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. nyc

    @ 'Obama Fan'. Are you really that ignorant? It's scary that you're able to vote. Obama himself promised us that if we passed his stimulus plan unemployment wouldn't go above 8% (look it up) and now it's 9.5%... and going up to double digits. When are people going to hold Obama accountable at his word? Certainly the media won't but I figured the public would be smarter.

    July 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Albert

    I wish Bush could be our President for the 3rd term:
    GEORGE W. BUSH THE GREAT !!!
    1. Mislead Americans into Iraq War.
    2. Intelligence Report that Iraq has WMDs Forged and Fabricated.
    3. 4300 US Troops Killed.
    4. 45000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.
    5. Still we are not safe.
    6. Economy is Shambles.
    7. No Regulations for Banking and Finance.
    8. Torture of Prisoners.
    9. Wiretapping.
    10. Failure to act during Katrina.
    11. No Health Care for most Americans.
    12. Death of Auto, Iron and Steel, Textile and other Industries.
    13. Falsely stating “Mission Accomplished”.
    14. Falsely stating “Our Economy is still Strong”.
    15. Highest Unemployment ever.
    16. Highest Budget and Trade Deficit ever.
    17. Failed foreign policies and relations with other Countries.
    18. Is there a Zoo that can keep Bush the Monkey?

    July 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Deborah

    We are an impatient people by nature and no one ever meets our expectations. Like spoiled children we want everything NOW! I support our President completely. I do agree with those who say the h- with the bipartisan thing though. It is just not working!

    July 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Prof. Carlos

    I think Obama is doing a great considering what he was given to work with, which was a nation sliding down hill.
    I don't know if the president has the power to do this but he should give all the senators a pay cut and use the money to help finance health care reform. It's about time the senators get with the program and together instead of insulting us with thier lame excuses why they are against health care reform. When it's all about money being with the current system of healthcare and those people don't want to lose thier income. Those don't care about the poor and uninsured that are dying as we speak.
    So there is my soapbox subject for today. Thank you.

    Prof. Carlos

    July 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. LOVE MY USA

    BO is the worse president.. I have had it with the lies and double talk.. When he hits your pocket book as it has hit mine, you all will wake up to the excesive spending for his cronies and not the middle or low income taxpayers Cap & Trade is bull chit... The health plan will destroy this country, and you better ask yur self WHY is Pres. BO trying to take this country DOWN financailly.?

    HIs action and that of the Democraqt party .are destroyig this country..

    No matter how you feel, we need to have more eyes and ears in this administration to look out for the low and middle class taxpayer. WE CAN NOT HAVE ONE PARTY CONTROL OF ANY PARTY. IF MICKEY MOUSE IS RUNNING ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET IN NOVEMBER I AM VOTING FOR HIM.

    .

    July 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Nick Danger

    sensible Cape Coral Fl:

    What have you been smoking?
    Paid with his own money? Get real. These guys don't buy anything with their own money.

    July 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    The Health care bill has plenty of clauses in it that take away our rights as Americans.
    It also has clauses in there that let off the unions.
    Barack is trying to build a Socialist system.
    He will have us all losing our jobs and standing in breadlines.
    He is forcing people out of work every day.
    500,000 more NEW unemployed this month alone.
    No reports on the NEWS of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The press is already not showing anything of it unlike 9 months ago.
    This is the beginning of the end people.
    We need to get rid of this president and this congress.

    July 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Alan

    While I'm not an avid supporter of the current President, I think it's fair to state that he alone has not created several of the problems he is faced with handling at the moment. Both parties have contributed to shaping our current catastrophes. I, for one, plan to vote against all incumbents on the upcoming future elections, regardless of party affiliation, in order to send some new blood into our congressional ranks. We need term limits at all levels to make headway at reducing the complacency that has over-run our government. A group of new leaders might not be continually stagnated by the old guard who remain. While the rest of us are working our lives away to keep up with the pace of change, our elected officials are making decisions that affect our daily life, while their benefits and services go unaffected!

    July 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Doug

    Pardon Me Lena, but if you never saw any of the polls that CNN, MSNBC, FOXNEWS, etc... constantly put out while GW was in office, then you truly do represent exactly the type of person who elected Obama and the Democratic Leadership in both the House and Senate.

    This President and this Congress are eroding the future of this GREAT Country. They are proposing to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for all of their goodies and have a Reckoning coming from the American People. Obama caught them sleeping once and convinced millions of people, by acting like he would be a moderate, that he would provide "Change".

    Well guess what, when those who have money are taxed, taxed and taxed some more, guess who suffers? They still have money, and will stop spending their money on things that help benefit the lower and middle class folks who would like to have more money. They stop taking as many vacations, they stop expanding their business, and reduce their payroll to maintain a level of profitability for their companies.

    These things hurt the middle class, not help them. You see, these people are smart and successful. The Government does not know how to run anything without losing money. And the Obama Administration does not have ANYBODY who has run a Successful business on it's staff. They are all just thinkers, they think they know what's best and tell themselves they are right. They convinced people like you that they are right, but hey, that was easy. You didn't see ANY negative polls about GW. "Never" you said.

    So you just want CNN and C-Span, which is not even a news channel, to stop being negative and just let him do his job. Well.....
    No Thanks. I've got a front row seat on the bus as the Democrats take it over the cliff led by Obama, Pelosi and Reid. They will finally wake this Country up to see the kind of destructive policies they are pushing. Hopefully, it's not too late.

    July 17, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. MIke

    Never discount the Republicans ability to create a complete Cluster Fck and blame you for not stopping them. And never forget it's also your fault for not creating a solution fast enough to cure their mistakes.
    Of course an increase in the US Debt by 1200% in 28 years is no big deal it's just 3% of the GDP under a Republican President but of course becomes a National Crisis when they're voted out of office.

