Barack Obama

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has taken a huge hit in the wake of the scandals surrounding the White House, a new poll has found.

Fewer than half the registered voters surveyed now believe Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” according to the poll conducted by Quinnipiac University. That figure had stood at 58 percent the last time the question was asked in September 2011. Now it is at 49 percent.

And it is the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service that is hitting Obama hardest, the survey found. The voters, who were surveyed between Wednesday last week and Tuesday of this week, believe that controversy is more worrying than those surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, or the seizure of phone records from journalists.

According to the Connecticut university’s survey, more people now view the president negatively than positively. Slightly under half — 49 percent — say they have a negative view of Obama, while 45 percent have a positive view.

Just one month ago, before news of the IRS controversy broke, the president’s job approval rating was more positive than negative, at 48 to 45 percent.

When it comes to the individual controversies swirling around the Obama administration, 44 percent of voters see the IRS prying into conservative groups as the most important, while 24 percent say they are most concerned about the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, and 15 percent say the records seizure at news organizations is most important.