July 17th, 2009
05:39 PM ET
10 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. Dee

    Cph/9680, are you on pills. It took the Bush administration to less than 8 years to deplete the monies the Clinton adminstration left in the reserces and to run this country into the ground and this is your response to a president who has been in office for six months. Are you kidding? If you are out of work, you should hit the comic circuit (your really funny and rediculous) Barack Obama has done more in six months than Bush did in the entire 8 years he was in office. Perhaps you should take off your racist colored glasses and see things for what they really are, this country is in real trouble left by the previous administration and it is going to take time to rectify this message regardsless of what color our president is today and in 2012.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. grrneyedgrrl

    um u never saw polls why GW was in office, lena??? are you kidding, there was a poll the press was talking about every week the man was in office practically...no different for any other president.

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

    Six months on the job and he has not saved the world? He is probably still trying to find his cabinets members offices and meeting rooms. In my opinion he has done a remarkable job in just changing the international image of the USA.

    I'm glad I don't have his job, since the bar for standards of performance are way too high. Obviously Bush didn't even care about that stnadard. At least I get the feeling Obama is giving it his best on a daily basis. He is a human being not God folks.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Debbie

    This economy better be fixed before my microwave dinner is done or else! And what's Obama think he's doing working all the time? He can't get anything done that way. He needs to be on vacation! That's what presidents do, right?

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Paul


    We all know the president is probably the most gifted at delivering inspirational speeches. The problem is eloquence is not solving our unemployment and economic issues. He needs to take some concrete actions that provide growth. His actions thus far with a complicit Congress have just retarded recovery.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Dee

    Well it seems understandable since expectations were so high. Eveerybody wants their pet project fixed immediately. You know the old "Rome wasn't built in a day".... Some items may have to wait a bit. But nobody wants to hear that. Also nobody on any side of these political shenanigans really wants to compromise or discuss. Makes everyone who doesn't get exactly what they want angry. I too would like to see more progress in some areas but I am at a loss to suggest how it can be done in today's frustratingly partisan environment.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Bill

    Just get ACORN to take the polls, his numbers will magically rise again!

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. J Outsider

    "OK Dems — crank up your keyboards and blame everything on Bush."

    And OK Reps, crank up yours and tell us how Obama is a failure when he has the same approval W had a the same time in office.
    Silly partisan politics.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Robert

    Hello Democrats! Food for thought...BO is trying to eliminate the rich (remember re-disrtibute the wealth?) but the cornerstone of Obamacare is that the rich will pay for it with tax hikes. Well, what happens when the rich aren't so rich? You got it...everyone's taxes will go up. WAKE UP!

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. renobill

    Okay, I'm not entirely happy with Obama either. But when you think of the clown he replaced, and the idiots he ran against, the guy belongs on Mt. Rushmore.

    July 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Kelby In Houston, TX

    "Unemployment is likely to rise in the months ahead, National Economic Council Director Larry Summers warned, as the full impact of the $787 billion economic recovery plan is not likely to be felt until 2010."
    And this is why Obama's poll numbers are below 60%. The People are impatient. On top of that, Republicans are trying to push their failures off on to Obama so peopel think that our economic woes are his fault. But things will get better. And when they do, the republican party will truly be done for

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Tom

    Come on Obama is a looser and will distroy this country.

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. steph

    from 62% to 60% approval rating in 2 months. And this is a story? Come on CNN.

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. christine

    Yes, it is indeed hard to judge a man by the numbers this early into the presidency. Let's elect him for another four years to eliminate all doubt that this isn't Bush's fault. And when he sets the new standard for failure, racism will be the scapegoat.

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Jones

    Who was president on September 10, 2001?

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. grrneyedgrrl

    ....and did it not sound like to you that he has the better approval rating at this point into his presidency than the others? oooh brother

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

    I do not watch the polls because they ask a thousand people their opinions and base it off that. I personally think he is doing a great job! It took 8 years for us to get here. It will take a lot longer to resolve this mess!

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Democratic Party

    This has to be George Bush's fault. He is responsible for everything! This is a conspiracy by the right. I am guessing that Rove and Cheney rigged this poll. How can the Messiah not be loved by all. He has done so much in the past few months to make this world a better place. The unemployment numbers are wonderful, we are a lot safer, we are not in debt in fact I think we have a surplus for the first time since Clinton our other savior. We are no longer putting pork in the bills, healthcare is going to cover all at the cost of the evil rich people. PS for all the crazies out there this is sarcasm. For the left you can look this up in the dictionary if you don't understand. Congress and Barry will have similar approval rating a year from now.

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. David

    As someone already pointed out, President Obama's numbers are as high as Reagan's at this point in his term. In other words, the numbers are just fine. The right wingers will cheer and claim this is big news. Yawn.
    The haters will continue to hate. The supporters will continue to support. Those in the middle are probably typical Americans expecting instant results and drop their support when it doesn't magically materialize out of thin air. It took us a long time to get into our current set of problems and it's going to take a while to fix them.

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    To much spending and no results.. Our children will be left with this huge bill

    July 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Fort Lauderdale

    The Democrats in Congress will lose their jobs if they keep yessing Obama on every request. Obama is a persuasive man and an imposing presence, but his ideas deserve more scrutiny from his own party as well as the opposition. It is well known that the decisive voters in national elections are independents and swing voters. People are aware that there is just not enough money to pay for these gigantic programs, and especially not all at once.

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Diva

    Give the man a little more time, geesh. The only reason Bush's approval rating stayed above water 6 months into his first term, was because people were still looking to him for guidance after 911./. Once we saw the light, that dropped REAL FAST.. REAL< REAL REAL FAST.

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. maxx atl

    This is so patriotic (not) What are the polster doing to help this country. The nay sayers what are you doing to help??? If you are not part of the solution then you are still the problem... the over 70 million that voted for him me include is not the least bit concerned he is doing what we voted him in to do you idiots. Travelling is part of being a President it in the countrys best interest. Our president is not afraid to face the world leaders eye to eye to put forth his foreign agenda. Thats what we voted for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Ralph

    Slip, sliding away...
    No shocker here fellow Americans. All bluster and luster with little substance.

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Joe from New York STATE

    FINALLY, people are getting a clue 🙂 Best news I have heard on this website in quite sometime. Just wait three years from now!

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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