    July 17, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. vr2009

    Pelosi/Reid/Barney Frank support – $787B
    Goldman Sachs/AIG/Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac backscratching – $750B
    Poll ratings – PRICELESS!!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Joe Publicini

    It's a big leap from community center organizer to Prez. Don't worry though, we can blame Bush no matter how many wrong decisions Obama makes.

    July 17, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Edwin

    Well, duh...

    A lot of people I talked to in January seemed to think Obama was going to "fix" everything, turn the economy around, end the war in Iraq, remove corruption, stop global warming, etc.. Of course they're disappointed.

    Whether Obama deserves kudos or condemnation for his economic strategy will only be known years from now. But if you just lost your job, 6 months after voting for a new president, it is only natural to feel some bitterness.

    July 17, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. arvind darien ct

    so, does it look like we have to save america from "socialism" now that the jp morgan and bank of america and goldman sachs numbers are out? did you get a bonus this year if you managed to keep your job? just how good has capitalism been for the rest of america? i dont think the president has gone far enough to control and contain these greedy wall street profiteers. im supposed to feel sorry for jaime dimond and those other fat cats when i dont even have money for health insurance? its time to set things right, i dont care if republicans have to give up their country club memberships. dont waiver, mr president, keep pushing for full and complete reform. americans are over race, we want economic equality.

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

    I was so disappointed in the american people but now I am feeling a little better. I can't believe he has fooled so many smart americans.

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

    57 percent is still twice as good as Bush, so he must be doing something right. People have no patience for the long term goals. GO OBAMA!!

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

    WOW – the majority of comments from CNN posters is accurant . Obama is clearly a Socialist and in 6 months he has done more damage to our economy, small businesses and country than Bush in 8 years. I agree that Obama's approval ratings must be worse than 57% – being in Atlanta I have noticed many friends are removing their Obama stickers from there cars – one neighbor – a very liberal leaning guy – replaced his original sticker with a new one that says NOBAMA.... I guess the only way to get things under control is to have the Republician take the majority of Congress next year. At least we can put the breaks on the mess going on now -

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

    Some of you guys crack me up.

    Accusing CNN of being biased ANTI-Obama?!?!?!

    LOL!

    (I'll be giggling about that one all weekend!).

    July 17, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Shari, NY

    You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart July 17th, 2009 4:01 pm ET

    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.
    _________________________
    I almost swore I would take a vacation from this blogging business but the afore-mentioned statement has me in stitches. Thanks, for the afternoon chucke! Pssst.! Don't forget that some of the the big 'uns are suing the fast food chains for their demise so as we all know, the blame game will never end.

    July 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. MatthewDetroit

    The problem is the IDIOT could have left EVERYTHING as it was and the system would have solved the problems in 6 months.
    Yes he is DESTROYING the country.
    He will take away our constitutional rights.
    He now has a judge in there that will interpet things as she goes.
    Unemployment is up. 1 year ago under President Bush it was 5.2%.
    Prices up.
    Interest rates up.
    The country is preparing for Hyper inflation. We will all be broke.
    National Debt is up now and wil be a full 2 trillion by the end of this year.
    He is going to break our health care system where we can all stand in line to die
    He is breaking our industry.
    He is raising the costs for ALL energy.
    He is building goverment bigger and taking MORE of GNP than ever.
    He is going to break us until EVERYONE is dependent on the goverment. GOVERMENT NEVER fixed anything.

    July 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Christopher Kaiser

    I believe that there is a false left-right paradigm. By this I mean that both Republicans and Democrats are the same thing with a different image. The interests of both parties involve money, not people. We as a populace have lost our voices. Public disapproval of government is what this country was founded on, but now it almost seems discouraged. At least at a real level, and not in the sport-like approach that many people have to the news and politics. It's not a game, and people get blown up because of simple votes in the senate.

    July 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Pat

    Commander Don, sounds like your just disappointed that you either don't have the $160k job or just not one of his picks. Get over it. Help the President and your fellow citzens.

    July 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. LMC

    I wonder if any of these people commenting could do a better job than President Obama? It all looks easy from the outside! I believe the President was handed a plate much fuller than most presidents have handled, and none of the problems are going to be solved overnight. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone would have been more than enough, let alone a tanking economy. Let's compare this to the situation Bush was handed: a soaring economy. Then figure in the concessions made to business and an unneeded war in Iraq. Hmmm. Is the comparison a bit better now?

    July 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. ric in NY

    @ Shelley – Right on !! Maybe the kool -aid drinking Obama-Bots will get a clue and realize thier " messiah " is a fraud !!

    July 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Steve

    Obama is doing exactly what he promised. People heard what they wanted to hear and interpreted it the way they wanted to. His main promise…”To fundamentally change the country and how it operates”. Means different things to different people. Some see rainbows, some butterflies, some roses, some nightmares. Well, he is making those changes as fast as he can because he knows when people figure out where he is going with this….it will stop. Incredible levels of debt (and talking another $1.5trillion stimulus), taking over the auto industry, taking over the financial industry, taking over the healthcare industry, drying up credit, tax rates increasing to 65%+, appointing judges to the Supreme Court with personal agendas, appointing people making policy decisions that should be in jail for felonies, etc. The idea is to BREAK IT! He is following the teachings of his mentors. To create the world you want…you have to destroy the old one first. And you dear people with rainbow dreams will let him till it is too late. And by the way, for those of you who haven’t noticed…Bush isn’t president anymore.

    July 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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