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. EBC, MD

    ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT, HE'S PROVING TO BE A VERY GREAT LEADER!!

    Unlike our last President who was barely a "C" average student and a Governor who barely got a marginal journalism degree after attending 6 COLLEGES and still can't utter a complete coherent and grammatically correct sentence is truly SCARY.

    People need to get a clue, President Obama NEVER claim to be perfect and he's working very HARD despite all of the OBAMA HATERS bashing him left and right, but NEVER have any solutions on HOW TO FIX the problems. All they do is COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN and COMPLAIN. How predictable is that?

    These haters don't have the slightest CLUE on what being President work LOAD is, they have NO idea. All they do is point their fingers blah, blah, blah.

    WELL if these HATERS can do a better job, then WHY didn't THEY run for OFFICE so they can WALK the WALK instead of TALK CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!! Yes, TALK is cheap.

    July 9, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. adele

    Just for he fact hat he brough the economy from the brink of callapse, for me he is a strong president.

    July 9, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Dan Holiday

    He is not a strong leader. This man, and I use that word lightly, is spending us into oblivion. He is a punk that scammed a bunch of idiots into making him the most powerful man, again I use the word with hesitation, in the world. The arrogance that he exudes is laughable. He cannot even think on his own…needs a teleprompter for that. I am counting the days until we can vote this moron out of office. He is without a doubt the worst President in the history of this country. Thank you dems for putting this idiot in office. I know you guys don't have anything to lose since you leach off of we who work, but the actual productive class in this country cannot support your pathetic butts and pay for all of these extra programs to boot. If you guys had jobs, then you would realize that taxing us into extinction is not very productive..

    July 9, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Joe

    President Obama needs to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea and Iran , Push vigorously for a government option on health care and stop worrying about opposition and tactics from the party of " NO"

    July 9, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Ryan Indy

    In one word NO. The man is small and if anyone questions his motives then they are racist or small minded. Leaders lead, Obama is to scared that he might upset someone so he tip toes along not taking sides or taking charge. The last word when Obama name comes up is LEADER, more like LOSER.

    July 9, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    Those who want to imprison conservative Americans for their views, while letting terrorists roam free would most certainly see Obama as a strong leader. They know what he has the DHS focused on and it has a strong resemblence to what happened on the streets of Berlin in the early 1930's. To the average Democrat, tolerance means targetting your fellow law abiding, honest, responsible Americans who hold a different political view than you and calling them terrorists(while those who blow up cafes with c4 vests are not to be called terrorists). Janet has been instructed by Barak to carry out the dreams of a majority of Democrats in this nation.

    July 9, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. 60's survivor

    numbers are relative. I'm waiting to see what happens in the next two year. those who want instant fixed are fools and probably responsible for their own undoing. I believe Obama is a dynamic and fresh take on the political growth of this country. be afraid if we don't take leaps of faith in the welfare of our citizens and our standing in the world as a compassionate and forward looking nation. for all the Christian minded conservative groups. this isn't your fight anyway. Jesus wasn't a capitolist his word was in another realm so to speak. you are either of this world or not brother

    July 9, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Arlene Bailey

    Obama certainly does have a plan for solving the country's problems and that is government control of everything; in that way, there won't be any problems identified from the mindless minions of the country. No, I don't care at all for Obama or his likes. Obama is the most horrific error the electorate of this country has ever caused.

    July 9, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Blue Hen

    I never thought I'd say this, but at least GWB took action.. I've been hugely dissapointed in Obama thus far (beign from Delaware, I've always known Biden to be barely competent.)

    July 9, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. tess

    as much as i hate to admit it – hillary was right on – o'bama isn't fit to lead! take away his teleprompter and he is an empty suit standing there who is beginning to wear very thin. as for the congress led by pelosi and reid – what can you say about such foolishness and blatent stupidity! democrats should be very embarassed and very afraid if this is the best they can put forward!

    July 9, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Lisa

    President Obama is a great, strong, and inspiring leader. President Obama was given a country that was in a crisis. He has handled it fine in 5 months. He is doing a lot more than Bush did and watch and see it will work.

    I am not concern about this President yet. Also he makes us look good as Americans again.

    July 9, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Enough!!!!!!!!!

    Was this question ever asked when the other forty-three men were presidents? NO, no and no. So give it a rest CNN.

    July 9, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Illinois 2

    Mr. Obama is a great speaker, but that is about all. He has no ability to do what is best for the country and it seems his advisers are just as stupid...

    He isn't much different than G W .......

    July 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Libertarian

    No one cares what the Bush family has to say anymore. They sold the country out to a few elitist and left the rest of us behind.

    July 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Tough?? You Kidding Me!!!

    "Mr.President" is only following Nancy Pelosi's orders. A second stimulus bill on the table? First stimulus bill:-

    Nancy pelosi: Mr.President, why not we throw away $780bn?

    Mr.President: Yes Maa.

    Leading democrat: What about a second stimulus bill?

    Mr.President: That is not such a bad idea.

    Wrong Mr.President. That is a horrible idea. First of all there is no concrete evidence that the first stimulus bill is working. Unemployment rate above 9%. Worst in 26 years in the history of the US economy. Companies are scared to hire folks. Instead they have put up an invisible sign that reads "NOW FIRING instead of NOW HIRING".

    So, Before you even consider a second stimulus package think it through.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. davie guns

    Man, I love to get technical with my blogs and opinions, however I can get away with saying absolutely not. He does not have the stomach for this job. The saying action speaks louder than words really applies.
    "Change, change.... we need change!" Ha, what exactly changed other than our debt getting higher? Cyber wars? what? special cyber units? whoa, thats completely taking the patriot act to a whole different level.
    I feel the only thing thats changing other than OUR DEBT, is the fact that Uncle Sam is gaining more control. Where are you media when it counts? You love the man that will "CHANGE" this country in a very bad way.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. Proud Vet

    These are difficult times. He is doing well. God Bless America.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Larry

    I nearly have vomit every time I hear the name "Bush". This one, just like his worthless, low-life, corrupt brother, should crawl back into the human garbage aka "The Bush family"....and just shut the hell up.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. a leader for sure

    Yes a very strong leader. The haters will say differently but who cares.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. Wake-me-when-it's-over

    Part of being a good leader, is being a good delegator. In that regard, President Obama is excellent. He is also excellent at keeping himself informed, by using people as a filing cabinet at his disposal (20 czars and counting). So I have to give him an A in leadership. Coupled with his A+ in lying and manipulating, I can see why he is considered to
    be an intellectual by some. Personally I consider him as an egotistical mobster. Yes, Al Capone was a good leader too.

    July 9, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. bob

    Seriously? The first paragraph makes you think he has dropped to Bushian numbers...

    It still looks like most people think he is doing a good job to me.

    July 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. Jeff Texas

    Let's see a community organizer, has never run a business, guessed wrong on the recession, maybe you should ask that about the teleprompter. All this guy wants to do is raise taxes, send jobs overseas, and now he thinks he can keep the temperature from increasing? leader? Think not!!!!

    July 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Karen

    In a word NO.

    July 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. bigTXoil

    yes he is a stronger leader and his diplomacy is very impressive...he doesn't shoot first and ask questions later

    July 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Chipster

    Yes, Obama leads by example. He leads with consistency and intelligence. Leadership should not be defined by tough, childish talk. There's a huge difference between bravado and bravery, muscle and strength, impulse and deliberate action, alienation and respectful dialog. It's unfortunately that people have come to confuse bullying with leadership. We don't need bullies in schools, in business, and certainly not in our government.

    July 9, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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