February 20th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama approval rating drops, but still high

A new national poll indicates that two out of three Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States.
A new national poll indicates that two out of three Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that two out of three Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, released Friday, also suggests that six in 10 support the economic stimulus package that Obama signed into law Tuesday.

Obama's approval rating stands at 67 percent in the new poll. That's down 9 points from the most recent previous CNN poll, which was conducted in early February. But a breakdown by party suggests that the drop doesn't mean that the new president is in serious trouble.

"Since nearly all of the decline came among Republicans, this doesn't indicate that the honeymoon is already over," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Among Democrats, Obama's approval went from 96 percent to 92 percent; among Republicans, it dropped from 50 percent in early February to 31 percent now."

Among Independents, the president's approval rating now stands at 61 percent, down 6 points from earlier in the month.

Sixty percent of those questioned in the poll favored the economic stimulus plan, with 39 percent opposing the package. The $787 billion law is designed to pump up the economy by increasing federal government spending, sending aid to states in fiscal trouble, and by cutting taxes.

Do Americans think the stimulus will work?

A slight majority, 53 percent, said the plan will improve economic conditions, while 44 percent said it won't help stimulate the economy. And only 31 percent of those questioned indicated the package will improve their own financial situation, with two out of three saying the stimulus won't help them personally.

"Americans often don't see a connection between big government programs and their own wallets," Holland said. "That's what makes the various bailout packages such a hard sell with the public, and why the White House might have felt that they needed to include tax cuts in the stimulus package."

Of those 53 percent who said the plan will work, 19 percent felt it will start improving the economy by the end of the year, with 16 percent saying it will make a difference by next year and another 18 percent feeling it will take longer than two years.

"It goes without saying that Democrats support the stimulus bill and Republicans oppose it," Holland added. "Nearly nine in 10 Democrats favored the plan while three-quarters of Republicans thought it was a bad idea."

Forty-nine percent said they think the passage of the economic stimulus plan was a major victory for President Obama, with 28 percent calling it a minor accomplishment and 22 percent indicating it was not a positive achievement.

The bill passed Congress less than four weeks after Obama took office. It passed the House of Representatives with no Republican support. In the Senate, three of the chamber's 41 Republicans backed the bill.

The survey's release comes one month after Obama's inauguration as president. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Obama has so far met their expectations and another 16 percent suggested that he's exceeded their expectations. Nearly one in four said that the president has fallen short of what they expected.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, with 1,046 people questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Cbeaumon

    Bush did not get us into this mess as the media would like to depict. This mess is both parties fault. It is nonsense to try and blame this on one man.
    This stimulus package will make even a bigger mess for our country. We seem to be running to a socialized society which has been proven not to work in other questions.

    February 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Venia

    Obama has far exceeded my expectations. He has done more in one month then bush and the rethuglicans did in 8 years and Obama shows no signs of slowing down. It is nice to also have a president, house and senate who care for the middle class for a change. I give him 110%.

    February 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. LVN74

    Shame on him! He can't figure everything out in 30 days!?!?!? What a disappointment!

    February 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Franky

    "Obama's approval rating stands at 67 percent in the new poll. That's down 9 points from the most recent previous CNN poll, which was conducted in early February. But a breakdown by party suggests that the drop doesn't mean that the new president is in serious trouble."

    You know, I ain't gonna lie but that number might stay neutral at 60 or higher. To tell you the truth, is all about the mood of not only the country but party. I bet you that if my boy doe something good in Iraq or even Afghan or even a legislation bill involving ethics, that support will go higher with GOP but maybe not with Dems. The Dems are loving it, if I was the GOP, they better make sure their soldiers don't perefer a drink with my boy than their own party...because if the RNC said they'll change, there people are not definitely paying attention to them...

    February 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Melody Chapin

    President Obama has been transparent in his governing thus far. He has made the stimulus plan available for all to see. He has spoken to the general public on several occasions. He has been clear and informative about his plans and ideas. He has reached out to all parties. What is transparent is that Republican politicians are doing what they can to sabotage his presidency. They criticize everything he says and does.

    Get behind President Obama and help him do his job. Let's not focus on these silly ratings regarding his popularity at this point. He has done more in one month than any the last did in 8 years.

    February 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. michael

    D. Lo.. your wreckless and irresponsible voting is what got us here in the first place. Please don't make anymore requests. Anyone that voted for Barack or McCain without knowing shit about the economy and politics should not have a voice in this matter. Please just step back and stop making matters worse. Please.

    February 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Noelle, California

    Give me a break. The drop in his approval ratings is coming from the divisive GOP. This proves that they are nothing more than a partisan group of people. I'm a Democrat and a solid supporter of Obama and the job he is doing. I think he is doing excellent despite all the bickering between the Democrats and Republicans in congress, he has proven himself a strong, good and steady leader. I was very pleased with how he handled himself in Ottawa, Canada yesterday. He looked like he knew what he was doing and he looked like a commanding leader. Good job, Pres. Obama.

    February 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Scott the Independent

    It became very clear during the last weeks of the election, immediately after the election and progressively increased since, that there was a developing attempt by CNN to throw water on the countries support for our new President. Campbell Brown became increasingly critical of really petty things. Commentary became opinions masked as thoughtful analysis and its only been 30 – count them thirty days. Yet, when the President goes to cities that he didn't win in the election, states that have republican governors that help spread lies, misrepresentations and negative propaganda during the last 7 months the crowds still come, the blogs by the American people still support and yet your polls show a decline. I WONDER IF CNN IS STILL NEWS WE CAN COUNT ON

    February 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. John

    the republican machine is working hard to lower the president's approval rating. that's politics. keep it above 50 and you get re-elected. simple game.

