August 6th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama approval drops 7 points over last 100 days

President Obama approaches 200 days in office
President Obama approaches 200 days in office

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President Barack Obama approaches 200 days in the White House, a new national poll suggests his approval rating has dropped seven points since the 100-day mark in April. The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning also indicates that, while just one in five Americans say that the current economic conditions are good, the number who feel the economy is in very poor shape is dropping.

Fifty-six percent of those questioned in the poll approve of how Obama's handling his duties as president. Four in 10 disapprove. The 56 percent approval is down five points from June, and represents a drop of seven points from the president's showing in late April. The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation figures are in line with numbers from most other national polls out the past few weeks.

"Since April, Obama's rating has stayed steady among white women, but he has dropped 14 points among white men. A majority of white men supported him at the Hundred Day mark, but now most white men disapprove of how he is handling his job," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Obama has also slipped among non-whites, but he still gets support from over 70 percent of that group."

The number one issue dominating the first six months of the Obama presidency has been, of course, the economy. According to the poll, 44 percent say that Obama's polices have so far made the economy better, with just of half of Americans saying they haven't had a positive effect.

"But another 11 percent say that Obama's policies will eventually improve the economy, which adds up to a majority who say his policies have helped or will help the economy," adds Holland.

One in five questioned say economic conditions are good, with 44 percent saying they are poor. Thirty-five percent feel that conditions are very poor shape, the lowest level since January of last year.

So who's getting blamed for the current economic conditions? The survey indicates that more than four in 10 are pointing fingers at Republicans, with around one in four blaming the Democrats and another one in four saying both parties are equally at fault.

"The bad news for the GOP is that they get twice as much blame as the Democrats," says Holland. "The good news for the GOP is that the number of Americans who blame them is now below 50 percent."

Nearly six in 10 feel that the president has tried to handle more issues than he should have, with three in ten saying no. Just over half questioned feel that the first six months of the Obama presidency have been a success, with 37 percent suggesting it's been a failure. That 51 percent figure is lower than the 56 percent who in the summer of 2001 labeled George W. Bush's first six months in the White House a success.

The poll also suggests that when it comes to the Obama presidency, it looks like the thrill is gone. The number of people who say they're thrilled with Barack Obama as president has fallen by about half since January. But the number who they're happy with him has remained steady.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted 7/31-8/3, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Click here to read the full results (.pdf)


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. ADO

    Polls, Polls, and more Polls!!
    CNN PLEASE stop and rethink what you are giving us. Spend more time on developing and reporting and less time on telling me what 1000 people think

    August 6, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Lori

    Of course his numbers have dropped, he is actually trying to do something positive by implementing change in the healthcare system. People are in general adverse to change. And the Republican PR scream machine is shaking people up a bit, which is exactly what the GOP is counting on. Yet, I think this time sanity will prevail. We will pass a universal healthcare system in this country during President Obama's term because this president is willing to put the American people before campaigning for a second term. It's gonna happen people and we will be the better for it. Thank you, Mr. President.

    August 6, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  3. T

    This health care thing is what’s doing it. It would have guaranteed Clinton 15 years ago a one-term presidency and Obama is following in his footsteps. Other models around the world with similar nationalize health plans are not working and their economy is almost tanking. Why are we following the same road? Some people are saying that we are spending trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is money that can be re-coupe in due time, but spending inwardly like this is guaranteed and solid foundation in the future for rationed healthcare and real depth. Obama should watch out.

    August 6, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Larry

    More meaningless surveys

    I'd like to see the ratings of what intelligent people think of CNN when CNN lines up like they have behind the Republican smear machine

    CNN is near tabloid news these days

    Obama is the best thing that has happened in this country since it's birth

    Yet it seems CNN and so many others just want to tear it all down for the sake of money

    Democracy at it's worst

    Shame on you all ...

    August 6, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. concerned citizen

    President Obama needs to call out the RNC on what they really want for health care. Republicans don't want all Americans covered. If CNN conducted a poll and asked should all Americans be covered Republicans would no doubt out number Democrats and Independent in saying no. The GOP is an (all about me) party, maybe this is why the rich does well under a GOP administration and the middle class and poor suffers. If President Obama approval numbers drop because he fulfills a campaign promise to have universal health care then the RNCfear machine has more power than hope.

