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.


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soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Lateicha in FL

    those numbers going to come down fast if I don't find a job soon

    April 23, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. johns

    great President!

    We are starting to see a shift from the previous administration and the fruits are just encouraging and inspiring.

    That the American People agree with his plans even in such tough times, just underlines what an excellent job he is doing.

    April 23, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. rr

    will the numbers last? of course they will we are just about to celebrate 100 days in office and the numbers are still good. the question should be will obama change and do things that America people don't like then the numbers will change .

    April 23, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. yuri

    A man can do only certain things in his capacity, which is to say that BHO is not a superman, although many may expect that to be the case. His work needs a lot of cooperation from right, left and the center, which is not easy to come by.

    The right will always torpedo his tries and thwart any tangible tactical gains that will tail his talents. Nonetheless, there still is room for improvement and no body is perfect except Abe Lincoln, who, indeed, was the greatest politician ever.

    April 23, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Kevin

    None of the people who don't like Obama could do his job. So as far as I'm concerned, his approval rating so far is 100%! The haters shouldn't be recognized. He's making big decisions to get us out of this economic mess we're in. He's trying to rebuild bridges that were demolished during the Bush/Cheney era that will prayerfully bode well for us in the future. I want to hear the legitimate arguments from the people who disagree with what this guy is doing. I bet a nickel they think GWB, Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld were geniuses!

    April 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. ray ray

    His poll numbers will fall when the media decides to stop being Cheerleaders and START calling out the irresponsible budgets and policies:

    - Tripling the deficit
    - Coddling our enemies
    - Assaulting private citizens
    - Targeting military vets as terrorists
    - DOJ targeting Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for rounding up illegal immigrants

    Instead – we're treated to daily doses of Michelle Obama fashion articles and the latest on Bristol Palin's squabbles with her 19 yr old ex-boyfriend! (EYES ROLLING!)

    April 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Simpliticus

    President Obama is legitimate! His numbers are legitimate! He will almost likely continue to have high numbers because people think that this man is most appropriate after following George W. Bush. We have in Obama a man who continues to perform magnanimously in most efforts that he undertakes, and he has not taken a day of vacation to speak of! But think of the problems that this man has been left with after the George W. Bush administration. Anybody following Bush would have been desirable but we have in Obama a man who has enormous expectations to be great, given what Bush has left for him. Hence, Obama's high numbers!

    April 23, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Kevin B

    This is a remarkable number given the complete economic meltdown and the two wars he inherited, as well the republicans and other losers snipping at each and every move he makes. The last president to inherit such a mess was FDR and even he didn't have a war to deal with upon his taking office.

    Stick to your principles Mr President and continue to do what you know is right and americans will continue to support you.

    "aint nobody mad but the devil"

    April 23, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. white female

    Great Job Mr. President. We love you. Go get them, knock it out the ball park Sir. You will be the greats Prez that we have ever had.

    April 23, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Kim

    They will last. Whether the GOP likes it or not, America knows we needed to Change. YES WE CAN AND YES WE WILL!

    April 23, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Melissa

    Yes, they will. He's doing very well considering the mess that the Bush era left him.

    April 23, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. 'coiny'

    if he fails to take a firm stand on war crimes prosecutions, and the failure of prohibition,then his numbers wont last.

    April 23, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Here in Iowa

    Barry and Michelle my Bell, those numbers will drop like a rock. He's made only the worst decisions and only a 100 days in.

    My friends, here are only a smattering of examples:

    - Closing Club Gitmo
    - Putting American and our Grandchildren in debt with his porkulous bill
    - He hates capitalism and it seems the way he is apologizing for American his country too.
    - Need proof that the anoited one is making America a Socilaist union? All you have to do is look at how he fired the CEO of Chevy and how his administration is now running GM.
    - And finally (for the week that is) he is going to prosecute and jail the good folks of G.W. s admin. for going after terrorists for getting info that saved our country from another terrorist attacks. So we slapped and poured water on proven terrorists. Boo-Hooo! You can thank Dubya for saving our country and a year ago you could have taken that to the bank.

    Lets see the Drive bys report that info. (Clinton News Network, PMSNBC, Washington ComPost, I think not.)

    April 23, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Simmy

    Will you have a job tomorrow? Will your health still be great tomorrow? No one know the answers.....All the President can do is his best; and he's doing that. So far, he's doing a great job....He has accomplished much in almost 100 days......No one else, especially McCain and Palin, could have made the strategic moves necessary to keep our country afloat. He has attended the G20, The Summit of the Americas, extended his hand to our enemies without being intimidated. These are only a few of the positive achievements in his three months as President....He's traveling in the footsteps of F.D.R – minus claims now being circulated by Republican bubbleheads, that FDR was a Hoover....The days of sound bites and propaganda are over....Reality/Change Bites....

    April 23, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. gmoney

    Alright, people of the u.s.a. Let's get to praying for our president and keep him covered in prayer daily.

    April 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Beverly - Atlanta

    Ok CNN stop moderating my comments and let this one get thru.
    POTUS is doing an excellent job, give him a A+. He's not only brilliant but cute & sexy too.

    April 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Stacy

    No his numbers won't stay up. I'm not convienced there up right now. With MSNBC, CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, etc kissing his butt, and saying only good about him and his administration..who knows what average Americans really think.

    I don't know what the man is doing. He never seems to be working...always out and about. Does anyone know who's running the store? God help us if it's Biden.

    April 23, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Ted

    Will everyone stop making such a big deal about the 100 days thing? Obama has been very busy and has had successes and some failures. As I remember, Bush had a lot of failures and few successes.

    April 23, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Tim

    10% of republican's thought he was doing a good job. Stop asking so many democrats about what they think about their messiah.

    April 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    As long as the GOP continues to be the Party of No, the President's approval ratings will remain high. But besides for that, the release of the torture memos are really going to boost up his ratings. Everyone has been waiting for the Bush Administration to be held accountable for the treacherous deeds, and that day has finally come. The President's ratings are going to skyrocket next week. Wait and see.

    April 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Rick CT

    As long as the virtual news blackout (that started the day he was sworn in) continues on the number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. As long as he gets continues to get a free media pass on the selective release of documents. As long as he continues to hand select friendly questioners at his press conferences and/or no one asks any difficult follow-ups. As long as the gaffes which the media would have pounced on had they come from Bush, McCain, Quayle, etc. remain completely overlooked. As long as 2 million jobs losses per quarter (his record so far) continue to be downplayed. As long as the media continues to perpetuate the lie that Obama's policies will result in lower taxes (and thus, lower costs) for 95% of the people.

    April 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Needrealnews

    For those that complain about the financial bailouts and economy – where are the suggestions?

    Plenty of complaints, but no suggestions or alternative ideas...

    You may not agree, but they are doing the best they can with what they have.

    April 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Mr Collins

    President Obama is doing a great job while undoing and correcting a lot of the Bush blunders, I just can't wait for the economy to get better so President Obama's number will go up even higher.

    April 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    This is very good news most americans know the president is doing his job. It is a shame he has the republicans going against everything he is trying to do. We all know there isnt much left of the republican party and the american public dont have much choice with the people the republicans are throwing out there for canidates they are throwing out there. The way the republicans are acting will hurt them in 2010 & 2012.

    April 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Mira

    I love our president ! He is doing a great job in a very hard times.

    April 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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