July 9th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Is President Obama a strong leader?

Obama still inspires confidence -- but his leadership marks are slipping.
Obama still inspires confidence - but his leadership marks are slipping.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama still inspires confidence, but a new national poll indicates that the number of Americans who say he is a strong leader and is tough enough to handle a crisis has dropped significantly over the past few months.

Seventy-two percent of people questioned in a CNNCNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning (PDF) believe Obama inspires confidence. That's down three percentage points from a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted in February.

Seven out of 10 also said the president is a strong and decisive leader. But that figure is down 10 percentage points from the opening days of Obama's presidency. Sixty-four percent said that Obama is tough enough to handle a crisis, down nine percentage points from February.

"Although his rating as a strong leader has dropped, he still scores fairly well on that measure," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But Obama's stand on the issues and his plans for the future appear to be his biggest weakness."

The poll suggests that 53 percent believe Obama has a clear plan for solving the country's problems, down 11 percentage points since February. And 56 percent said the president agrees with them on the issues they care about, down seven percentage points from February.

"The 56 percent figure is still a majority, but it contrasts poorly with the nearly eight in 10 who say they approve of Obama as a person," Holland added. "When it comes to personal characteristics, his strong suit is his ability to inspire confidence. That's not a bad thing for a president to have in tough economic times."

Half of those questioned said that the Democrats' control of Congress is good for the country. Forty-one percent believe it's a bad thing.

The poll was conducted between June 26 and 28, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. david

    obama is intellectual, like jimmy carter was as potus, but definitely not tough or a strong leader. obama will have to do until the next election.

    July 9, 2009 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  2. Barb

    No, he's too worried about being popular, and he is too soft on the counties that defy everthing that the United States of America USED too stand for, human rights, free speech, woman rights etc.... I'm sure the middle east will bennefit from his weakness, but the americans will pay in the long run.

    July 9, 2009 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  3. Scott, Tucson

    You're kidding right? What does a street Community Organizer knows anything about real leadership other than trying to get everybody on the block to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

    You people voted Obama into the WH because he was BLACK not for any leadership skills

    July 9, 2009 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  4. Renee

    WE Love you Mr.President Barack Obama.

    July 9, 2009 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  5. Jim

    The problem is that he is just like all our past politicians. He paints his plan for the economic recovery of america with broad strokes, and then leaves the actual recovery process in the hands of the very people who destroyed the economy to begin with!!

    July 9, 2009 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  6. Erik

    And reality starts to sink in...the numbers will continue to drop.

    July 9, 2009 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  7. Eric Rainey

    Yes he is!!

    July 9, 2009 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  8. coherent1

    Lookin' for a reaction to this article? OK, here's one...... ho hum, yawn!

    July 9, 2009 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  9. Willy Brown

    Is this another Wolfie news room straw poll? Obummer has no clue.

    July 9, 2009 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  10. kishen c.rao

    Pres. Obama is a very strong leader. Of course, It takes time for the nation to recuperate from this fiscal mess caused by idiotic theories of George Bush. Fundamentally, we should not have gone to war with Iraq, on which we poured money like crazy and it all took the heavy toll financially on America. Are these Saudi Arabia guys coming to our rescue? Absolutely no...In fact, they are not even supplying enough oil for the nation...so Gas hike...yes, the guy in Texas, T. Boone Pickens is absolutely right...(I say 100 percent right). We americans need to be more Oil independent and Pass health care now...now...we need Government run health care....you know, all these lobbyists are robbing the nation, this pres. obama knows thoroughly...and fix immigration too...nation's dollars are going overseas...wake up america wake up..........God bless us all with all his might...God bless the nation, the USA!!!!Amen....

    July 9, 2009 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  11. independent Jim

    Typical popularuty polling numbers. As the presidency drags on, any President's numbers go dowm. These numbers are practically meaningless because the public will vote with it's pocketbooks in 2010 and 2012 ("It' the economy, stupid!" – James Carvel).

