April 23rd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
9 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. JP

    The only numbers that will remain high with Obama are the budget deficit numbers.

    April 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. frodo


    April 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Moderate Democrat

    Oddly enough, the conservatives and the GOP's keep spouting off about how we 'regret' our vote. 66% approve? Hmm...math seems to say otherwise. How retarded and delusional are these mental midgets?

    April 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Lynn

    Is CNN hoping it doesn't last?? Your "news" network is certainly trying to bring his numbers down.

    Can we have a report card on April 29th on your pundits and "reporters"?? What a joke that you have the arrogance to conduct this stupid report card.

    What about including the approval ratings of the Republicans??

    April 23, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. hadelaide

    You all have been trying VERY HARD to find negativity and make it stick. I find it surprising that people can't accept this man for who he is and what he is trying to achieve for this country. The "enemies" outside this country's boundaries will only succeed if the MANY enemies that exist within continue to tear him apart. There are many prayer partners praying for this President, that he should exhibit wisdom, fairness, and justice.

    April 23, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Charles Atlanta

    Of course it can remains high as long as President is honest. The rating drops if people found out the President lies to them just like Bush. Bush has 90 approval rating right after 9/11 and he spent them all.

    April 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Great Superb To be Expected from a person like Obama!!

    Obama – Biden 2012

    April 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Republicans Suck

    You media people crack me up.

    April 23, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. moderate


    April 23, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. George

    It would take Obama, 4 terms and 2 more wars to be as low as Bush was.

    April 23, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. sue

    I haven't agreed with him 100% on all issues but the President seems to be responsive to the people who voted for him and is making an effort to keep his campaign promises.

    Good job so far Mr. President.

    April 23, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |

    This article contains useless information considering that most all presidents do well in the first 100 days of their first term. Even the rethuglicants would have to agree -reluctantly – on that point.
    Report back in say October '09 – these polls might mean something then...

    April 23, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    There are two methods for evaluation; Critirion based and normative.

    In criterion based the job of the person to be evaluated is compared with a list of skills or outcomes. On this I would give him an B+ for what he has done so far (it is early yet). An A+ for effort.

    He scores much better on the normative evaluation. That is where his job is compred to others in the same position. Compared to the hatchet job W.Bush and his gang of thugs did both at home and abroad: Obama gets an A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++.

    Coming after W Bush;
    disadvantage= horrible mess
    advantage= bar is set so low that Obama had risen above it by 2:30 in the afternoon on Innaugeration Day. (he'd have done it sooner but he had to break for lunch)

    April 23, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. SLM

    NO! Once everyone finally figures out his best qualities are his ability to constantly campaign , speak from a teleprompter,waste billions of dollars and raise taxes on working people. People will finally figure out this tax cut ($13 per week) for 95% of Americans is just a smoke screen for all the tax increases coming to the working people. There aren't enough rich people in the country to support all his pork programs. Where do you think he is going to come up with that much money?

    April 23, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Truth Teller

    They will always be high for me, but the right wing will never acknowledge his acheivements because it conflicts with theirs.

    April 23, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. gerry

    I expect the President's favorable numbers will stay high as long as he keeps telling us the truth and doing the right thing-not necessarily the right political thing.

    April 23, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Pepou

    As long as he makes the right decisions and as long as the GOP continues on the path of total imbecility, licking the boots of Limbaugh and Coulter, President Obama's popularity will keep rising. Good.

    April 23, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. cindy-San Francisco

    It is not surprising that his numbers continue to be high. I believe it will last for quite a while as Americans are so desperate for change and will give him time to work on the economy.

    April 23, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Lydia

    Obama's numbers have been high and have remained high. Why do you keep asking this question.

    April 23, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. No Hillary = No Obama

    They will stay high as long as people keep comparing Obama's presidency to George Bush's run. People need to start measuring Obama's Presidency on it's own merits, not the grass is greener mentality leaving Obama always smell like a rose and people in a state of distortion thinking the Obama Presidency is more than it is. If anything Obama's Presidency will be transitional, not transformative. He's just not substantive enough.

    April 23, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Unshrub

    The news media has been projecting Obama’s demise ever since he spoke and the National Convention in ’04. The have been wrong every time.

    April 23, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Richard A. Spomer, Alexandria, VA

    How will they hold up after being in Afghanistan War now going over 7 years, the bailing out of Mortgage Companies that are receiving from both ends, be the head of the Democratic organization that approving of Gay & Lesbian marriage and activities, Keeping Christianity out of the schools ware it is in fact needed more now days, and then the facts which show that unemployment numbers correlate and Illegal immigration are in sink with one another.

    April 23, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Cerena

    As far as I am concerned....if he continues down the same paths he has to date chosen....his approval ratings will continue to be high and America will continue to be better off.

    April 23, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. jacksonville

    To President Obama: Your promise and effort to do well for the sake of the America people and this country had done just fine (inspite what you and your administration inherited or had to deal with) in the 100th days as President. I know you can not and will not be able to do anything or everything overnight or alone; but I am very thankful and grateful for an administration who has accomplished something (better than nothing) in getting the economy stable. I have no time frame and there shouldn't be a time frame (politics tradition).Best regards to you and your administration. I have confidents that the best is yet to come from President Obama and his administration. Keep up the good effort to fight the fight.

    Obama/Biden/Hillary 2012

    April 23, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Mississippi Mike

    Bush had similar numbers at his 100 day mark. There is already a swelling backlash against Obama's reckless spending, expect his numbers to drop significantly as he continues to fumble and stumble.

    April 23, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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