    August 6, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    The reason is simple. He is moving full steam ahead on too many things without taking the time to LISTEN to the American people and opposing views. Instead, he refers to us as an "angry mob" and chastizes us. I am insulted by this President, and many more are becoming resentful every day.

    August 6, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. katiec

    CNN,
    Why are you not posting on this page details of the absolute UnAmerican activities, corporate, special interests sponsored,
    radical movements by the GOP and followers at the town hall
    meetings???
    Why are you not as outraged as most Americans are??
    Fair and balanced?? Give me a break!!

    August 6, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. TJ

    Dont believe to polls CNN, everything u have posted about our President has been negative........CNN who is paying U

    August 6, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. annie s

    His approval has not dropped with me, although I do wish he would have commanded the health care dialogue earlier. This man took office with a country that was on the brink of ruin and in only 6 months his policies have helped to stabilize the situation and start us on the road to recovery – I'm not sure how anyone could interpret that as anything less than a great success. By the way, yes I'm a white female. But my white male husband is even more impressed with this President than I am.

    August 6, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Danny, WA

    Obama has no idea on how to Govern this country. It is a total disaster. He had brought Professor Gates to the white house for a beer summit while getting involve din local issues. Now he should bring those two journalists to white house for a cup of tea/coffee or perhaps a beer together will Bill. Bring everybody to White house. Welcome to Barack's world.

    August 6, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. Joe

    OB is definitely a miserable failure. Just imagine that this man has promised so much but delivered so little to an average citizen. Hopes promised were sky-high and the today's realities on economy, unemployment, tax, deficits, housing, crimes, laws and orders, and even human behaviors all crash to earth. Who would still believe him now with only exception of those liberal and socialist idiots? Just think about that even Bush still maneged to have 56% approval at this time-point of his presidency. God blesses America!

    August 6, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Rumsfeld

    Considering what we have endured prior to the current administration, there is no doubt that the US is gradually recovering and gaining strength within our own borders and around the world. I don't need to be thrilled with an individual to understand that, while the situation is difficult, their intentions are honest and confident. Pres. Obama has my support.

    August 6, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. Mattison Brooks

    7 points in 100 days isnt much in the grand scope of things. But 4 trillion dollars in 5 months speaks far more than ANY poll would.

    This President is not doing his job right. He has failed to follow through on his promises and people can call that right-wing criticism if they want; as far as Im concerned, if people want to believe that fiscal responsibility, integrity and common-sense are right-wing values, they are welcome to. We need that boost for the next election when 1-term-spend-orama-Obama takes a seat with Carter and Bush as the "Ha-ha" Presidents of American history.

    August 6, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    How is this surprising? Every new President comes in with the high expectations of the voters. And slowly it fades away, because they lie to get elected, they are all corrupt and under the big money influence of the corporate campaign contributors, special interest groups, unions, and lobbyists. How can you bring about change when every elected official right down to dog catcher gets their pockets lined by special interest money. It doesn't matter if it is the DNC or the RNC every one of these supposed public servants receive money from the same contributors. Along with that the two major parties hold a monopoly on ballot access, so a third party can never become competitive.

    August 6, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. sharon, newport news, virginia

    Considering the fact that the entire time he has been in office he has had a pack of wolves nipping at his heels, I think he has done a pretty good job.The last President to be handed such an economic mess was FDR. It took us 8 years to get in this mess, how can anyonebut the "wolves" think he can clear it up in 200 days. Cleaning up after B&C will take much longer than this. Just yesterday, with the help of President Clinton, we hopefully cleaned up another mess left by B & C, North Korea. You don't win friends by calling them evil and saying we will defeat you. Boy dioes that work = look at Afganistan and Iraq – both failures. They still hate us. When the American people stop listening to the hired protesters and the sour grapes Republicans(wolves), he will be able to move faster. P.S. who were the only people to find anything negative about the events of yesterday – the wolves.

    August 6, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. Tatianna

    I love it, Bush approval rating in the summer within 6 months in first term is higher than Obama. Obamas fall from grace will be just as spectacular as his rise. Finally, each passing day, more and more Americans are waking up and wondering if Obama is deliberately trying to undermine the very fabric of the U.S. Today, many Americans would probably eat some serious crow if they could recast their vote. Excellent 2010 election bumper sticker – THE THRILL IS GONE!

