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. beensilenttoolong

    You people forgot where you were last year. Just like the slaves grumbled when God delivered them from Egypt. How quickly we forget.

    Oh, and Palin and McCain would have done so much better.

    America, that's your problem. You want instant gratification and want something for nothing ALWAYS and you want it now. Who do you think you are?

    all I can say to Mr. President is do your thing. Remember the slaves once delivered from Egypt started griping, too!

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Dick

    And God is at 52% and dropping. You would think that a guy that could create the world in seven days could turn our economy around in less than a day. Come on, you evangelicals. Where is all your influence when we need it? Does God hate gay people more than he loves you?

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Who...me?

    His poll numbers will continue to decline. There is too much paper money in the system, get ready for $7.00 loafs of bread. Inflation is coming. A year from now Obama will be mid to bottom 40's in popularity.

    July 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. steve

    just remember libs...everything that happens or has happened since jan it has happened all on the dems watch...u cannot continue to blame this on bush for much longer...and how is afganistan doing..how come we dont see the body count in daily papers on on cnn....hum

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. bco

    The Republicans are far more brazen in their current state of political disgrace than our President and his Democratic Congress are in their current position of dominance.

    While the GOP makes no apologies for their partisan obstructionism, and their championing of the fringe, "vocal minority" causes of their "base" at all cost, the party that convincing won the White House, a majority of Governorships, the House, and a 60-vote Senate majority offers wimpy half-measures and continues to beat the dead-on-arrival horse of "bi-partisanship."

    Given this contrast, of course Obama's numbers are dropping. What else could we expect, with a constant barrage of partisan attack from one side, weighed against a thimble full of accomplishments, successfully diminished by the most partisan opposition in US history?

    The President is playing a game of cards against an imaginary opponent, one that supposedly shares the goal of cooperating for the good of the country in a time of peril. That is most definitely not who he is playing against. By continuing to play along as if it was, he loses twice- by failing to accomplish the goals that he was elected to deliver, and by looking weak and unable to comprehend the political reality that he is dealing with.

    End this game, smart, effective, powerful, energetic young President Obama! Pass a real health care bill by simple majority vote in the Senate. Take advantage of the July 20th commemorations to pledge a new Apollo Program to achieve a green economy that will address the climate change crisis, and put American manufacturing back on the global map. Do what we elected you to do. We did not elect any blue dogs or red donkeys to call the plays. We elected you. Now lets get to business.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. D.P.

    At least he can speak in complete sentences! Not like the smirking chimp preceding him.You know,W,absolute proof of evolution.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. the funk

    Dee
    OMG bring out the race card now just because people don't like Obama or agree on how hes doing in office 6 months or 8 years Obama is president not Bush so Obama should be judge on how hes doing

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Scott

    You are so funny Dee. Again, you need to remember that passing laws and bills go into affect long after a President is out of office and the one in office takes the blame for the bills passed 8 years ago. Do some research and find out why both the Democrats and Republicans have been telling us this would happen 12 years ago if some of the bills would pass (Fannie and Freddie (a spelling error on last comment)).

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. dawnpa

    WOW Shawn – why do you even get out of bed in the morning? Is there ANYTHING positive you can say?????

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Kathryn

    Apparently people must think President Obama is God an can change everything that was messed up over night!!! What are you all thinking. Give him time. I would say at least a year!

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. drman

    All you ditto-heads have been waiting months for this moment so you can spew venom about a minor drop in BO's poll rating.
    I support BO because he has made you all into irrelevant, carping whiners whose opinions mean absolutely nothing to the rest of the country.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Jim

    i'm really tired. really really tired. of all the rediculous statements the republicans keep trying to make. for crying out loud, some of those bozos are still trying to say he's not a citizen.

    what a bunch of fools they are.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. ted

    Face it, Obama is a moron who is systematically ruining this great country of ours. The more time he has in office the more his true colors will show and his popularity will continue to erode, as it should.

