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. AndrewCPA

    People need to stop using the past 8 years blah blah blah.... He has been in office, he and Congress make the choices, he needs to step up say "the buck stops here."

    I was rasied to take responsibility for your actions and what happens around you. I use that in work and when I replace others on jobs, I do not use well so and so put us in this postion, but rather take action and try to turn things around.

    President Obama is trying to do what he can. I might have not voted for, might not like a lot of things he is trying to do, but he is our President.

    July 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Nan

    I am not at all surprised. We are a nation of people who want it now. People had such unrealistic expectations when Obama took office. Things did not go down the tubes in 6 months and will not rebound in 6 months. Obama tried to put things in to perspective and tell people that it will take time and patience. But patience is one thing lacking in our country. One would think Obama has been POTUS for years not months. We all need to calm down, especially the media both pro and con Obama, Let him do his job. Then we can make a decision in 4 years. He himself has said if you don't like what I'm doing I will be out of a job. I do not see anyone else who could do the job better. At least not at this time. No republicans, democrats or independents seem to have any better ideas. Just lots of finger pointing and whining

    July 17, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Billy Corbi

    I agree with lena on why so many polls?. One reason, is our kids were being dumed down and are now in the Government. I'm an Independent, but we should give the President time, to try and turn our nation around. I have no idea why anyone would want the job in the first place. One thing is for sure, and that's the working man and woman should not have to pay higher taxes!!

    If the government starts taxing the middle class, that are trying to keep their heads above water, then I would think that someone is trying to wipe out the middle ckass!! Give that some thought. Thanks Everyone,

    Billy Dawg

    July 17, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. clr

    With an average of 3 (THREE) soldiers dying a day under this didiot's watch – this President is the worst Commander In Chief of all. Commanders take it personally when they lose men, and they FIX the problem. Instead he keeps rolling out more pink-posey rules that get more of them killed. "Shoot to wound" rather than "Shoot to Kill" – are you kidding me?? Tieing the hands of the CIA who keep them safe? geezzz – they guy is a total, abject L-O-S-E-R!

    For every day the troops die – Snowbama loses a point. He is losing far more a day than Bush did, he is ordering up more of our boys to the slaughter, and he can't even get away from the cameras long enough to go see his men and fix the problems.

    July 17, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Jan

    No surpise...he's just Mr. "Speech-in-an-Empty -Suit.". A lawyer who sucks on the teleprompter like a baby on a bottle. And he's a lawyer??? Twelve years a professor at Chicago Law and no substantive publication record? Huh? More like "Ha-Ha".

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Just Say No to Socialism

    Hey Tim in NC

    You want patience?? Well how about asking the administration and congress to have a real debate and discussion about health care instead of raming it down the throats of the taxpayers. The CBO cant even answer questions because the socialists are trying to move before the people find out the facts!!

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. schmeckel

    Can we please not vote for celebrities like Obama, Palin, and Clinton in the next election? I am a republican, but I could not vote McCain if I took a chance of having Palin being in charge of the country. Obama has 3 YEARS experience in the federal government so I couldn’t vote for him. He is a great speaker, but next time just pretend they are politicians and lie to get your vote. Please do some research and vote on qualifications, not what the politicians say they will do if elected. Please leave me with a choice if I don’t like my parties’ pick.

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Tony

    People are basically getting tired of him. He really needs to quit campaigning and start working. That is what the Senate is trying to do with "his" healthcare bill that he wants shoved down everyone's throat.

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Still good for President Obama, people still want thing fixed right now. Remember all this trouble just started six month ago (SMILE)

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Skeeve

    Yep, handling the economy... Yet again American electorate demonstrated an appalling level of ignorance expecting Obama to perform miracle and reverse the systemic crisis that was almost 20 year in the making in under half-a-year. Something really has to be done about it... Idiocracy is coming :)

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. tom

    Caught the local 20-year old hipster on my block using a razor blade to take the "OBAMA" sticker off his Hybrid this weekend.

    That's a bad sign, Mr. President.

    A very bad sign.

    July 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Kate

    Well perhaps he should stop travelling all over he's not really doing anything for the US. He's tossing out baseballs, visting Italy for what? We have huge problems at home where he should be trying to figure them out.

