April 23rd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama's numbers high, but will they last?

Obama is enjoying high approval ratings, but history suggests they may not last.
Obama is enjoying high approval ratings, but history suggests they may not last.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A average of the most recent national polls indicates that nearly two out of three Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as president.

According to a CNN Poll of Polls compiled Thursday, 64 percent say they approve of how Obama's handling his duties as president. Twenty-eight percent disapprove.
The President's approval rating also stood at 64 percent in a CNN Poll of Polls compiled in January, just after inauguration.

"Most polls have shown Obama getting fairly high marks on most of the issues he has handled so far," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "One exception has been the way he has handled government assistance to failing banks and automakers. His numbers on the federal deficit are also low in comparison to his approval ratings on the economy and foreign policy."

So how does Obama compare to his predecessors in the White House around the first 100 days mark?

How's the president doing? CNN Radio breaks down the numbers


George W. Bush stood at 62 percent in a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in April 2001, Bill Clinton was at 55 percent in a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in April 1993, George H.W. Bush stood at 58 percent in a Gallup poll from April 1989, and Ronald Reagan was at 67 percent in a Gallup poll taken in April 1981.

"The hundred-day mark tends to fall during a period when Americans are still evaluating a new president. The danger period for most presidents comes later in their first year in office," Holland says. "Bill Clinton, for example, still had good marks after his first hundred days, but his approval rating had tanked by June of 1993. Ronald Reagan's approval rating stayed over 50 percent until November of his first year in office, but once it slipped below that mark, it stayed under 50 percent for two years. So Obama's current rating certainly does not indicate that he is out of the woods yet."

The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of three national surveys taken over the past week: Gallup Tracking, Pew, and AP/Gfk.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. wycliffe

    Good job president Obama. we will support you to make sure our country is doing good . from a republican

    April 23, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    To me, already an ardent supporter, my admiration has increased! He will surely be the best President this country has ever had! I have never in all my years seen a president work so hard for this country and for the middle class.

    April 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    All silly talk and hot air. I mean, take the Clinton example: Billy still won a second term, so what does all this tell you? Well, nothing really...it's just an opporunity for the media to pretend it's investigating (when it's really fabricating).

    April 23, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. katiec

    Well, if the media has its way the numbers will decline. The negitivity they show for our President is uncalled for and totally biased.
    When will they realize the American people are not buying it?

    April 23, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He is doing well so far. He needs to convince Republicans that they need to do some comprimising so that things can get done. Until that can happen, I don't think his number will stay up much into the summer.

    April 23, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Allan

    Nope. The Republican headline writers at CNN.com just couldn't report the facts, they had to editorialize. I am moved to email CNN about once a week for the anti-Democratic bias of its headlines, and it seems that almost every time I do, they change it within an hour to one more neutral.

    Elsewhere on this page a headline refers to "Dems" but spells out "Republican" in full. Funny how one fits but the other doesn't...

    April 23, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Yes, they will, because "Yes, we can"!

    April 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Mark

    Who cares about the deficit!

    Since Bush didnt help it means Obama should be able to double it right??

    April 23, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Kevin

    The 28% that dissaprove are the hardcore conservaties that are butt hurt they lost the election...giggle

    April 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Second Thoughts

    People like me who voted for Obama are having second thoughts. He is ill-prepared to be President and it's showing in both domestic and foreign policy.

    April 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Ex GOP old White male for obama

    Now here comes all the angry post by GOP members mad because all there tea party insanity has gotten them nowhere! Sad part is taxes is a wedge issue that might have took off and got them some ground. They did not have the strategic intelligence though to make sure the message was on taxes. They ended up with a bunch of wing nuts howling about Obama being a citizen or not and even worse that he is Hitler! What idiots!

    April 23, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Dave NYC

    Yes, but what does the Future suggest?

    April 23, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Chris from NY

    You have been asking this question since the transition and the more you asked the more he retained the high numbrs. Stop asking. It will come down but as bad you expect.

    April 23, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. S.Positive

    He will be fine. So far as he stays honest with the people, he will stay high up there for years to come. Honesty is key folks. He is as human as you and me so mistakes can happen but so far as he is honest about ir, he'll be fine. God is with Him

    April 23, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Mark

    I'm not spending to help the media's president out

    Im now waiting for my local liberal paper to go under! ya!

    April 23, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Esmail

    If it lasts longer, it wont make a good story keep on asking the same question and polling u will eventually get a good story!

    April 23, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. The Other Michael in Houston

    After what Bush left us, of course everything Obama has done has been an vast improvement. I will be curious to see after the crisis is over what will Obama do. His number wil not remain high. Remember we are talking about Americans, and we have have the shortest memories of all countries in the world so, in order for Obama to maintain this approval rating, he would literally have to go at this pace non stop his whole 8 errr I mean 4 years and I think that is asking too much of one administration. Plus, something will go wrong that is going to drop his approval rating, it's Newton's Law. Let's not be so quick to judge what he does today, let's see how what he does today affects tomorrow

    April 23, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. BL2009

    I am very pleased with his performance. He's jumped right in and taken on so many issues that had been previously mismanaged, bungled or ignored. He's doing a great job and I appreciate his dedication.

    April 23, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. RepubliKLANs Are Plain STUPID

    It's about time to stop doing these stupid polls...it's a general consensus at this point, that majority of americans want president Obama to succeed, and his program given enough time to yield positive results...

    except of course the conservative blowhards on the right, who will like to continue their partisan bickering of always saying "NO" at this time of great economic crisis and the news media who are always looking for the next tabloid news to jump all over on...

    give the new president a chance...

    April 23, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    Why do all the headlines make a statement and then follow with a negative question ... ?? Ratings high – but will they fall : Bail out Money approved – but will it work .. An intelligent President – but is he smart enough ... and on and on ...

    If it bleeds, it leads ... and the MSM seems anxious to make news where none exists and to keep the pot always bubbling.

    Yes, the polls will be up and down. That's the nature of polls, especially in difficult times ... but I am sure glad McCain/Palin aren't in charge.

    April 23, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Right Winger

    Trusting a CNN poll is like putting ACORN in charge of voter registration. CNN, I know you won't post this but let me just say that the reason there is hate in this country is because of your blogs. I come to your site everyday with an open attitude until I read the posts you allow on your site. Hate begets hate and you are part of the problem.

    April 23, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. some guy

    b-b-b-b-b-but the teabaggers started a grass roots revolution, i thought they were taking the country back. hmm, guess that whole 'community organizing' thing didn't work out too well for them, maybe they should have hired an expert. too bad for them there's already one in the white house and he doesn't need any more work right now.

    April 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Nick5066

    CNN...! How many times you ask this question..?

    April 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. arithmetic is liberal

    CNN is asking when Obama's polling numbers will fall. Must be Thursday.

    April 23, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Akin

    President Obama is doing a good job, I believe he will hold on to his good performance in the office. He will be one of the best president
    of this great nation.

    April 23, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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