    July 9, 2009 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  12. pamela

    The republicans need a reality check! How can Presient Obama ,in six months, correct the 8 year horror that their previous administration left this country with? Where was the public outrage and disagreement when they allowed Bush to create this mess? They are cowards !

    July 9, 2009 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  13. john

    yes pres obama is a strong leader with many good intentions, but he must stop this job outsourcing!!! its killing our country

    July 9, 2009 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  14. ttofast70@comcast.net

    Horsecrap, he's only been there 6 months. The "John King" Network is full of it as usual.

    July 9, 2009 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  15. Larry

    He's a strong leader, he's an intelligent leader, and he's who we need to get this country out of this mess.

    People need to give his programs time to work. He's not been in office 6 months yet.

    Again, thank 8 years of Republican abuse and negligence for this crisis. It wasn't President Obama's doing.

    July 9, 2009 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  16. aCorNN watchdog

    Reminds me of the Clinton days when Politicians would check the polls before getting out of bed....

    Did I see something about libs in Mass filing a 10th amendment lawsuit.....isn't that against the Liberal charter or something.
    Having the 10th amendment enforced is a Libs worst nightmare

    July 9, 2009 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  17. WENDELL

    Not yet. He needs to buck the status quo and really create CHANGE.

    He's basically tugging Bush and Cheney by keeping the illegal wars going on in Iraq and Afgahnistan. If he was a strong leader he would have done the right thing and ended these wars on day one.

    So far, he hasn't accomplished much but I hope this will change with time. He's got great potential.

    July 9, 2009 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  18. audacity of a dope

    HAHAHHA.....HAHAHHAA Is this a real question. My stomach hurts from laughing so hard. NO

    July 9, 2009 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  19. Keep Cool

    Yes, in a thoughtful and quiet way. We've had no hoopla a la Bill Clinton, no "Mission Accomplished" as in George Bush, "Tear Down This Wall" as in Reagan or, thankfully, "malaise" as in Carter.

    In very rough times, whether you always agree with his policies, Obama has brought a team to the White House that exudes competence, calmness and a capability of understanding and communicating complex issues.

    Contrast this with the bad acting of Boehner and far too many members of the GOP who offer nothing but doom, destruction and not one alternative proposal that isn't more of the same.

    July 9, 2009 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  20. tk1

    NO, thats why they hacked into Goverment computers....

    July 9, 2009 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. Rick Roberts

    I believe our President is doing a great job. I think he is strong enough to handle the job, whether it's the economy or the wars he inherited.
    What I think is that the GOP needs to back off a little and try to help him succeed. When the American people voted in November, they gave our President an overwhelming mandate to do it his way, not McCain's way.
    I believe that by the end of his first term, his grades will make it all but impossibe to beat him in his bid for re-election.

    July 9, 2009 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  22. N. McCabe

    He is doing a great job at a time when we need a president who has to juggle dozens of critical issues.
    All with his usual "no drama" personality.

    I'm delighted that a clear majority of Americans agree with me and voted for this guy.

    Obviously the No-Nothing, Tin-Foil Hat Brigade is writhing with their usual mean-spirited shenanigans. It makes me even happier.

    The clear contrast between Obama/Biden and the last incompetant crew is stunning.

    It's great to have a smart, hard-working man with *true* family values as president.

    July 9, 2009 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  23. Anonymous

    The President has been in Office less than six months, attempting to correct eight (8) years of oo-humm leadership, while still paying the cost of George Bush's war. The country needs to stop looking for immediate gratifications of it's needs and give the man a chance.

    July 9, 2009 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  24. Jo

    I think the President is a strong leader and he uses strong judgement to deal with the people of foreign countries and abroad. He is reaching out to other countries with hostile attitudes toward our country. People should be pleased that he is risking his life to travel to these countries that really don't like us. So for me that is a plus.

    July 9, 2009 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  25. kw

    He is a strong leader. He admits miscalculations unlike the previous administration. He has accomplished major projects within his short tenure.
    Can you name one Economist that has the silver bullet for this economy? Please name one.

    July 9, 2009 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10