Americans view of Petraeus plummets in poll

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 5:48 p.m.

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, nearly a third of all Americans now hold unfavorable views of former Gen. David Petraeus, a once wildly popular public figure, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Still, positive views of the general outweigh negative ones (45 to 32 percent), and there is a more unfavorable impression of the FBI and the Obama administration for their handling of the matter than there is for Petraeus himself.

In July 2010, when Petraeus was chosen to lead a big expansion of American military operations in Afghanistan, he had few detractors. Just 9 percent of Americans held unfavorable views at the time, according to Gallup; 56 percent expressed favorable impressions.

Petraeus' resignation was prompted by an extramarital affair he had with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

About 51 percent of men now hold favorable views of the former general; 30 percent hold unfavorable ones. The split is far more even among women: 39 percent express favorable views, 34 percent unfavorable ones.

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