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. John

    We Americans will never be Happy.

    We will Always finds Faults in Everyone.

    We will never and We can never find a 100% Perfect Person.

    May be we need to Clone a 100% Perfect Person for President.

    Or May be We can Have a President "MADE in CHINA".

    Or May be One day we can have a President for another Planet.

    July 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Garrett

    It would be GREAT if he would do his job, but he just cares about the welfare of the health of his TelePrompter, and vacationing around the world....he has no clue what to do. This is a scarry time for all of us being led upstream without a rudder!

    July 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. jay

    Hey the excitement of being black is over! Now its time to judge his policies...........

    July 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Wil B

    Im really sick of people calling Obama a fraud. these same fools think the economy if gonna rebound in six months after the past eight years of war spending. You wanna talk about fraud, how about the fraudulent war spending to Haliburton, oh yeah thats all good. The self rigtheous hypocrits who criticize Obama are the same ones who only read once sentence in the 2nd amendment. You fail to realize it will not be free to get us out if this mess caused by the past administration and republican congress.

    Oh and dont use the line, the Dems have been in charge since 2006, it hold little water. A bare majority does not constitute power and this was shown many times by the roadblocks put in place by.republicans throughout those two year between 2007 and 2009.

    I will give Obama time to see where we are this time in 2010. Most economists see the light. And histroy show the economy rebounds then jobs, not the other way around.

    Healthcare is needed in this nation for all, but some feel only they are privilged enough to have it. We are the most prosperous nation on the planet yet we dont even take care of ourselves the way we should. Its a sad story.

    I support Obama, and will be patient. Given its not unlimited, but it is only 6 months. If you want him to fail, you want the country to fail. It is that simple.

    Wil B

    July 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. clr

    And he's going down down down... in a ring of fire... in a ring of fire...

    July 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Shane Creamer

    How do you expect a man who has never run a business, city, state or anything for that matter be expected to do any better?

    July 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. JC

    Well, when you're giving away money to other countries to help them out & can't take care of your own house... something's wrong. Worry about our own people first until we get our country together!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. republicans hate america

    whatever the polls say Obama will be a 2 term president and I know that just irritates the Rush Limbaugh Party to no end. I love it.

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Pepou

    So what ? I still think he is the best president we ever got. Period.

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Illinoistom

    If Dear Leader says he "inherited" the economy one more time I will be sick. He spent $600 million to get the job, so quit moaning about what Bush and the Democrats in Congress did to hurt the economy and start listening to people like Art Laffer and Paul Volcker instead of clowns like Goolsby!

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Jasmine in Germany

    Wasn't Bush on vacation (entertaining at his ranch, Camp David, etc.) most of the time during his first seven months on the job? Gosh, the polls sure are hard on a president who's worked 24/7 since taking office.

    "john July 17th, 2009 2:20 pm ET" has got it right!

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Garrett

    ObamaCare, ObamaNomics, ObamaTravel, ObamaChicagoCrook, ObamaKenyan birthplace, ObamaJoke, ObamaCzarCrooks, ObamasFailedAmerica. If there is a God, please help us NOW!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Bella from Florida

    AMericans can not have any patience becasue they are losing everyhting they have.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Dee

    Cph/9680, are you on pills? It took the Bush administration less than 8 years to deplete the monies the Clinton adminstration left in the coffers and less than 8 years for the Bush Administration to run this country into the ground by allowing the banking industry to run amok. If this is your response to a president who has been in office for six months, your grossly misinformed and I have a feeling you prefer it that way. I'll assume your kidding, because if your for real it's just donwright scary about the ignorance in this country. If you are out of work, you should hit the comedy circuit and become a comedian (your really funny and ridiculous) Barack Obama has done more in six months on this horrible jobe than Bush did in the entire 8 years he spent in the WH whit twittering his thumbs with this thumbs up his a–. Perhaps you should take off your racist colored glasses and see things for what they really are, this country is in a s–t load of trouble, trouble left by the previous administration and it is going to take time to rectify this situation (cleary more than 6 months) regardsless of what color our president is today or in 2012. So these continuous games and assinine observations of yours clearly are of no consequence or assistance

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. David

    Well at least Michelle Obama is dressing pretty nice these days and has more money to spend on clothes by saving on the White House food budget with her backyard veggie garden.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. townsend

    joe said 2:22pm
    sir I agree with you 100% this man is the biggest fraud of the 21century.bigger than lance armstrong.he had no clue when he was running for election,and he has none now.I will say it again for all to hear.he only wanted to be the first black person to sit in that chair at the oval office

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Oh come on!