    Also, I'm sick of hearing him talk about what specific minorities have coming and how it's their turn. His calling should of been a preacher because that's really all he does. I swear he's the anti-christ and I'm glad I didn't vote for him because he's going to fall right on his rear.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. kim

    People will not forget who got us into this major mess!
    I know the Republicans would very much hope you forget, but sorry it won't happen.
    BUSH BUSH BUSH what a disaster he left for Obama.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Steve

    In all honesty, he needs to work on just a few things. He is trying to do too much. I like him and what he has done, but he needs to slow down a bit and work on the economy.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Not Buying IT

    If he can outspend ALL previous presidents combined in 6 months, why can't he be expected to fix the economy in 6 months. He hasn't even implemented OBAMACARE or CAP & TAX, yet. It's only going to get much much worse.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. VMSAnderson, South Florida

    What I want to know, and what I ALWAYS want to know with regard to these polls is WHOOOOOOOOO is being surveyed????? I mean, I'm somewhat of a social butterfly...I chat online, I volunteer with various organizations, I'm on facebook, myspace etc, I travel on many occasions, I work for the State and I have NEVER since I registered to vote 6 years ago known ANYONE who was surveyed regarding ANY President's approval rating. Not even on social networking sites where I talk to people from across the country!!!! I know no one asked me, or anyone at my job, or anyone I know for that matter...because as far as I'm concerned Obama is doing the best he can under the circumstances and trying to think outside of the box our nation has been trapped in forever. It amazes me that people TRULY expect years, and years, and YEARS of damage (it didn't start with GWB), to be repaired in a matter of months. Barack and Michelle Obama, I commend you and I salute you both for all that you do. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE OBAMAS.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. from the middle

    Where was all the groaning when W was playing around on his ranch? Hold the waterworks & hysterics. One G Beck screaming like a maniac is one too many for this country to handle.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Doug from Allentown, PA

    Will (July 17th, 2009 2:24 pm ET) wrote:

    "...Reagan….approval rating under 50 percent for the last 2 years of his term. Yet he's your most (and really only) beloved politician. ..."

    Lincoln was a Republican. He is on Mt Rusmore. That goes for Teddy Roosevelt as well. How many Democrats are on Mt Rushmore?

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Ernie

    Obama's haste has made waste.
    Remember what America used to be, it's slipping away fast

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. CK1

    I think the President is doing a fantastic job. By the way, that was a inspiring speech he did yesterday at the 100th Aniversary of the NAACP. Give the President time, he's only been in office 6months. No one worry about polls but the naysayers.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Lori reminds the GOP that they have the lowest approval ratings in decades! There are NO signs of life in your party!

    All of a sudden the Republicans aren't saying that this is one of CNN's 'liberal polls.' My, my, my. How quickly they forget. I guess they can't read either because if they could they would see that Ronald Reagan and George W Bush weren't too far off from or were equal to President Obama's same ratings at this point in their presidency. And what happened to them again? Oh, that's right... they were re-elected! Poor 20%ers. Despite their criticisms, they've made NO gains with the American people. Sucks to be them.

    July 17, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Willy Brown

    As much as it pains me to say this, I have to admit it – my Democrat friends were right.

    They told me if I voted for McCain, the nation's hope would deteriorate, and sure enough there has been a 20 point drop in the Consumer Confidence Index since the election, reaching a lower point than any time during the Bush administration.

    They told me if I voted for McCain, the US would become more deeply embroiled in the Middle East, and now, tens of thousands of additional troops are scheduled to be deployed into Afghanistan .

    My Democrat Party friends told me if I voted for McCain, that the economy would get worse and sure enough unemployment is at 9.4% and the new stimulus packages implemented recently have sent the stock market lower than at any time since the Islamic Terrorists attacks of 9-11.

    They told me if I voted for McCain, we would see more "crooks" in high ranking positions in Federal government and sure enough, several recent cabinet nominees and Senate appointments revealed resumes of scandal, bribery and tax fraud.

    They told me if I voted for McCain, we would see more "Pork at the trough" in Federal government and sure enough, 17,500 "Pork Bills" showed up in Congress since January 2009.

    I was also told by my Democrat friends that if I voted for McCain, we would see more deficit spending in Washington D..C. ,and sure enough, Obama has spent more in just 30 days than all other Presidents together – in the entire history of the good ole USA!!

    Well I voted for McCain in November and my Democrat friends were right... all of their predictions have come true!

    July 17, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. obama sucks

    what do you expect from a corrupt politican from Illinios who didn't fix his own state how can he fix the US as president

    July 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Steven

    These polls look just like roll over min. results from a bad cell phone plan Sponsored by GWiretap4 less.
    The dump-trucks of money are still being printed but GM cant afford to make any more dump trucks to deliver the new unmarked bills, so were at a impasse? Or are the trucks made of money? And the exhaust is droplets of polluted debt of IOU’s redeemable only with the purchase/ birth of a new baby?

    We need to boycott the previous debt paid out which include all the fat from the earmarks and take the rest as a loss and go on…. War in congress will not pay or clear these debts. Didn’t we leave France for thing like this? Or is it more compound because the people let it go on so long?

    July 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Jon

    I love how the reporter in this article gives clear percentages when they are below Obama's approval rating, but when they go above his rating he starts to confuse people by saying 2/3 or 66% and 6 out of 10 or 60%. Sorry Mr. Steinhauser, but we can see where your loyalty lies just by reading your articles. Maybe next time you could try and be a little un-biased in your reporting.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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