April 23rd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
6 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. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    This is a time of a new presidency for change which means his number will be changing... for even better numbers with time! That's my level of confidence!

    April 23, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    Don't know or care about his 'numbers.' I only care that he's doing his best to fix all the failures, corruption, wars, and economic disasters left behind by Bush and the Republicants.

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

    CNN crew,

    How come you guys do not refer to the President as "President Obama". Why do several reporters keep refering to him just Obama or Mr. Obama. I belive he deserve the title he earned and deserve everyone's respect .

    Thanks.

    April 23, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Gracie, MD

    YES, if President Obama continues to report to the American People then he WILL continue to receive HIGH marks.

    We finally have a President who speaks directly to the People, FOR the people. It's like finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The last 8 years were pure torture!! American morale was at an all time low, Americans were HATED around the world, our Republican President, Vice President and Congress drove our economy over the cliff and did NOT bat a eye in doing so. Cheney himself said it was "our turn..and we don't care about the debts". WHAT???

    Well, look who's running off at the mouth NOW (Cheney) who for 8+ years did whatever the hell he wanted as Vice President, and did NOT care about the millions of Americans who were going to suffer by his selfish political corruption!!

    April 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Steph

    It is amazing what this one person has accomplished in such a short period of time! Keep up the great work Mr. President!

    April 23, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Schneider (I) - CA

    27% approved of Bush at the end of his term
    28% disapprove of Obama now

    coincidence? I think not.

    April 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Kpawlak

    Yes. The numbers will stay high. The media will make sure of it.

    April 23, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. keeth in california

    "...but will they last?"

    No, they won't, like all poll numbers for all politicians.

    Who writes these titles?

    April 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. lovable liberal

    Will they last? What if the headline asked, Will they go higher?

    April 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Biff Biffington

    a little perspective.....

    NONE of the other guys they mentioned walked into the office with EVERYTHING on fire... and Obama's #'s are STILL high.

    April 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. sandy

    He has been in office less than 100 days, but those days have seen his every move and every word under scrutiny. I just wish these pundits would let this man doe his job. If he fails, then go after him. I personally think he is doing a good job. There is no one in congress or the senate who can judge this man yet. I laugh when I see some of them come on TV and offer their comments and I think to myself, yea, wonder what you would do if you were put in the situation this man has been put in. Guess we are all lucky that none of these people are in situation. I cringe to think about it. I was a republican, but the first time I saw this man, I knew he was special and I for one am going to back this man as my President. I'm starting to feel really proud of my country again.

    April 23, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. he really is doing a fine job

    we are all proud of him, keep up the good work

    April 23, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. dave

    If he can stay above this torture thing his number will stay high. But I think that this will drag his numbers down. This just what the GOP wanted.

    April 23, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Eric J in St.Louis

    I'm sure those on the far right like Rush and company hope they DON'T last much longer, but so far no matter how they try to tear this man down he seems to bounce back. Makes them look more and more foolish everyday.

    April 23, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. MaryanneAZ

    It is a tad disingenuous to use the poll numbers without weighing in the Nation's status at the time of the polling. For one to say that the Nation was in an equivalent place when Dubya completed his first 100 days is completely bogus. Dubya had a huge surplus, the economy was doing well and we were not engaged in two wars with our reputation in tatters around the World. For President Obama to have a 64% approval rating, in light of these egregious circumstances, is not just standard first 100 days fare, it is a huge feat that deserves recognition. Bravo, Mr. President, well done and keep up the great work!!!

    April 23, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. TCM

    This is total BS!! CNN stop lying. Again, you've misled the country with irresponsible journalism. The poll data you're referring to is a CNN Research poll, usually of democrats, and usually only 1000 people or so...How can you, with any shred of credibility you have left as a news source...claim that 2 of 3 Americans approve of Obama? IT's not nearly that high.....in fact, here's a poll...at a tea party I asked 345 people if they approved of Obama's performance so far....results? 0% approval, and a lot of F-bombs.....so, stop skewing the data. I also had a garage sale. Those usually attract a lot of lowe income folks...(you know, the ones ACORN bought votes from). Well, out of 146 people, 82, or 56%,voted for Obama. Out of that 82, 53 of them regretted voting for Obama, many calling him a liar...now, that's 64% of his fan club turning on him...at a fricking garage sale! So, CNN, you need to right your ship~The honeymoon's over for Obama, and if you're not careful all of your credibility will be down the toilet...

    April 23, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. TL

    . . ."how Obama's handling his duties as president" . . . let's see, he's visiting with foreign enemies while bad-mouthing his country . . let's see, he finally got a dog for his girls . .. let's see, his wife's abs were highlighted in a woman's magazine . . let's see, oh yeah, did I mention he's been visiting our foreign enemies while bad-mouthing his country – the country he is the President of?

    April 23, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Eugene

    You media guys have been posing this question since spring of 2008. When will you shelve it and realize that America finds Obama to be quite credible, but that that's not terribly important. Let's focus instead on the progressive questions and possibilities before the country, instead of constantly poll-watching the players of the big game.

    April 23, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Renfield

    It's well-known that CNN polls are bogus. The reason they run so many of them is so their liberal drones and sycophants can use them as a talking-points club. The polls are misleading at best, and downright phony at worst.

    April 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. jaynyc

    how many more times are you going to run a story like this? come on, CNN, we all know you "feed" and don't "lead" but maybe you could try, just once, to be a little less repetitive and a little more journalistic.

    April 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Paul

    Why is it whenever CNN reports on high poll numbers for the president, there's always that "but will they last" bit added on? Of course the numbers will change, but it seems like more emphasis is being put on an unknown future that the president's great national popularity in the present.

    April 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Tracy M.

    "Yes, his numbers are high, but. . ." "Yes, he's delivering on his campaign promises, but. . ." "He's bright, intelligent, accessible and hardworking, but. . ." Jeez, guys. Get off your BUTS!

    April 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. KATHLEEN

    The high numbers MUST LAST! Yes, Obama's numbers will last. The worst thing that can happen
    to our Country ever again, is that the Rethugs take over. God forbid.
    I
    What that would result in, NO BENEFITS, No one to fight for the
    Middle Class, and the RETIREES. And, under Republican "RULE",
    you would be, basically, on your own. God help Social Security!.

    The Republicans, yes folks, and even Ron Paul wants to PUT
    and end to ALL BENEFITS. That is what they mean when they
    say, NO BIG GOVERNMENT!. Means NO HELP, whatsoever.
    While the rich get richer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Jason

    Ohhhh the will last. He's an amazing president and the MAJORITY of this country knows that. The only people complaining are the right wing nuts who still think Bush was great.

    April 23, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. mark

    You gotta be kidding me on the polls!!! What question was asked for the poll????? How about asking do you think President Obama is taking this country in the direction of prosperity????

    April 23, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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