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. MrEverymanOH

    ....is this why the suprise press conf.?

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. MatthewDetroit

    Former SOVIET PREMIER Nikita Kruschev once said something about " I dont have to break the US, the people from within will by their own choices."
    Welcome to Russia.
    CADDY SHACK "were not in Russia are we Danny"
    Too bad it is true instead of just a joke from a movie.

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. George

    e28 – you are a genius. The real problem is with regular Americans and what they have done to this country by living outside of their means and then asking the government to bail them out. I am 39, have never owned a home because I thought housing was overpriced, saved over 25% of every paycheck over the past 8 years, and what do I have to show for living responsibly? I was laid-off due to the bad economy.

    It should be no surprise to anyone paying attention that Obama used the poor economy and centrist positions to get elected, only to reveal himself as a socialist. But, who do people have to blame? Only themselves. Live responsibly and pay attention!!! 2010 is just around the corner. Show Obama/Pelosi and Reid that you won't allow them to bankrupt the country.

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

    We should all have confidence and trust for the President we elect regardless he's a republican or democrat.
    For people who disapprove Obama's actions or decisions, please do something to prevent him but not criticizing his character. If you don't do anything, it's better for America that you trust him so that changes can be made faster in a more harmonious way.

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. goingdown

    I don't think we will have a great future ahead in US:

    Reason 1: many jobs (IT & Manufacturing) get shipped overseas.

    Reason 2: most kids don't like educations. Look at those garbage people driving their car in street with loud music playing.

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Joe Publicini

    Hey, maybe Obama should go on another apology tour. It won't help his numbers here in the US but the rest of the world would like to watch a world leader drop down to their knees.

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Jason

    I think the biggest problem is that the stimulus bill was not big enough.

    With all the chatter about a second bill, I think we should pass a 10 trillion, or 100 trillion or even bigger bill!

    Perhaps we could just give everyone a million dollars. Who cares if the price of bread is 1.5 million?

    As any good Keynesian will tell you, the best way to get out of recession is to SPEND SPEND SPEND.

    I suggest for anyone who is interested, read a little Von Mises or Murray Rothbard and learn about Austrian School Economics.

    At least, start buying gold, for when the dollar begins to hyper-inflate, your paper money will be worth no more than the ink it is printed with.

    Oh, and by the way, for all you people that want Nationalized Health Care, go check out Canada and the mess they are in. That should scare you a bit.

    You voted for it, now you got it. Big Government, big spending, big programs, nationalized industries...

    "Hello, I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you!"

    RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!

    July 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Bev G

    He is one big fat loser that likes to spend.Paying us all back for the past years. VP Joe is smoking crack or drinking way to much with Nancy P.

    July 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. davep

    He's President and he owns it all now and he's agreed! You stupid liberals are al the same. STUPID ! get a clue folks.

    Can't take anyone bashing your messiah and does no wrong? Bush took it for 8 years so now its your turn morons.

    July 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Jeff

    There are an amazing number of people on this website who claim that all of these problems were inherited from the Clinton administration. I find this to be an amazing conclusion. Let's think about it for a bit. Clinton had to fight a republican congress from 1994-2000, and was essentially a lame duck for the last two years in office due to the Lewinsky scandal.

    But suppose Clinton really did put all these bad policies into effect. Why did the conservatives then, who controlled the white house and had majorities in both houses of congress from 2000 – 2006, do absolutely nothing?

    I think the truth is, conservatives are so pathetic and weak that they can't even accept the reality of the situation: they caused this mess, and as a result of it, they lost the election.

    July 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Mix

    Good news!!!! More than 40% of Americans are now awake!! La La Land is dwindling.........The land of Reality is emerging from the throes of blindness......

    July 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. doug

    Lori, the reason no one is "shutting up and letting the man do his work" as you stated, is because everyone has seen the "results" of his body of work. Ask yourself this question and answer it in truth: If his opponent won the election and the job losses, spending and the deficit are what they are now, would you still be saying "shut up and let the man do his work?"

    July 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Pat

    GH you make perfect sense but these folks would rather blame somebody...

