July 17th, 2009
05:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Obama approval rating dips under 60 percent

 President Obama's approval rating has dropped under 60 percent according to a CNN Poll of Polls released Friday.
President Obama's approval rating has dropped under 60 percent according to a CNN Poll of Polls released Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An average of five national polls conducted in July indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating has slipped under 60 percent.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans surveyed approve of the job Obama's doing as president, according to a CNN Poll of Polls compiled and released Friday, with 36 percent disapproving. In early June, Obama's average approval rating was 62 percent. It dropped a point to 61 percent by mid-June and stayed at that level through the rest of the month.

"Recent polls indicate that Obama's lowest ratings - and biggest losses - come on the public's perception of how he is handling the economy," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows a double-digit drop in the number of Americans who think that the President has a clear plan for solving the country's problems. The public may not be as willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt after six months on the job as they did when he first took office."

So how does Obama compare to his most recent predecessors six months into office?

George W. Bush also drew a 57 percent approval rating six months into his presidency, in July of 2001. Bill Clinton stood at 48 percent in July 1993. Two-thirds of Americans polled approved of George H.W. Bush's job as president in July 1989, and six out of 10 gave Ronald Reagan the thumbs-up in July 1981.

"Reagan, like Obama, got approval ratings in the high 50s and low 60s during most of his first summer in office," Holland says. "But as unemployment remained high, Reagan's approval rating dropped below 50 percent for the first time in November of 1981, and it stayed under 50 percent for the next two years."

CNN's Poll of Polls consists of five national surveys with interviews conducted in July: The Gallup tracking poll (July 13-15); Ipsos/McClatchy (July 9-13); Diageo/Hotline (July 9-13); USA Today/Gallup (July 10-12) and CBS News (July 9-12). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.


Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. Mike D. in San Diego

    I'll take "new lows" over the "record lows" of the last adminsistration.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Starving marvin

    Who makes up these ratings , 65 years no one ever ask me for my ratingsor my opinions for anything. The president's ratings could be judged by anyone who has the power to publish no article. The president is doing 99 percent higher than ever before. And those ratings came from people in the Bronx on white plains road in the Bronx.The ratings that you read about here in these articles are based on one person's opinion and he's the writer so Whenever the writer states is his opinion only. Attention all readers don't give in to all this bull.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Senior Lady in NC - Independent Voter

    It took Bush and Cheney eight years to crash the economy and ruin our reputation around the world as a good and decent people. Prez Obama has been in office less than six months. I will take Obama's handling of the country and the economy hands down anyone the Republican party can produce. Give the president a chance. He has my total confidence.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Another PUMA that told you guys so

    Let's see if you folks continue to blame the economy in six more months or will you keep it up for the entire 4 years?

    Next time my fellow Democrats, trying voting for someone that has more experience than as a community organizer with a law degree.

    Good to see the koolaid is starting to wear off and a few of you are starting to judge him on his actions. A little too late, unfortunately.

    Raise your hand if you have been laid off, how about lost your savings or home? Let's check back in 6 months and see how he's doing and how we are doing.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. D

    You know what's great. It doesn't matter what any of you people think. Complain all you want the man gets 3.5 more years to get things right.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Barbara CA

    People are upset about the economy and President Obama knows and understands this and is working hard to improve our economy When the U.S. economy goes back up so will his 'approval' ratings.

    July 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Dawn

    Obama is expected to fix in six months what George W. Bush had eight years to destroy. Give him a break! He's not God and doesn't pretend to be. He's been upfront and honest. If the previous administration had done that, this country wouldn't be in the mess it's in now.

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Tom Paine

    Obama's approval rating will be in the basement by the end of the year....with only Nancy Pelosi lower.

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Big Dave

    "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Bella from Florida – Obama is the great spender? And Bush didn't spend? What do you think it cost the taxpayers when he spent 1/3 of his Presidency in Crawford, TX? And what do you think it cost us when he ignored warnings of al queda? And what did it cost us to go into Iraq unwarranted? If you're going to point fingers, get your facts straight first. I'm sick of the right wing talking points becoming engrained in our psyche when all they are are lies.

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Michele

    Reading most of these comments it doesn't seem like 57%...are you sure your polls are correct. Most of what is going on can not be fixed by the position on the Pres. Change your lifestyle people, get your education if you can, hope that health care passes even though we are going to be taxed up the wazoo...peace...OBAMA

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. bob z

    can you blame the peoplehe has only done for the big donors not the averidge guythe biggest thing he could do is get rid of all illegaLS BUT THAT IS HIS VOTES how many problems would it solve if we got rid of illegals

    July 17, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Patrick

    Well, as Buffalo Springfield once sang "I think it's time to stop now, what's that sound?; everybody look what's going down....."
    I think more and more people are realizing that the only jobs that got "stimulated" with the TARP bailout money were the ones of Treasury Secretary Geithner's buddies at Goldman Sachs. Forget Cheney and Haliburton, wait till the full story comes out about Henry Paulson, Geithner and Ben Bernanke's plan to give Goldman Sachs and AIG total control of the US money supply at the expense of the American taxpayers.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. The Journalism Gods are not pleased

    "And the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows a double-digit drop in the number of Americans who think that the President has a clear plan for solving the country's problems."

