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. coco from CA

    Mr. President Obama, I still believe that he can turn the economy around. I think it is matter of time. What I don't understand our president is there is so much controversy regarding his birth certificate, his college records and selective service records stating that he hasn't release it and his birth certificate is a fraud. I still believe in our president and believe in him. But much curiosity is why is he spending so much money in hiding his records. He told us that he wants a transparency. I hope that he can just release all his documents so that people can leave him alone. I strongly believe that he will do the right thing

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

    who cares about a point or two
    Dont make such a BIG deal out of nothing
    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!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. GEE

    lena – It is because they quit counting the dead soldiers in Iraq and Afghan and now have more time for polls. I guess they quit dying when the high almightly took office. Get off the internet and follow your liberal idiots on National News-

    July 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Kathleen Hurst

    Just wait.... it is going to get worse. Health care, cap and trade, unemployment... WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE and NO ONE in WASHINGTON is selfless enough to fix it.... They are all worried about their own images. When will we start doing what is RIGHT for the COUNTRY??? Everyone is filling their own pockets and stoking their own egos. What a pathetic sight for a once GREAT COUNTRY. I am sickened and saddened for us all.

    July 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. David Newport, OR

    Oh my God....it is below 60%....the World is coming to an end. Everyone...hold on to their families. Looks to me like a pathetic attempt to try to make news that isn't.

    July 17, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. cal

    Obama is a conman. i don't have a problem with his national health care as long as congress and him or going to get the exact same healthcare and cannot "opt out". You know they won't cause democrats are a bunch of hypocrits. Good healthcare only for the rich.

    July 17, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Scott

    Obama's problem just like Bush's the last two years he was in office is a Democratic Congress. They are the ones with the purse strings.

    July 17, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. NS0710

    These numbers are relevant in regard to gains/losses in 2010, which is why Obama needs to stay on top of his messaging and ensure that the American people know that the it takes more than 6 months to pull back from the heavy recession. He also needs to refresh our memory's about his promises regarding the stimulus. He never said it was an immediate cure all, yet that's what we want.

    July 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. toyosi

    I have no problem with this except that we should be more patient. Its easier to destroy than to build

    July 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Stephanie

    I am just surprised it took ya'll this long to see he is a phony, glad to see I was right all along.

    -waiting for the next 3 years to be over and fast, get someone who really cares in the white house

    July 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Brett

    about time!

    at least, that we know that he still a human! :)

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Vic of New York

    So what? This is still the most proactive President we have had in most our life times. Count me in the 60% majority.

    The rest are malcontents who wouldn't recognize manna from heaven if it fell on their heads. This type has been around since biblical times.

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. dan

    That's still 30 points better than where Bush was polling before leaving office.

    I'm not surprised that people disapprove of Obama. I mean, equality for everyone isn't really the American way. Oh, wait...

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. scott

    This Obama character we have in office hasn't done anything to bolster hope or change for our country. He goes on spending sprees; he goes on trips' he apologizes for what our country has done to help other nations in the past.

    Americans are getting tired of his excuses

    Americans are getting tired of his running around

    Americans are getting tired of his lies.

    We all know the Bush presidency was not great–but Bush is gone and Obama is in office.

    If Obama can't fix the economy after 7 months in office–and no one expected him to–he should at least try to give hope to our nation. And frankly, he hasn't done anything of the sort.

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. mike in VA

    Hey Lena, you say there was no negitive reportin go President Bush low approval rating? hat planet are you from?

    Obama's honeymoon is over. He is being exposed as an incompentent, big government. big spending elitest liberla/socialist that he is. People who supported him are now realizing what a very bad mistake is was to elect this buffoon.

    Obama: Worst President Ever.

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Chris

    Well, let's see. Everyone says that it took eight years to get to this point, and it did, probably longer. The point is that he is scaring the hell out of everyone with all of this spending, and I voted for him. That's the POINT that's being made. So, let's keep it in context.

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Bella from Florida

    Obama is the great spender. He has misunderstood his role as President. You do not go out on dates to New York and spend over a million dollars of taxpaers money to do that. You do not have lavish parties in the White House because you need to set an example in times of recession. I just think he is a big spender.

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Uncle Fester

    This doesn't surprise me, I knew he was all talk just like your typical politician. America got it wrong again!! You should have voted for McCain and Palin! I could never under stand the american people voting in a community organizer for president!

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. tom

    With 30 second sound bites for news coverage, cable tv stations still trying to convince us he's not an American, and Republicans yearning for a third term for "W", I am actually surprised Obama's ratings are as high as they are.

    My only hope is that he will continue to ignore the polls and do what we elected him to do. Get this country back into the center of the road. We've driven in the ditch on the right for a long...long time!

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Mike Jones

    The biggest shock about this whole article. is the fact that CNN (Mainstream Media) actually posted it on their webpage instead of burying it....

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Dave

    It could be people have lost confidence because his story is changing. First it was get the stimulus passed so unemployment won't go over 8%. Now that it's at nearly 10% the story is "that's OK, we know it's going to get worse." That's not really the kind of strong leadership people were hoping for.

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Stop complaining

    In response to Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama comment, please get your facts straight before commenting. It's a known fact that he has the highest rate of blacks on his and Michele's Staff. To get more information I would suggest you read the Essence Magazine and the special that NBC did on the President a couple of months back.

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Criswell

    What's crack'n me up is that during the election most Obama supporters were praising CNN for being the most unbias honest representation of him of all networks. Those like Fox News were demonized as being polarized against him....

    Now with this report you are turning on CNN as well!!! Now they are the lie mongers out to hate on Obama. At what point will you be pleased?

    July 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Georgio

    Bring Bush back!. Mr. Obama should quit before it these polls dips to zero. This job is hard..we need our economy fix in 6 months..we are tied of waiting since he got elected!

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Dan Chatham Ma

    The President is trying to socially engineer the country in accordance with his experiences during his upbringing.............He will turn the US into a free for all that don't work society. All societies of the world go thru cycles..........this one is destined to be a death spin for the USA. He has condoned tax cheats and crooks......and in doing so has sent a bad message to the public...........he doesn't have the perceived leadership skills and will become more of a bully as his popularity dwindles.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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