Who do Americans blame for the VA scandal?

NEW YORK -- Americans are split in their thoughts over who is most to blame for the problems at Veterans Affairs Department medical facilities, which involve allegations that VA hospitals kept delays in treatment off the books and that patients may have died waiting for care.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and the VA (33 percent) receive more blame than either local VA hospitals (28 percent) or President Obama (17 percent). About a quarter of Americans have no opinion.

Partisan differences emerge: While 31 percent of Republicans blame Shinseki and the VA for the problems, nearly as many blame Mr. Obama (30 percent). Fewer Democrats and independents say the president is at fault; they are more likely to blame Shinseki, the VA and local VA hospitals.

Those who have served in the military are also more apt to blame Shinseki.

Americans are split as to the root cause of the long wait times for patients. Forty-two percent think the problems of long waiting times at VA medical facilities are the result of not having enough resources to take care of patients, but 41 percent think it's more a matter of these hospitals not properly managing their resources. Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to say the problems are a management issue.

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This poll was conducted by telephone May 20-21, 2014 among 1,056 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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