A majority of Americans say former head of the CIA Gen. David Petraeus's decision to resign after a sex scandal was a necessary one, according to a new poll from Gallup released Tuesday. Fifty-one percent said Petraeus had to go, while 41 percent say he should have remained in his position. Fifty-six percent of Republicans, 50 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of independent voters said Petraeus had to resign.
Petraeus's personal favorability rating has also fallen. In March of 2011, 55 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the former general, while 11 percent had an unfavorable one. That split is now 40 percent favorable, 30 percent unfavorable. From Gallup:
Petraeus has been a significant figure in U.S. foreign policy in recent years, first overseeing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and then serving as director of the CIA. His career in government now appears over after the revelation of his extramarital affair, and his public image has suffered as well. Still, Americans are more likely to view him positively than negatively, suggesting they may put more weight on his military and political service and accomplishments and less on personal scandal.
The Gallup poll used 1,009 live telephone interviews with Americans via landlines and cell-phones conducted Nov. 15-18. It has a sampling error of 4 percent.