WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Pew Research Center learned from a recent poll that less than half of Americans are paying close attention to ongoing investigations into an incident in the Benghazi region of Libya that has resulted in a great deal of criticism for the administration of President Barack Obama.

On Sept. 11 of last year, four Americans – including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens – lost their lives during a nighttime attack on an American diplomatic outpost located in Benghazi, perpetrated by a group of heavily armed persons. Ten others were injured in the attack.

Since then, Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials have received a great deal of criticism for their handling of the situation, and have faced accusations of trying to cover up details.

Though the situation is a hot-button political issue, presently only 44 percent follow the hearings in detail, according to Pew – a drop from the 61 percent who were invested in initial coverage of the investigation back in October.

“The public paid limited attention to last week’s congressional hearings on Benghazi,” a release on the results of the study noted. “Fewer than half (44 percent) of Americans say they are following the hearings very or fairly closely, virtually unchanged from late January when Hillary Clinton testified.”

Still, despite the decline in interest, many offered clearly defined opinions to Pew researchers regarding the handling of both the situation itself by Obama, as well as the ongoing investigation – with most sentiments being divided along party lines.

“Among Republicans, 70 percent say the Obama administration has been dishonest and 65 percent say the hearings have been handled appropriately,” researchers learned. “Among Democrats, 60 percent say the hearings have gone too far, and 62 percent say the administration has been honest.”

Independents who were polled tended to side against the Obama administration.

The survey was conducted from May 9 to May 12 by asking approximately 1,000 adults throughout the nation for their general sentiments and levels of interest in the situation, the release stated.


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