June 23rd, 2009
11:36 AM ET
5 years ago

Poll of Polls: Obama more popular than his policies

Obama's approval ratings have held steady.
Obama's approval ratings have held steady.

WASHINGTON (CNN) An average of the most recent national polls indicates that six in 10 Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as president.

According to a CNN Poll of Polls compiled Tuesday, 60 percent say they're happy with how Obama's handling his duties as president. Thirty-one percent disapprove of his performance.

"The president's average approval rating has held steady for the past two months," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland Tuesday. "Obama's average approval rating in the seven polls taken in early June was 61 percent, and the average approval rating of the five polls taken in May was also 61 percent."

While Obama's overall approval rating remains basically unchanged, his marks on some specific issues have dropped over the past few months.

"President Obama is more popular than his policies. Three-quarters of Americans like President Obama. But just over half approve of his policies," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

So how do Obama's approval ratings compare to his predecessors' at the same time in their presidencies?

"From a numbers perspective, Obama's track record so far is closest to Ronald Reagan's. Reagan's approval rating in mid-to-late June of his first year in office was 59 percent," Holland said. Obama is far more popular than Bill Clinton was in June 1993, when Clinton's rating was only 39 percent, he added - and far less popular than the elder George Bush, whose approval rating hit 70 percent in June 1989. George W. Bush's rating was 55 percent in the summer of 2001.

CNN's Poll of Polls consists of five surveys conducted over the past two weeks: ABC/Washington Post (June 18-21), the Gallup tracking poll (June 18-21), CBS/New York Times (June 12-16), NBC-Wall Street Journal (June 12-15) and the Pew Research Center (June 10-14). The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of several surveys, and does not have a sampling error.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    If the extremes were real I'd take the socialism of the Democratic party over the fascism of the Repunblicans any day. The small brained dito-head and Fox minions love to demonize the European and Canadian governements. But if you/we truely understood how they are structured I'd bet 80% of Americans would love to have many their programs or systems of goverment ~ four to six weeks a year vacation, extended paternity leave for both parents, excellent free health care, education through college, just to name a few.
    Sure you might not be able to buy a Hummer, but how many of you want a Hummer? Reality can be a good thing, give it a try.

    June 23, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. playlist

    Great Job President...in just 6 months you have done more than Republicans in 8 years

    1. Improved our international image
    2. clear ed the way for embryo research
    3. closing Guantanamo prison
    4. signed Lilly ledbetter fair pay act
    5.creates credit card bill of rights
    6. just yesterday .....prescription costs lowered for seniors
    7. weapons system acquisition reform act

    Keep it coming.....HealthCare Reform NEXT

    June 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Tom

    Roger .. the last eight years were not typical Republican beliefs. Bush was a neo-con lunatic. A Ron Paul or JOhn McCain spending hawk Republican would have been different. Obama's stimulus plan was a huge mistake, as was Bush's. Stop being a partisan hack and realize that both parties are failing us.

    June 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. mike

    to be honest guys i think obama would make a better wal-mart greeter then a president!! i can't wait for his 4 year term to be up so we can get this country back on the right track but man it is going to take at least 10 years to clean up his mess!

    June 23, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Shawn - GA

    Nothing has changed, he is all hype and no substance. He was before the election and he still is. Far too many people will "approve" of the man no matter what he does and that is why we keep seeing these things...

    June 23, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Raymond Burgoon-Clark

    Terry said:

    "Our happiness and our lives are not significant or important to Conservative leaders. They are the handmaidens of the wealthy class."

    EEEWWW!!! Scrub my mind with cauldron cleaner NOW!

    Rush Limbaugh in a French maid uniform???!!!

    June 23, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Jim

    Holmes, your comment was perfect; what else can be said about these types, its amazing. Thanks for summing it up in a more simple way than I probably can. God knows simple is their cup of tea.

    June 23, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Hugo

    I just keep wondering when these people posting for government controlled healthcare are going to wake up. Where do you think the funding comes from to pay for all of this multi-faceted array of public handouts? The private sector is frozen like a deer in the head lights, I am talking jobs that create commerce. We have lost the growth and development industries due to government interference, we have lost the auto industries due to government interference and now we are dooming the healthcare industry due to government interference. I wonder why they haven't hit up the legal industry yet by curbing in lawyers? It isn't all about Obama, it is now about putting food on the table and keeping the roof over your head, wait till the winter slow months if you think business is dead now!

    June 23, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Ben

    Joe – "If you all think you can do a better job, why don't you go into politics! It is easy to talk trash on the sidelines..why don't you all get in the game and then talk"

    Why don't you follow your own advice before making stupid comments like this?