    February 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Pamela

    Obama has done more for this country in 1 month than George W did in 8 years!
    Unfortunately, it may take 16 years to undo Bush's messes.

    February 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. CNN and neo-con corporate media continue propaganda !

    avoid AIPAC-agent-riddled corporate media

    like a plague!

    google "democracy now" and

    get real news and perspective!

    February 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. JOE.SALTER@MCHSI.COM

    when will the current generation learn that it is impossible to sspend ourselves into prosperity. Our government allowed our pwoplw to get into this shape, and now the lalwmakers think they can spend us out of it. Impossible. our false economy is turning us into a socialistic hypocracy.comments appreciated.

    February 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Angela

    Please CNN, are you desperately trying to find something, anything on Pres. Obama? Everyday someone is conducting a poll! Looking from the outside, it becomes laughable, really......

    February 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Lori

    I am so glad that the President is still doing well. This just means that the Republicans are no longer supporting this President as much(gasp- what a surprise). These are the same uneducated people that blindly followed George W and the Republicans while they spent OUR money on the Iraqi people, and allowed the Republicans to spend billions on other wasteful spending inititatives for 8 years, while the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

    Keep up the good work, President Obama. America is still supporting you!!!

    February 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. JV

    Do you want to know what else has been dropping since 11/4/08? The stock market....down 2,200 points and 25%. Investors are not too keen on socialism and wealth redistribution policies.

    February 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Michael

    The drop in support has come almost entirely from Repugnicans. They'd all vote against President Obama if the election were tomorrow. So who cares?

    Honestly, does any of this surprise anyone? Just like another of today's stories in which the RNC declares that Obama's first month has been a "disappointment".

    About the worst thing the President could do right now is take notice of the opinions of the party that screwed America sideways for the last eight years.

    February 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Cindy from NC

    WOW... I bet no one rated any other President in just 3 weeks and looked at their approval rating.

    GIVE ME A BREAK. The republiCONS have dug a huge mess over the last 8 years and put us in a debt that is unbelievable (when they had a surplus) and now some people are expecting a miracle in 3 weeks.

    It's like anything else, if you want to loose weight it takes just a much time to loose the weight as you put on the weight.

    If you want the Master's degree, it takes time and hard work. NOTHING HAPPENS OVERNIGHT AND IN 3 WEEKS..

    Anybody with common sense knows this will take at least a year to even see a halfway clear path. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED LIKE THIS IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

    THANKS BUSH, CHENNEY, RUMSFIELD AND ALL YOU OTHER CROOKS ARE GETTING AWAY FREE AND CLEAR AND LEAVING AMERICAN TO HOLD THE BAG.

    February 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    What honeymoon? The RePIGlicans haven't given the president the chance to show his vision. Get rid of these loser scumbags, and give the President a chance to govern!

    February 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Vegas

    I will be honest. I didn't vote for Pres Obama because i don't beleive in some of the socialistic ideas the Democratic party brings to the table. However, he IS my President and 30 days isn't enough time to judge anyone on their ability to do a good job at any job. It's a giant leap from being a Senator and representing the people of Illinois to being the President and RUNNING a country. Especially this country. We have so many different demographics that if you manage to please one you manage to piss off a hundred others.

    I want what's best for this country and ALL of its citizens. Not just a the extremely loud ones or the rich ones or the poor ones.

    Let's give the President some time. Besides, he doesn't run this country alone. Where the hell is Congress? Most of them have been doing this for years and have the experience to keep moving forward while the President settles into his position. But then again, none of them have managed to do what's best for this country so far so why should they worry about it now?

    February 20, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. GKL

    You can lead a horse to water (repubs) but you can't make it drink. How can Obama reach out to the republicans if they don;t want to be reach out to. It's either the republicans way or the highway. I say let Obama do his work the way he thinks it should be done and to he** with the republican party.

    February 20, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Hammer

    I think this administration's attitude toward the citizens of the US was made clear by the statement Holder made that we are "a nation of cowards".
    I know the media is trying to avoid this comment but it is very reflective of the feelings in Washington toward the American people in general.

    February 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Jackie

    I just don't get why the DEMS are "OK" with spending money we don't have. That's not the way to run a household...so it's not the way to run the country. My state is in trouble for to much spending, and it continues. All because of the DEMS. Just quit spending and pay the bills! Period! John McCain was going to freeze all spending for a year. What a novel approach.

    February 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. wendell

    one thing for sure neptune JEHOVAH GOD IS NOT WORKING THRU OBAMA ....I KNOW THIS BECAUSE EVERYTHING HIS HOLY WORD THE BIBLE IS AGAINST OBAMA IS FOR HE IS ANTI-GOD ONE DAY YOU WILL UNDERST AND I PRAY FOR YOUR EYES TO BE OPEN AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOD'S TO BECOME REAL TO YOU GOD BLESS

    February 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – Invoking his own name-and-shame policy, President Barack Obama warned the nation's mayors on Friday that he will "call them out" if they waste the money from his massive economic stimulus plan.

    "The American people are watching," Obama told a gathering of mayors at the White House. "They need this plan to work. They expect to see the money that they've earned — they've worked so hard to earn — spent in its intended purposes without waste, without inefficiency, without fraud."

    Article taken from yahoo.com
    ______________________________________________________

    Somebody needs to call the Prez and his goons out. They have wasted and spend stupid money in this stimulus. I mean, money for cable tv converter boxes is dumb. Given over $600 million for just thought is the most idiotic waste of funds in the entire package.

    And he needs to shut up. Everytime he talks about helping the economy the Dow drops.

    February 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. diana

    Its a lot lower than that...put out the true figures...and its the democrats as well as the republicans from what I see and hear

    February 20, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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