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. Milly

    It's worth it to keep in mind that each young American will owe $114,000.00 debt on the interest alone without the principle for the trillion dollar stimulus scam.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. from NJ

    "Change" you can believe in, actually "change" (a few nickles and some quarters) will be all that this country is left with when this administration done with it's wasteful spending.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Palin Power

    We need Sarah Palin as President right now. She will get 100% approval ratings all the time and nothing less.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Anthony

    Well, he's a tax and spend liberal. All the Independent voters that voted him into office has just now began to realize just what that is. His pledging of "no taxes for the under 250K families". In his first few days of office he signed legislation to place a 62 cent tax increase on cigarettes. It's not income tax, but it's a tax. Today's it's cigarettes and alchol tax...tomorow it will be the car you drive, how much you weigh and who knows what else.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Bruce

    As an independent minded voter, I try to sort through all the crap that is posted on these blogs and try to figure out which posters actually portray things realistically and which ones are mindless zealots (and there are some on both sides of the aisle).

    Frankly, I'm tired of hearing from the Dems about how Bush spent 8 years ruining the economy (the Dow was at 14,000 less than 2 years ago and all anybody was complaining about was Iraq) and on the other side of the ledger the Republicans expect Obama to fix it in 6 months (which is unrealistic – it will take much longer).

    The thing that strikes me about Obama is that he is trying to ram through a number of initiatives that will have long lasting effects on the American people and the American economy and he is doing it as a leftist idealogue as opposed to a bipartisan mainstreamer (which is how he ran). I also cannot get out of my mind the image of him bowing to the Saudi king. What's up with that?

    In any case, he has made some unpopular moves and the American people are right to question things that don't seem right. If the CBO says that the heathcare initiative numbers don't add up and Obama says we need it right away, I tend to side with the CBO...they're non partisan. When I see all the money being misspent in the past 6 months (trillions!) with no realistic way to pay it back, common sense tells me that this guy doesn't have a clue about economics.

    Hope is a wonderful emotion, but it is not enough to return our country to greatness. There are consequences to all of the poor decisions now being made. Frankly, I have gone from cautious optimism to unrepentant pessimism regarding our new president. But he has given me no choice.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Mrs.L

    I see the same old tired repug haters still visit this blog.
    you all are so so tired!!! Obama is the best thing that has happened to this country in a long time. Of course blame it all on him when he inherited this mess that the greed of you repugs caused. I for one am proud of a man that has worked tiredlessly from day one.
    You all sleep better at night and you know it but because of who he is you just wont admit that he is doing an outstanding job. Imagine if Mc grand pa would have won we would all be standing in a soup line right now.
    Oh except you all that are richer than us average middle americans

    Give us a break and go read a newspaper or take a nap but leave the President alone to do his work.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Lori

    I agree with John.

    It took only a matter of days for those of his own party to start attacking him, blaming, moaning and complaining. I was shocked!

    Well, I LOVE this President. He's in and out of the country working himself silly to fix the horrific mess left by the Bush administration. I invite all of you to understand how complicated it is to work on the economy, repair our relations with others across the globe, fix healthcare, nominate judges and carry out the other work we elected him to do. He does it all with grace, confidence, humor and humility and that is both refreshing and comforting.

    I expect this kind of crap from conservatives, but I'm ashamed of the rest of you. Why can't everyone relax, shut up and let the man work.

    July 17, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Zeb

    Why is our President reliving Slavery's horrors for old time's sake in another country instead of addressing the immediate problems blacks face in America TODAY??? Why isn't he "feeling the sorrow" of the countless families whose friends and loved ones are dying here in street violence, etc., every day? Because he has no backbone and no real plan of action for the "change" he promised. He needs to get into the present and face the current challenges head on instead of reopening old wounds.

    July 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Mitzie - GA

    Historically this drop in polls is relatively normal for the same period of a presidency. Oddly some of our least respected Presidents had higher polls at this point. A poll gives you only a snapshot in time.

    I suggest we give the President time to accomplish something.

    Bush W. – 57%
    Bush H.W. – 60%
    Clinton – 43% than up to one of the higher approvals at the end
    Reagan – 61% before dropping to a low of 42% than back up
    Carter – 68% – Now widely perceived as one of the worst presidents
    Ford – 55%
    Nixon – 61 % – Resigned before he could be impeached
    Johnson 75% – Later did not run for reelection. Didn't think he'd win.
    Kennedy 75%
    Eisenhower 71%
    Truman 82% dropping to a low of 33 – Deeply respected today.