    A double-digit drop in the number of Americans... so that means that between 10 and 99 people no longer think President Obama knows what he's doing? That doesn't really sound too bad.

    Nice copy editing.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Face To Face

    I read a saying once that the person who makes you the most angry is your best teacher because they bring you face to face with who you really are. Why all the anger towards Obama when those same people gave the Bush Administration a free pass for eight years? Not a peep when he spent us into records deficits and didn't even include the cost of the Iraq war in the budget – just a tiny omission...NOT! Where were all the fiscally responsible americans regardless of party then?! Were their polls answers an actual indication of how our country was really being run... a true reflection of the state of the union? Polls, scmolls... I am a strong American who loves her country. I stand by our President and I am willing to make some sacrifices to move our Country back to the values that make us so great. Not lip service, true willingness to do what it takes, even if I have to pay or do more. Who are the pollsters talking to and when are they going to ask me what I think?! I stand by our President and pray for his success every day, because it is our success.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Patrick of Honolulu

    Maybe at least a few people, even some of you especially literate CNN posters, are realizing his campaign had little to do with his governance. He is a fluff president so far, but I hold out some hope. If the realities of the world, and of our domestic situation, start to make him a more realistic thinker, perhaps he'll be our greatest president ever. So far, it looks like he wants to bankrupt us, and subscribes to a befriend everyone foreign policy. Not winning ideas.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    @Good Job Obama July 17th, 2009 2:48 pm ET

    I for one think President Obama is doing a good job considering the opposing party seems to exist only to oppose him. What other president had public airwaves wishing them failure? The party that drove us to the brink of disaster has no solutions to fix anything, all they do is come up with crazy phrases and dimwitted ideas to sidetrack this great country.
    -------------------------–
    1. The GOP DOES NOT have the votes to fillibuster, nor to effectively oppose. Ever hear of the BLUE DOG? They are Democrats, you know!
    2. Rush Limbaugh, DOES NOT have a congressional vote!
    3. Stop whining 57% is 57%! I'll bet you gleefully pointed at Bush's polls!

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. AZPhil

    Eleanor says "He is still one MAJOR improvement over the two criminals Bush and Cheney who ran their administration under a cover of secrecy and breaking every law in the constitution not to mention starting an illegal war that put the economy of the US in the tank so put the blame where it lies not on the guy who came in to try and clean it all up!!!!!!!"

    Next time you paste the Olbermann talking points, at least insert some commas so it appears to be original.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. southerncousin

    I guess my comments were moderated out again by the libs at CNN. I predicted this would happen and the way I figure it should be at 40% by Christmas. You have to remember you have 40% of the people who pay no taxes who always fall for the old liberal lines and always will because they are true products of the NEA sponsored education system, then you have the 20% who didn't realize that someone could lie to them so brazenly. This moderation thing is getting tiresome, the liberal slant of CNN is why we are in this mess. Fox News does not moderate comments on their website no matter what political persuasion a person is, why does CNN have to.

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Big Daddy in NC

    Shut the heck up, you right-wing a$$-clowns!!! No matter what Obama does, it won't be good enough. You can't see reality when you look at the world thru the eyes of a racist. You conservative hypocrites make me sick!

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. tom

    Deb n Texas July 17th, 2009 3:10 pm ET

    Obama has always said, "he doesn't pay attention to polls." And you know what? Me either.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Unfortunately, he "doesn't pay" attention to basic economic principles.

    Spend trillions of dollars in government pork in the middle of a recession?

    July 17, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Realistic

    Republicans are so happy when polls show Obamas approval rating going down. The republicans start to smile and become happy because when they look at their party, it just brings sadness and tears and agony. Well enjoy it because the reality is, these polls are a really waste of time. Polls really depends on peoples mood at the time and their situation they are in. But republicans need something make them feel better about themselves and they truly believe that an approval rating at 57% is bad. The truth is, no one thought Obama was going to keep his approval rating over 60% throughout his admininstration.
    In the end, republicans will not decide Obamas fate or will the democrats in a general election{3+years away}, it will be inIndependents and most will give him his time. In 3+ years from now, polls taken on 7-16-09 will be forgotten but republicans idiotic behavior and being the party of No will be not.
    So instead of republicans celebrating something as meaningless as this poll, they should try to come up with a plan for America because we Independents are watching and just opposing Obama and not offering a plan will not get republicans back in the WH.

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. philthetruth

    This fool's lack of qualifications for this job is coming to light, even to the sycophants who drank the KoolAid. Fight 40 years of lib propaganda with all your might! Stop our Marxist "president." I don't want to live in Europe.

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Andrew

    Janice Bonds is not a very nice or middle of the road person.

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Really!?

    His policies approval rating are in the 40's. How do people not associate the man's policies with his performance. Health Care, Energy, Environment (Cap and Trade) and the Stimulus are at or below 48% approval.

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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