    July 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Pennsylvania

    I dont care if President Obama's approval ratings were at 10%, I'll still be voting for him in 2012 because of his character. It's nice to have a president who is very intelligent and actually listens to people when governing. I've also noticed how some republicans actually think they have a chance with people like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee or even Newt Ginrich. Those people will never win in an election against the person who ran one of the best political campaigns in the country's history. Plus most of those candidates lost to John McCain, how do they expect to beat Barack Obama?? Well goodluck ...

    July 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Annette

    These polls really don't mean anything accept, folks perceptions at the time they are given. Overall this Commander in chief is handling his position well considering the huge agenda that is before him. All of these negative folks, should go back and take a good look at the last 8 years and then go back 8 more years, to see what this President is face with, People may like Bush 2 but he left a huge mess to clean up. Anyone thought we were going to bounce out of this recession in 6 months, was living in a dream world from the start.

    If the stimlus was 2 trillion it would still take some time before the full impact is recovered. Some of you forgot that this recession has been going on at least 2 to 3 years before Obama came into office.So what was Bush doing in that time. I guess some folks have selective memory. In addition, the first stimulus was done by Bush ( quiet it was) and still nothing happen to change the economy, so all you haters, need to do your homework, first before complaining.

    July 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. JDW

    Following liberal logic – this is all Bush's fault, that Obama inherited a mess. Nevermind that the House and Senate were both controlled by Democrats since 2006. But, okay, Obama inherited Bush's mess, so Obama can't be blamed for it. The melt-down was Bush's fault. Fine. Well then, following that thinking, Bush was only in office for 9 months when 9/11 happened. Terrorists were making threats and waging war all during Clinton's administration. It would seem Bush inherited Clinton's mess. So, I guess Clinton really was responsible for 9/11 after all. I mean, if you will still be blaming Bush come September 2009 when the economy is still in the tank. After all, we're not in any of this together. It's always Republicans faults. It'd be interesting to find out, thought, which party has members who pay the most in taxes from working and which party has the most members sucking up social services.

    July 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Jerome Jefferson

    This time I really followed politics because Obama got me interested about this country finally caring for the people. My family mostly didnt vote but we all support the president when he was elected. But, I just don't understand why he wants to have government control everything and assume people like me cannot work hard to take care of ourselves based on hard work. I am saddened to see that the president is spending money in a way that is impossible to regular people or basic principles. I was rooting for him but I know this is a disaster waiting to happen. I wish people like me would wake up and realize this is not the leadership we need. I am sorry, truly. I should have voted McCain.

    July 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. R. Riker

    "Obama Approval Drops to New Lows" I just love that headline appearing on CNN's home page. Whats next? "Obama Born on Island Off U.S. West Coast"?

    Shouldn't your headlines reflect the middle "N" in CNN and not sound like they come from the Drudge Report?

    July 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Educate yourselves before you open your mouth and just let the words fall out

    Stay the course, Mr. President . . . stay the course. You and the American people WILL prevail.

    July 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Jerome

    Keep in mind that when President Obama took the oath of office the Republicans swung into action. Just take a good look at California and lets not forget about New Oreans. This country is not going to be driven into slavery nor our children be uneducated. Kick some real ass Mr. Obama, you have our support

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Ric in NY

    @ Randolph Carter – Keep drinking that kool-aid !! Your so in love with this clown we have at the helm that your seriously set on far left auto pilot . Wake up.. Obama is god awful !!!

    Squirm liberals squirm! Your " messiah " is tanking and FAST!

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Jim

    Was George Bush ever up to 60 % ?? Perhaps right after 9/11. That means that 60 % are thinking clearly! Good job, people!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. ScottAZ

    Holy C#$P, One person remembers Fannie and Freddie. Wow no rebuts from Democrats about this. They tend to forget. Come on People this has nothing to do with who is in office (even tho this lunatic is making it worse) but who we have running this country (Lobbyist hired by big corps).

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. ST

    beensilenttoolong & e28-The two of you hit the nail on the head. People really need to start taking responsibility for their own actions and stop blaiming the President (Bush or Obama), big business, and everyone else.

    The problems created are not going to get solved overnight. This guy just got in office January 21st. Anyone, Repub or Dem, could not go in there & fix everything in a day.

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. democrat no mas

    Obama's medicine will be far worse than Bush's disease. Poll numbers aren't everything, but they will certainly drop as it becomes more obvious that the spending we're doing is not to revive the economy, but to accomplish Obama's social policies.

    July 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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