    July 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Andrew

    When you are overseas giving speeches with no intention of follow up action while your country's economy is failing and everyday Americans are struggling to find work....what do you think is going to happen to your popularity? This man outsources everything he takes credit for. He never read the stimulus and he didn't craft it. Same with tax and trade, opps, i mean cap and trade, and same with the healthcare bill. Obama is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. David Axelrod runs everything anyhow. Obama just smiles and gives eloquent speeches telling people what they want to hear. They are going to have some bigger problems on their hands here soon with stag-flation on the way and high energy costs. The liberal Bush is failing us all.

    July 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Vern

    WOW!!!! THis is such big news....1 percent? Well lets just bring out the Calvary!!!!
    All these nay sayers with their negative comments...you know ..the ones on the side lines that they themselves can't keep their own house in order much less the nation...they all can just get off President Obama or move to another country, since America is so bad!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. vjunior

    To whatever: Please get your head out of your rear end.

    Six months is enough for any other president. Why don't you focus on the fact that he is investigating internal CIA affairs, but letting Islamist Jihads congregate in a hotel south of Chicago.

    CHANGE '12

    July 17, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. nyc

    52% of the people voted for change and 100% of Americas got screwed.

    July 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. jsb

    We want everything done at once. billions are being spent on a war in Iraq when It should have been fought in Afganistan. No one said anything. The spin doctors were at work. Now that the economy is on the verge of colapse we have a president and cabinet working to hold it together and the spin doctors are at it again slamming the president. We had 8 years of mismanagement and want it fixed in 6 months, Lets be fair now.

    July 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. independent jim

    americans amaze me. instant gratification is all you can handle. for eight years the republicans destroyed our standing in the world, took our economy in a downward spiral and a lot of you seem to think Obama should have it fixed in the first six months in office.

    And to those of you critical of the spending to get us out of this fix, I ask, where were you when billions were requested and released for a needless war that will cost america for years to come? The cost of lives and cash cannot be overstated.

    July 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Scott

    Wait til healthcare passes? You've got to be out of your mind! I know I'm pretty excited about having to wait for months to see a doctor and then not being able to get the prescriptions I need because they are too expensive. I can't wait.

    July 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    @JML July 17th, 2009 2:38 pm ET
    right, this "poll" is taken amoung hom…………………."Independants" and "republicans" because if you were to do a poll amoung DEMS he's approval rating has increased.
    -------------------------------
    JML,

    Exactly where in this article does it state who was polled? I know the libs are disappointed but come on, independants and republicans were the only ones polled? Sorry, that is NOT in this article! You cannot prove your point!

    July 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. AZPhil

    57% really means 51.1%. Since 12% of the US is black, that's automatically 12% even if he was videotaped strangling bunnies.

    So of the remaining 88%, apparently 45% approve. It's an easy calculation: Real approval rating = (AR -12)/(100-12), or in this case (57-12)/(100-12), or 45/88, hence 51.1%

    July 17, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. bseen99

    Sure as Biden would say we can spend our way out of low poll numbers..

    July 17, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Nan

    Liberals, you constantly criticized Bush about everything.

    Hopefully, reality is starting to set in for some of you - perhaps the moderate Dems and some independents - that Obama is not God, and he is moving the country into a very scary socialist path.

    Perhaps one day you will wake up and actually read and get some knowledge about just what this man is all about. It's quite frightening.

    July 17, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. sctimbo

    It is unfathomable to me that so many AMERICANS are so uninformed about this country's economic crisis. No wonder this moron got elected. The Clinton's administration began this mess with Fannie and Freddie...the worldwide economic impact of 9/11, a couple of economically devastating natural disasters, your democratically controlled congress on a free-for-all spending spree for the last four years, and FINALLY the national gasoline price gouging that was allowed all last summer and into the fall, which OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE HAS TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT, sent us spiralling over the edge! You all need to wake up, enroll in an -online economics 101 class, and snap out of your ignorance. You can fix debt with more debt and you can't stimulate anything on credit, much less the world economy. Do you not realize that is what got us into this in the first place?

    July 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Richard L

    Yep. President Obama's approval rating has sunk to a personal low.

    It's only TWICE what Bush's was.

    July 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. KTX

    He'll be at 26% when he leaves the White House in 2013. . .

    July 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. zack

    They never polled me. Obama is doing his job and taking it seriously. How can people expect Obama to fix everything in 6 months?

    July 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. AZPhil

    GoodjobObama says " What other president had public airwaves wishing them failure? '

    Well, Bush 43, to the point that CBS MADE UP stories about him. And MSNBC lived to hate the man.

    July 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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