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. Retired US ARMY

    Actually George W Bush's approval rating 6 months into office stood at 57%, major accomplishments up to that point, chopping wood at his ranch on vacation.

    July 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Kyle

    So you think the media didn't focus on approval ratings during W's term. I think not only did the media focus on W's approval ratings they also helped to drive them into the ground. Obama has no experience at running anything in government and it is no surprise that the only change we have seen is he wants to write bigger checks than the previous administration.

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. MP

    It took republicans and everybody else to mess up the economy in nearly a decade and they expect Obama to clean everything up in 6 months? Get a grip people.

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. P. D.

    Isn't this premature? Here we have a man barely in office, and yet all he had to deal with is a group of Republicans who reject every bipartisan effort he has rolled out. The economy still sucks. Is that so suprising? Look at the mess Bush got us into What do you expect? Obama to wave a magic wand and make everything peachy-keen? Give me a break!

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Jenny Hamms

    To all the Republican big mouth losers out there, to bad you lost. America will be a much better place.

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. lanray

    You would think he would keep his butt at home and take care of all the pressing domestic issues instead of flying off to all corners of the globe to show off his wife and kids. He needs to stay home and solve the problems he promised to fix during his campaign. We have now all seen Miss Obama $6,000 purse and $600 sneakers - give us a break!

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Mike Jones

    6 months from now, His numbers will be in the 20's.....I am glad McCain lost the campaign. I love critisizing liberals... They wanted to drive the bus. Let them get the blame when they drive it off the cliff.

    July 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. matt

    Who could trust Obama after he didn't do anything to clean up his own corrupt state of Illinois and like to make false peace with our enemies after Russia has committed serious war crimes in chechnya

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Larry

    Bad mortgage legislation in Clinton years are to blame for economy.

    Bush ran up expenditures in Iraq.

    Obama will take savings from pulling out of Iraq and put it right back in Afghanistan.

    Polls indicate, not that everything should be fixed, but instead that people undersstand and have confidence that Obama has things going in the right direction. He hsa no definitive plan.

    Failing to plan is planning to fail.

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Zub

    Good to see America is starting to wake up.

    Hopefully the remaining few will become conscious before we truly become a socialized nation.

    No where in the Declaration of Independance does it state that the government will provide healthcare. Nor does it state that the rich should shoulder the financial burden for the majority of the country.

    Vote Democrat, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK!

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Mike

    What shocking surprise. We are well on the road to a failed socialist country, taxes out the wazoo and just now are some starting to worry. My biggest fear is he will get something done. The health care boondoggle and cap and trade are going to ruin this country. I wonder how many of his supporters are going to be willing to "wait and see" after their jobs are gone or they can't afford the taxes. I really hope you Dems are happy two years from now. His group, Reid,Pelosi, Biden, Boxer have trashed California and you want to emulate that success in the rest of the country? But hey, everything is the fault of the republicans......

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. HD

    @ lena – Um, you're kidding right? During the last few years of Bush's presidency you couldn't go three days without hearing about his tanking approval ratings. If you didn't see them, you weren't looking.

    "When will you get over it, and let our New President just do his JOB!!!"

    I think the whole point of these polls (and CNN's story) is that he's doing his job and the percentage of the American public who approves is dipping. Thus the term "approval ratings".

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Matt

    Hey Lena,

    Approval ratings are important when a President is in office, just as much as during the election. Did you not have your eyes opened during the last presidental terms. Of course they do presidential approval ratings all throughout each presidents tenure! That way they know how We The People are feeling about his performance, and right now I'm one of the few that dissaprove. Get tough Mr. President, and ask us to sacrifice! We will do what we need to do on our end.

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. estherama

    ...sometime I meet people in the street, and they think Obama has 'UNA VArita Magica' to fix economic...

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. BR

    Get over people... Obama is staying for two strong terms. I can't imagine what's going to happen to those who have commented negative about his approval for next eight years. They should all re-locate temporarily to xxx.

    Go Obama!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. ss

    Some folks will never be happy. Just imagine if Sarah Palin was left to this mess. President Barack is doing a very good job. I think some of people opinions are based on stereotypes. The President is more then capable of doing his job. It to bad he has to spend his early days as President cleaning up other folks Kool – aide.

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Janice Bonds

    What a misleading headline. Whoever is writing the headline for the ticker needs to be kicked in the behind. Republicans are some crazy, delusional people. You people sat on your as... for 8 years while GWB ran this country into the ground, yet none of you hypocrites said a thing. Now, because a man of color is running things all of a sudden he has to turn things around in 6 months. What a bunch of liars and deniers you are. Pres. Obama said that the stimulus would take at least 18 mos before we started to see results – but you hypocrites (who are doing nothing but complaining) expect miracles, yet you say he is not the chosen one (which the Repubs have labeled him as). Which is it? Is he a miracle worker or just a man trying to fix what GWB and the Repubs ruined? Make up your minds. But I forgot you don't have any minds because you let the likes of Limbaugh tell you what to think. What a sorry bunch you are – you and the likes of Buchanan, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, O'Reilly, Sessions, Graham, Perry of Texas, Sanford, and your girl Sarah with her crazy anti-American supporters, etc. Thank goodness time is running out on people like these – nature has a way of taking care of mutants.

    July 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Eric in Denver

    I think Lena has confused CNN and Fox. CNN had more negative stories about Bush on a daily basis, than they did on Obama during the last 2 years. CNN has Campbell Brown and other crazy lefties like Begala and Carville. Fox has Hannity and Beck. I just wanted to set you straight

    July 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Sherri

    OMG!!!! Give the man a break. How in the world can he have this ecomony fixed in six months when it took W.. 8 years to mess it up.

    His plans have to change as things change from day to day. He's miles above the one before him...At least he has a plan W didn't even have a CLUE.

    July 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Johnny DC

    This president is doing everything in his power to not win in 2012. I can't believe what I'm witnessing... this has to be the biggest choke in the history of politics.

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Tim

    OK Dems — crank up your keyboards and blame everything on Bush.
    --------–
    Considering that you guys are already blaming everything on Obama in just 6 months, as opposed to Bush's 8 years, then hey, why not?

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Patty

    I completely agree with the comments made by the first gentlemen, Larry. He hit it right on the head.
    We should never have invaded Iraq. Our troops were sent to Afghanistan after 911 and they had Osama Bin Laden on the run.
    I know this first hand from a soldier who was there and took out several taliban himself. But no, our troops were pulled out to finish the job that daddy Bush didn't complete. And it was always all about oil.
    Enough of this politicking nonsense. This country is in deep economic trouble and it certainly didn't help that Buch and Chaney ran it into the ground by starting two unpopular wars that don't seem to be ending any time soon. Billions of dollars and worst yet, lives of our yound men and women. They don't even want us over there.
    I always felt that Dick Chaney was the "real" president and George W. was just the family name. Now look where we're at, OIL MAN?????
    It's time for all Americans regardless of party affliation to join together and stop pointing fingers. And it needs to start with our Congress and the the rest of our leaders. It's time to lead once again.

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Nikita_19

    Please give me a break. Who participates in these polls anyway?
    I don't believe anyone I know has ever been polled, including yours truly. I really think these polls are a political levy solely controlled by the opposing party to create dissension among parties supporters. President Obama has only been in office less than 7 months. So far President Obama, has done a commendable job with the rotten bag of fish he was left with from our 8 years of agony, debt and deceit that was created by the Bush administration. Give the new President a chance!

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Jon

    It is long-overdued and more will come soon.

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Mike Jones

    Hey Libs, what does inherited mean anyway? I am tired of hearing you use that word.....

    July 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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