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. Juli

    You simply cannot keep spending money like it's water and think we are going to move in a positive direction out of this recession. It doesn't make logical sense AT ALL. He is on a major mission to push though his agenda. It's like blind ambition- just push your agenda regardless of what's going on. It shows a tremendous lack of judgment and experience. We really should not be surprised. He did not have ANY experience running ANYTHING AT ALL. We voted in a one term senator, who actually spent half of that one term running for president and voting PRESENT in the Senate. It's amazing. I am a democrat but did not support Obama. I simply cannot vote for someone with this little experience, regardless of how charismatic and hopeful he is. It's just not a wise time to have a rookie in the office, and we are seeing the results of that. It reminds me of G. Bush and the way he pushed his own agenda of going into Iraq. I didn't support that move either, and I can't support this one. We need to vote for EXPERIENCE in 2012 people, or we are doomed. He will run this country in to the ground in 8 years. I'm sorry to my fellow Democrats who want this experiment to work no matter what the cost. We have to realize when we have gone in the wrong direction. Hillary would have been a much better choice. Sorry!

    July 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. tom

    Google the term "The Great Disappointment."

    You will discover a reference to 19th century religious zealots who predicted the world would end on a specific date. When it didn't, it was referred to as "The Great Disappointment."

    Move over 19th Century Cult Group!

    After 2009, "The Great Disappointment" will belong to the Obama Administration.

    July 17, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. 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 stop being so impatient and get real!

    July 17, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Ash in AL

    And they'll continue to slip if he doesn't get control of this insane government spending.

    Ramming this Health care bill and Cap & Trade isn't going to help his numbers either!

    July 17, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Mike from Chicago

    His approval rating should continue to drop as our national debt continues to rise to unprecedented levels. This con artist continues to waste the taxpayers money and send our country further into debt, crippling our country's future. His idea of health care reform, if it ever comes to fruition, would be the worst policy this country has ever seen (and yes, worse then the invasion of Iraq.) He has officially surpassed Jimmy Carter as the worst American president since the beginning of the 20th century. And yes, I am from Chicago and a White Sox fan and I'm embarrassed he is one too.

    July 17, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. MatthewDetroit

    No Kidding it Dips. The Guy is a BUM and will go down as the WORST president in the history of the United States.
    He is spending money and trying to break the country.
    His agenda is not to FIX the country, his agenda is to become Socialist. He is an anti capitalist from Day 1.
    THE HEALTH CARE ISSUE WILL BREAK US ALL.
    No one is reading the document and it takes away all of our rights.
    Here is a nice FACT.
    91% of men in the US survive prostate cancer.
    72% of men in France survive prostate cancer.
    51% of men in the UK survive prostate cancer.
    Look it up.
    He is a terrible president.
    I WISH CLINTON WAS BACK IN.

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. liberals support 7 day weekends

    Liberals will continue to make believe Obama is doing a great job when he isn't they hate to admit there wrong on that note they want free handouts and anyone who doesn't agree with them they wish they could put them in prisons which sounds communist they like to sit up late and watch MSNBC spread there hate filth

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Has it ever occurred to any of you idiots that as President, Mr. Obama gets a salary and perhaps he paid for the trip to New York City with his own money? By law his transporation must be by military planes.
    That also means going out to buy ice cream for his children using his OWN money – not yours.

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Ann

    oops.. give them a speech

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Tls

    Anybody who voted for him (myself included) should not have expected him to fix this mess overnight! The hope wasn't in him fixing it in a month or two months, but him fixing it PERIOD! Bush really got us into a big mess. He made this mess and walked away with that stupid grin on his face because he knew he wouldn't have to be the one to clean it up and that all his idiotic supporters would turn around and blame the next president for all his mistakes. That's exactly what's happening. All the republicans who though Bush pooped gold bricks and did no wrong, and saw NOTHING at all wrong with the economy when Bush was in office, are suddenly opening their eyes to everything that's going wrong and are deciding to blame Obama. The mess we're in wasn't made in 6 months and it won't be fixed in 6 months. We'll be lucky if it can be fixed in 6 YEARS!!! Especially since it took 8 years for it to be made. People need to get a grip!

