serious attempt to find out what really happened."  

The poll, conducted Oct. 8-12, surveyed 2,000 Americans on whether the Benghazi probe is politically motivated, in the wake of sniping about House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's rhetorical flap . House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has been defending his panel after accusations that Republicans are out to get former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  

But Democrats who responded to the poll did not show overwhelming support for their party's messaging either. Only 50 percent agreed the Benghazi investigation was mostly orchestrated to embarrass the Obama administration and Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner.  

Overall, 30 percent of respondents agreed politics — not fact-finding — prompted the panel's work, while about a quarter of respondents thought Congress was equally motivated by both. Another 24 percent of those polled think investigators want to find out what really happened.  

In a breakdown by party, the poll finds:

9 percent of Democrats think congressional investigations into the attack are mostly a serious attempt to find out what really happened; 50 percent think it's politically motivated; 18 percent think Congress is equally motivated by both of these things; 22 percent said "not sure."

49 percent of Republicans think the probe is serious; 12 percent think it's purely political; 25 percent think it's an equal mix; 14 percent said "not sure."

20 percent of independents think the probe is serious; 26 percent think it's political; 27 percent think it's a mix; 27 percent said "not sure."

The opt-in, Internet-based survey had a 2.8-point error margin. CQ Roll Call is a subsidiary of The Economist Group.

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.