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. IndyVoter

    President Obama is absolutely a strong leader! Leadership without relationship breeds rebellion. You don't have a to be a bully or a dictator to be considered tough or a good leader. A great leader knows how to inspire his followers and is a good listener. Pres. Obama has done well so far...no thanks to the Republican crows pecking at him at every turn...Pres. Obama is the executor and administrator of the laws that Congress passes. Congressional Republicans need to be quiet and do their job. All they do is criticize the President for doing his job. They need to do their own job, in their own branch of governent better and stop trying to blame or pull down the President.

    July 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Travis In Colorado

    Barack Obama is as much a strong leader as Bill Clinton was faithful to his wife. Obama won the presidency ONLY because of the hype from the media for Obama. Had we all know then what we know now, there is no way Obama would have won anything. Obama is spending this country broke, he has gone on his world apology tour, telling the world that he is sorry that we are Americans, and that he is sorry for all the mean nasty things we have done, like get rid of Saddam Hussein, get the Taliban out of countries, and try and make the world a better place. Obama has made this country a welfare nation, he has tried to tell us that we don't need to work hard anymore, just let the government take care of you, and that America needs to be nicer to muslims, yes muslims, the very same people who are trying to kill us and destroy America. With Obama on their side, they might do it.

    CNN, I doubt that you'll post this, since you don't like un-kind things about Obama, but I wish you would.

    July 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Rodney

    Define strong for a leader? If it means a divider of peple then yes if it in someone who is going to unit people then no. He had his secret agenda all along and did not run on any of that unless you count CHANGE as being all of it. Yes folks your taxes are going to probably double as we have no choice with unchecked spending by this spender of peoples money (WASTE). People are starting to wakeup to like a night after being drunk and asking the question what have I done.... Obama will not make it past 4 yrs and rate he is going I don't know if he will last 4 yrs in office without charges being filed against him at some point.

    July 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. New Yorker

    The results of the polling reflects the sad state of our country and the ignorance of the majority of those polled. It would be interesting if one of the questions included in the poll was "What is your source of news?" We would undoubtedly see that those who have confidence in Obama are those who listen to and believe the liberal mainstream media.

    July 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Just because President Obama does not go "TO THE GUNS" first does not mean he is a weak leader. Rather he is a thoughtful leader, sonething we are not accustomed to seeing.

    July 9, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Doyle Wiley, MI

    It's a wise man that realizes that inspiring other to support the greater good, will lead to a greater degree of peace and cooperation. It's an ignorant man that hasn't learned the lessons of history, lead through force and intimidation will not only place you on the wrong side of history, but it will place your followers at risk. Only God has the power to forcefully lead the world, and yet God gave us free will.

    July 9, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. tom

    Are we comparing him to Bush? Is a strong leader someone who chooses to invade another country? Someone who disobeys the Geneva conventions? Someone who illegally taps your phone lines? Someone who is on a mission from God.

    July 9, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Georgio

    During the election the same polls were telling us that some: States and some people will NEVER vote for him when they get in the booth etc. I think he defied these odds and he is now the President of the United States. If the numbers in your polls reflect weak leader then his Presidency is over!..he should just quit now!.In the economy: stimulus has failed, Ohio is gone, Independents have abandoned him, Health Care reform is falling apart, Blue Dog and real Democtrats are odd with one another, Republicans are on the NO column in everything the President proposes! WHAT A WEAK LEADER !!!!!!! Mark my word, Health Care reform will pass with (Public option) and all the nay sayers will move the goal post to another bill!. Keep underestimating this President with your comments and polls but he will keep winning and passing these bills in Congress!

    July 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. dentri

    IS a chicken....Like always The only thing know to do to mislead,lied and this was and it is filosphy ..Trying to tell american people.Change is under way.IT is we have high unployment,people are scare to death for their job.He is so scare of N Korea or Iran.I give him somenthig is so good to mislead America time aftre time.He is the one,The Mesiah,The Holywood guy.The press Guy.Everybody with big influnece love him so much they don't care wher eis taking this country.But be it.Fox news is teh number one not because they are so good ,just because is the only chanel keep me responsabile and go aftre him,like media go with so much hate after Sarah palin,hillary Clinton .Anybody but Obama ,thei Love Thei Guy...American will see what happend when the little guy don't spend.The Rich are smart enough not to help0 this Socialist guy to tax them because they are the one who give us to eat not government.That what America eas in january 2008 <Capitalism.Everybody love.We have 9/11 and Bush know how to put people back to work This guy idea is only the Gov is the one to take our problem.God bless America

    July 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Gus The Willie

    Has anyone forgotted what it meant to "speak softly, and carry a big stick"? I firmly believe Obama is doing right with foreign policy, unlike the wild west approach of shoot first and ask questions later the Republican exudes.

    July 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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