    August 6, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. ric in NY

    See what happens as the country wakes up from euphoria and realizes the have been conned??

    Obama will be at 45% approval by mid-September and his CNN report card says A LOT!

    If that doesn't tell you Barry lovers something I don't know what will.

    August 6, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. Avonne

    I have never been asked to participate in any of these surveys. Not even in the Bush years. Don't put much faith in the numbers.
    Just watch and listen to see what's going on.

    August 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. schmeckel

    Politian’s chase votes, not the best interest of the country. That is why the senate and house (Dems and Rep) rubber stamped the war in Iraq, instead of questioning the information; we just got attacked and if they voted against a counter-attack they would lose votes. The way our government should work is you have different parties with different ideas, when one party has an idea it is the other parties JOB to ask questions, to find and correct mistakes, not to rubber stamp it. Votes are why the new stimulus bill needed to be passed months ago yet will not go into full swing until campaign time; the white house does not care about fixing the economy now, they want it looking its best at election time. The fact that it is still Bush's money being spent to fix the economy will not stop the white house from taking credit, and Rep's will never stick up for Bush cause they will lose votes. Clinton paved the road and Bush drove down it, Greenspan made it an eight lane highway, and the rest of the senate and house bought sport cars and drove blind folded.

    August 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Henry Miller

    And his approval will continue to drop as long as he continues to insist on bankrupting the country.

    The only result of the so-called "stimulus" has been a big rise in unemployment, and people are finally catching on that wasting trillions of dollars "reforming" a health care system that 80% of the population thinks works well enough, is an idiotic thing to do in the current economic climate.

    Last year, Hillary Clinton observed "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all." Well, Obama, has hit the same brick wall. The country can't afford to spend trillions of dollars on failed economic bailouts and Liberal do-gooding and, fortunately, economic common sense is beginning to prevail.

    August 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. paul coke

    The President is dealing with some very difficult issues and often simple solutions to complex issues don't work, but, for some, they think it does. Plus dealing with republicans, who had 8 years to get it right, made sure their rich buddies got big pay checks, and left the economy in a mess, well, they have no grounds to point fingers. Now they are doing the betting for the Insurance and powerful health care industry, I think the Pres is do in fine.

    August 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Wait and See, Syr.

    When you try to do the right thing, it scares people....even if people realize that these issues need to be addressed, the idea of something different makes them uncomfortable. When they stop and listen to the ideas, and consider how what they've got now isn't very good, they'll be more apt to see that the status quo has got to go. and that the president's plans will actually help, not hurt them.

    Most of the best things I've done I've done with a little push from my parents, friends, etc. I wasn't happy with them at the time, but I thanked them later.

    August 6, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. Ralph

    Let’s see….. Obama and congress are using my tax money to buy automobiles newer and better than I can afford and forcing the dealers to destroy them. Meanwhile people that can afford the new car anyway are using my tax money to buy vehicles from the government owned auto companies. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are broke and they want to run the rest of our health care. My local government is using my (and my children’s) tax money (the Stimulus Plan) to build sidewalks down both sides of remote streets where the original one is rarely used and where road repair is needed. And on and on and on…. Of course their approval ratings are going down. When elections roll around: VOTE !!! Throw all of the bums out !

    August 6, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Ken in NC

    Gee, if I had been in office for 200 days and not fixed all the "Ills" of the nation by now I would probably drop some in the polls too. Give the man a break. We all know that even if it took someone else working hard for 8 years to get us in this mess, it is going to take us at least 365 days to have a bustling economy with everyone back at work once again. It's only been 200 days. What do you think this man is, "A MIRICLE WORKER?" Give him the full 365 days to fix things.

    August 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. jimmy falong

    I don't know what the republicans are talking about, I think that President Obama is doing a great job.
    The republicans need to realize that they (LOST THE ELECTION),whats more important then that, President Obama and the democratic party need to remember we won.
    The democrats has done there jobs now we want those that we has voted in to do there jobs.
    I believe if President Obama wants the democrats and all those that support he to stand up, the whole world would respond.

    August 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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