    June 23, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. lionheart

    Funny, the link from the Politics home page is:

    Poll: Obama's approval rating holds steady

    And then when you get to the page the title is:

    Poll of Polls: Obama more popular then his policies

    If that isn't media bias, I don't know what is. If someone just glanced at the link on the homepage you would feel that obama is doing great. But the poll really is saying what everyone is thinking: hey, I like Obama, love to have a beer with the guy BUT his policies stink.

    CNN, stay above the brown-nosing please.

    June 23, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Party of NO

    It was Carters gas lines that I was waiting in, Not Nixons. You know, Carter, the worst president ever!! Obama may quite possibly take that title from Carter!

    June 23, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. LANY

    If you're going to comment, please use actual facts rather than recycled pundit talk. You look and sound ridiculous.
    If you think Obama is doing a great job, you voted for him and he can do no wrong. He's not infallible, get a clue.
    If you think he's doing awful, you didn't vote for him and nothing he will do or say will change your mind. He's not a Socialist or a secret Muslim, get a clue!
    If you're a normal person, you accept that he's on par with other presidents popularity wise and have some concerns about his policies and how they will affect us in the future. He's doing alright. Deal with it!

    June 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Ben

    Terry from Texas – "They disagree with him because they want him out of power and they will oppose, block, stall, lie, intimidate, inhibit, prevent, exaggerate, confuse, minimize, distort, and defy him as a matter of principle — no matter how much the middle and lower classes suffer."

    No, they disagree with Obama because his policies are bad for the country. Or can't you grasp that concept? Do you not see what's going on here? Or do you have too much of a man-crush on Obama to care?

    June 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. worriedmom

    Uh oh, the Libs are going crazy. Their Great One is slipping in Polls. What will they do? Maybe some of the Kool-Aid drinkers are now switching to another drink that causes their thinking to become more alert.
    That's ok Libs, keep whining, crying, saying how much you hate Republicans, how the world is so mean to you and keep on with your miserable life. Just keep drinking your Kool-Aid and take your Valium.
    You will need it when Obama destroys everything our country has fought for.

    June 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Can't we all just get alone

    Can't we all just AGREE to DISAGREE? For those of us that love the President and the job he is doing . . . GREAT! For those that oppose the President for whatever their reasons may be . . . It's their perogative.

    Please just stop the HATE!

    June 23, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. mike

    eddy come on buddy the guy has never even held a gun in his hand and he is qualified to lead our military? im not sure what your job description is for the president of the united states but he certainly isnt qualified and for that matter i have to question if he knows what his job is supposed to entail b/c he certainly isnt doing it!

    June 23, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Jody Feldman

    The comments regarding the latest poll results show just how polarized we have become in this country. Maybe we can't be one big country. We are so diverse and so different, and seemingly incapable of reaching any consensus.

    I am struck by the relative tone of the comments against President Obama versus the tone of those in favor of his policies. The grammatical and spelling errors of those on the far right speak volumes about the quality of their thought processes. They are not intelligent, well-reasoned comments.

    Interesting...

    June 23, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. "Socialist"

    He's a socialist...blah blah blah
    He's making the country unsafe... blah blah blah
    I'm moving to Canada... blah blah blah

    Watch a lot of Faux News, eh?

    June 23, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. lynn in NM

    He can talk, but has no experience to lead in a dangerous world.

    June 23, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Philip Grant

    ATTENTION OBAMA HATERS:

    There is only one poll that counts. It was taken on November 4, 2008.
    WE WON, YOU LOST. Get over it!! There's nothing you can do about it.
    Stop crying, get ready for 2012, at the rate you're going you'll probably loose again.

    June 23, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. watcher

    The good news is Americans are starting to wake up about Obama. The bad news is we have 3.5 more years of him!

    June 23, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Jeremiah

    He has done more than any other president in the first 100 days? PLEASE! You are right though, in his first 100 days he raised the deficit by more than any other president has in their first 100 days, he has managed to ignore threats from North korea, managed to spend a lot of money to fix the economy which hasn't been fixed at all (hence the jobless rate continuing to rise) and he has managed to apologize to every nation he could for how bad we apparently are. Yeah, great job.

    June 23, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Mike in Indy

    Indiana Governor Mitch "The Blade" Daniels is the only person that can get us out of this mess. He HAS TO BE elected in 2012. Democrats and Republicans both love him and he is a brilliant person, fiscally responsible, and a creative and innovative thinker.

    June 23, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Silly me

    Somehow, this must be Bush's fault.

    June 23, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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