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Zero.

    He forgot to bounce the ball..

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Johnny DC

    The American dream is the freedom to achieve by hard work. Not by handouts and politicians who hate the rich.

    Hating the rich is equivalent to jealousy, and it's unbecoming. You don't look good hating the rich, so don't do it. Learn from the rich. Most of us got here through hard work, which has somehow miraculously and unfortunately become a foreign concept to liberals and immigrants.

    Stop listing what you believe are inalienable rights (education, health care), stop demanding reparations for a struggle you physically had nothing to do with, and start achieving through hard work. Actually make your children take school seriously. Save your money, be a role model, and reverse your misfortune instead of crucifying those of us lucky and hardworking enough to make our own futures a reality.

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. TexazEric

    You people are the most brainwashed group of sheeple I have ever seen. Still you blame the Republicans for everything, The Republicans have been out of power in Congress since 2006. Pelosi has blocked Republicans from having ANY debate in the House. The Dems have a 60 Vote Super majority in the Senate. The Republicans have NO voice, no power, no input on anything in Washington. Obama has made sure of that. Even members of his own party say he is far too left. He does not have a bipartisan bone in his body. Bush was only in office 8 months before 9/11 and you all blame him for all that happened. YOU ALL ARE THE BIGGEST WHINING HYPOCRITES I have ever seen. Face Reality, You have elected a neo-Marxist. Normally I would agree that Obama would not have that much responsibility for the economy, the same Bush was not responsible for the recession inherited from Clinton. However Obama has had legislation passed to directly deal with this in his first month. IT HAS FAILED! HE HAS FAILED! He is more concerned about imposiing his radical social agenda and the disproven Keynesian economic model than facing reality of an economy that is tanking. THIS IS OBAMAs and the Democrats Economy. REAL America does not agree with his agenda by vast majorities. We do not want Gov't run healthcare, we do not want massive new taxes, we do not want the unprecedented loss of freedom this almost authoritarian regime is tearing away from us. I hope more people continue to wake up to Obama's LIES and doublespeak. May this be his one and only term.

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Randolph Carter

    Squirm, republicans, squirm. I'm loving it. Now y'all know how we felt for 8 years while W and Co. destroyed America. Actually, I think the Prez is doing a great job. Have a nice day!

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Illinoisman

    The economy didnt get bad until the DEMS took over congress. It has been bad ever since. Blame Bush all you want but the FACTS are the economy tanked under the democratic congress and now its getting worse.

    July 17, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. jerry

    Keep taxing the wealthy that way they can make up for it by layoffs, an discounted workers overseas. Im sure this health care plan is going to create a ton of jobs since it will be so much more expensive to employ.. Who knows maybe he will thow a few more speachess an the numbers will go back up.....talk is cheap .... creating jobs is second to touring the world an bowing down to foreigners.....

    July 17, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Obama wants us out of Iraq and is focusing on Afghanistan and Bin Laden.

    My approval rating of his is very high.

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

    Why do people think that our economic problems can be fixed over night. The President is doing everything possible to turn things around. The Depression did not end over night, neither will this recession.

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Mike

    I'm not interested in Dems or Rep for the simple reason I don't trust ANY politician and history proves me correct time and time again.

    However, I watch politics for fun. I like to see the politicians twist and turn, spin one way then the other. I didn't like Reagan for many reasons but GW Bush was good for a laugh because he is as dumb as a post. Great fodder for the comedians. Cheney is one of the most evil men ever to occupy an important government position. Jimmy Carter was Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Honesty, Mr. Integrity all in one package. Great to have as a friend but waaay to naive to be President. Hopefully I have shown that I have no bias either way politically.

    Now for Obama. I'm sure Obama is full of good intentions, wanting everyone to have health care, etc. However HE'S A LAWYER and incredibly gifted at Yada-Yada. Had he gone into private practise I have no doubt he would have been very successful but by the tome his presidency is over, the income he will earn from his books will far out weigh the income he would have made as, say, a trial lawyer.