    Some Dems will support him no matter what, just because he uses the guise of being a Democrat. But ask yourself this...would JFK have trashed his beloved country to the rest of the world or proposed a fraction of the liberty-sapping ideas this man has?

    This president and this version of congress are poison to individual liberty and the entrepreneurial spirit that made us great. Resist government healthcare and resist cap & trade. Just say no to OmabaNation. It sucks.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Bill in Cali

    It's just a matter of time before the liberals start to turn on him. The independents have already started.

    July 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. e28

    I cannot believe these posts! The problem with us Americans is that we're always ready to blame someone else and never willingly take reaponsibility for our part in the current state of our country. The economy is like that because people wanted to live large and beyond their means by swipping their plastics and buy houses they could not afford. So stop blaming the president, the democrats and the republicans and try to work together to fix this mess before our kids get stucked paying for our mistakes.

    So what his rating is going down, we have a lot more imporant issues to worry about.

    For those of you who wants everything to be back to normal, I suggest you take some time to reflect and see how bad our country is and the hole we're in because there's no way this president or any other president can fix this country in 4 yrs let alone 6 months. So you all need to get real!

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. AJ

    3.5 years left till we can get rid of him!

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Julie in California

    Bucking a recalcitrant Congress focused solely on reelection in 2010 and an inheritance of 8 years of accelerating crises, President Obama is doing a superhuman job in making the most progress possible under the circumstances. What do people expect in merely 6 months! How quick are folks to criticize!! We have bought into instant gratification for so long the concept of patience and forbearance is moribund.

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Tami

    It took more than one night to create the mess that Bush handed to Obama so you cannot expect this man to fix them over night. I don't agree with everything he is doing, but I believe most of it is a step in the right direction and I refuse to judge him until after he is in over for at least 18 months

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Commander Don

    We need to remove this person from the office of the president of the United States. We need no more Tax & Spend programs. Health Care will take care of itself. No more apologic world tours thank you. He has no firm plan on the economy. 15 states are suffering greater than 10% unemployment - where are all these jobs he promised. Yes, I know he has appointed a handful of czars to handle various issues, at $160K a year, that is good work if you cvan get it, but you must be part of the Chicago/Illinois mafia to get on board. Please wake up people of the United States – this guy is a crook!

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Tom in WI

    He inherited an unemployment rate of 4.8% and a budget deficit of $430 billion. The unemployment rate is now 9.5% and growing and the deficit is well over $1 trillion and growing. His "stimulus" package hasn't created a single job... or the GM bailout, or the AIG bailout. He wants to spend trillions more on cap and trade and health care "reform." These are the facts, whatever your political bent may be.

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Are you kidding?

    No one seemed to be complaining about the economy for Bush's first 6 or so years so I hardly think it's a valid point to use. And if one really thinks about it the economy fell while the Democrats were in the majority in Congress. But I guess they were too worried about steriods in baseball and things like that.

    I work for my dad who owns a small business. If this healthcare plan gets passed and they tax employer healthcare who do you think is going to pay for it? The cost is going to be passed down to all of our employees; employees who are part of the middle class. Obama might as well just raise middle class taxes cause that is what it's going to feel like.

    Obama is simply trying to lock the barn door after the horse has already gotten out on a lot of issues. All of which could lead him to be a one term President. I like what one person said; "It's the economy stupid". That is what will drive a successfull reelection or not.

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart

    In other news most Americans are obese because diet and excersise takes too long to show results. Why bother if it doesn't work like magic.

    July 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Eli

    The more Americans understand his policies, the less popular he becomes. Too bad the media didn't reveal his policies prior to the election. I guess they were too busy dealing with the tingling in their collective legs.

    July 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. AQ

    Here come the creepy crawly right-wingers ready to pounce from their corner......completely expected – they were just waiting for this.....

    July 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Natalie

    Do Americans really expect that any President could solve such great problems in 6 months? Come on....get real.

    July 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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