    ? This is news?? A drop from 62% to 57%?

    The real story is - despite the horrible mess GWB left us with, and all the bad news that has emerged since he left office, an overwhelming majority of Americans are confident Obama can clean up the mess.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Fla.

    President Obama still has the approval of an American majority. Most politicians would love to have those ratings.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. President.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. MikeB

    I campaigned for Obama on his pledges to end outsourcing and end the H1-B visa. I knocked on hundreds of doors and promised unemployed and desperate people that Obama would stop their employers from packing their job up and moving it to India or China by the judicious use of punitive taxes and tariffs. Obama *LIED* to me and to the American people. This treacherous insider and his Wall Street cronies have sold us and this country out. Under the Democrats outsourcing is accelerating. The Wall Street firms they bailed out laid off more than 50,000 U.S. IT workers and Obama and his White House turned around and issued more than 50,000 "emergency" H1-B visas so those firms could replace those American workers with cheap (and quite) Indian and Chinese "guest workers". We have outsourced more than 40 million jobs. *ALL* of our economic troubles can be traced directly to the free trade fiasco that began under Clinton, wrecked our economy under Bush, and, now, threatens our very existence under Obama. Right now, I *loathe* Obama, wouldn't vote for him, wont support him, think he ought to be impeached and imprisoned for treason. As unemployment cripples us, as all of Summer and Geithner's "happy talk" about the recovery is exposed as delussional, remember that our government is a failure and only represents the wealthy and connected, the criminals and fraudsters, and nut case fanatics from the left and right extremes. We need a new revolution.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. an intelligent democrat

    yes, let him do his job. that would be excellent, if he had any chance of actually doing it. stop making excuses for him. its just like the report last week, he's only the second sitting president to throw out the first pitch at the all-star game; all other presidents have been too busy. i would love it if the man would do his job. no wonder people don't approve of him.
    and yes, there were tons of polls when every other president was in office, this is nothing new.

    July 17, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. SF Serg

    It's okay. We shouldn't be surprised by all the Bush-lovers, who didn't say a word the last 8 years, to turn on Obama in 7 months. As patient as they were with Bush's destructive policies, they'll be as impatient with Obama's reconstructive efforts. Why don't they want to give him a real chance like they gave Bush? I hope it's not the race factor (comon, really?), otherwise we're in trouble. Are there still that many Republicans? Whatever the case, we shouldn't be surprised that these people don't realize (or care to) that Obama is not implementing a quick fix, but rather effective long-lasting change.

    July 17, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. John

    Lena wrote "Excuse me, but did CNN and CSPAN, NOT get the memo that the election is now over, why are you all still doing polls on a daily basis. I NEVER saw any polls while GW was in office.".....

    Clearly this person had there head in the sand the last 5 years, as the entire liberal media did almost nothing BUT report again and again how low Bush's poll numbers were.

    God forbid some say something negative about Lena's precious Obama.

    July 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Yawovi

    Let's get real, the president is doing great. Come on people!

    July 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. tom

    Wait until umemployment hits 10% (something virtually all economists are predicting).

    When America, officially, reaches "double digit unemployment" (something we thought was reserved only for Western European countries), Obama's approval numbers will completely plummet.

    And once the press turns on him (and it is only a matter of when), he is pretty much done for (see Hillary Clinton).

    Obama's "fall" will make Tony Blair's look line a "swan dive."

    July 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Karl Warrington

    People are incredibly fickle and impatient. When he job numbers start to look up so will Obama's numbers. This is why he feels that it is important to get health care done before his numbers slip, which is inevitable. Plus this economy is not your typical cyclical recession and will take time to begin to produce jobs again. History will show that the spending was and will be the only thing that effectively avoided a complete collapse of the economy. Financial institutions are now posting profits, which will translate into the thawing of the capital markets. States have been propped up by stimulus avoiding a catastrophic collapse.

    July 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17