    That said, after studying him, listening to his speeches, etc, I think the only way I can describe him is to call him a very good used-car salesman.

    One of the classic "tools" used by used car salesmen is the old, "Turn a negative into a positive." Example: CUSTOMER: Wow! Nice car but it's done over 200,000 miles! SALESMAN: That isn't much! These cars are known for clocking up over 350,000 miles!

    Thus it is with Obama. He's a used car salesman spin master, continually stepping up to spin the negative truth into a positive statement. This will become more apparent as the recession deepens and his "honeymoon period" fades. Actually, it's already fading. The next problem is the way he's handling the economy. Very badly because he is NOT telling the truth. Again, the "negative into a positive," routine.

    He does this by using statements which do NOT hold water. Example: He states the hospitals have agreed to saving xxxx billions of dollars. Mmmmm. That would be a neat trick seeing that many hospitals are verging on bankruptcy. A typical Obama "spin".

    Even when the economy improves, which it will eventually but leaving in it's a wake a very different USA with much lower standards of living for the majority, the gorilla sitting in the room is a MASSIVE MULTI-TRILLION dollar deficit which has to be paid back.

    However, instead of putting the brakes on Bernanke's printing presses and thus slowing or stopping the decline, he is opening up the throttle with things like a Universal Health Care program. That's for another subject but needless to say, Obama's day of reckoning with his followers is already set into concrete.

    The summary is: A well intentioned President, dealing with a difficult situation (which he DID NOT create) but not up to the task and dangerous because he knows how to "spin" better than any I have seen in the past.....and I've been around a long time.

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. doug

    Who knows better about the results that the new healthcare will show? A president or the budget office who works with these numbers on a daily base? Thats right, the budget office. And if they say it will cost much more and be much less effective, wouldn't COMMON SENSE tell you NOT to do it? It looks like BoBo got in way over his head! At this point in his tenure, I don't see how he makes it the full 4 years. I would think in 2010 the rumblings of impeachment will start to be heard.

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Jake

    Thats because he hasn't DONE anything since he took office. Time to start LEADING and actually do something to create jobs. Why are you pushing healthcare reform when people are still loosing jobs and homes hand over fist???? Time to get to work and get stuff done!

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Tim

    Most of the people who voted for Obama still are in a blissful state of fantasy. They are still fantasizing that the new minority President with the charismatic wit, and beautiful family, has all the answers.

    Yes President Obama has a beautiful smille, a lovely family, and a great wit; he does not have all the answers. Indeed President Obama is showing himself to be a tax and spend liberal that conservatives will be holding up as an example of what the Democratic party represents for years to come. I think the country had better wake up soon, because if they wait much longer they will find their piggy banks empty, their jobs shipped to China, and their taxes sky-high.

    Please America look at the facts, and it is clear that what Mr. Obama is promising the country is turning out to be just that; promises. Jobs are evaporating, Mr. Obamas promises of keeping unemployment under 8% is long gone, the 3 million job gains he promises are conveniently left out of his recent speeches. His promises of keeping health care costs down have been exposed as lies by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. I am truely fearful that America will not wake up soon enough, and when America does wake up, it will be a country with huge unemployment, inflation, worsening budget deficits and only "hope" will be left, because all the change in the government coffers will have been spent.

    Signed,
    An Independent Minority Voter

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Lynn Miller

    You mean, Obama inherited this economic mess from Bush as a result of Clinton! Do a search on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Bill Cinton. This mess is a result of Clinton NOT Bush!!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Mary

    We have TOO MANY people feeding at the public trough to not love Barry! Those of us who are working are looking for an exit strategy out of this rapidly deteriorating third-world nation.

    Australia is LOOKING GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Ash in AL

    In response to Kim:

    Let's be serious now. While this problem happened on Bush's watch, Republicans aren't the only the blame. Democrats share the weight. Let's not forget it was the Housing mess that is a major contributor to the recession. (Clinton and Dems making it easier for risking people to buy homes) and it didn't help that Barney Frank spewing out good news about Fannie months before the fall.

    July 17, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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