August 19th, 2009
03:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Polls: Obama approval rating stands at 51 percent

Three new national polls released over the past 24 hours indicate that just over half of all Americans approve of how President Obama's handling his job.
Three new national polls released over the past 24 hours indicate that just over half of all Americans approve of how President Obama's handling his job.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Three new national polls released over the past 24 hours indicate that just over half of all Americans approve of how President Obama's handling his job.

Fifty-one percent of people questioned in an NBC News survey released Tuesday night, in a Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday morning, and in the Gallup daily tracking poll released Wednesday afternoon approve of how Obama is handling his duties in the White House.
The president's disapproval rating stands at 37 percent in the Pew poll, 40 percent in the NBC News survey and 41 percent in the Gallup daily tracking poll, and

The 51 percent approval rating is down from an average of 54 percent at the end of July in a CNN Poll of Polls and down from an average of 61 percent in a CNN Poll of Polls from late June. The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the most recent national surveys.

The Gallup daily tracking poll was conducted August 16-18, with approximately 1,600 people questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


The NBC News poll was conducted August 15-17, with 805 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted August 11-17, with 2,010 people questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN Poll of polls • President Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Won't stay that high long when he and the slime in Congress try to ram whatever they are calling healthcare reform these days down our throats. This president is the biggest failure in our history. Joe the Plumber got it right.

    August 19, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Palin Power

    It is clear that Obambi will be a 1 term EPIC FAIL and will lose to Sarah Palin who WILL be a 2 term EPIC SUCCESS!

    August 19, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    This will continue to drop as Obama continues to support policy that polls show a majority of voters do not support. What did Obama expect would happen?
    He ran as a centerist to get the moderate, fisically responsible independent voters. It worked. But Obama has governed as a tax and spend liberal. And polls also show that a majority of independents now see Obama as a tax and spend liberal. And because Obama campaigned as a centerist and is governing as a liberal, many independents no longer trust Obama at his word. His great speaking skills will no longer work to sway them. The proof for them is in the content of the actuall legeslation that he supports not what he says in speeches and town halls.
    Obama can move to the center and succeed like Clinton or stay to the left and fail.

    August 19, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. GaVoter

    Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Good Bye!!

    August 19, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. CAL

    I truly have faith in President Obama, however I feel like so many others that he needs to be a bit firm with those idiots in Washington DC. President Obama has this very special personality that tends to always find the good in everyone and that's very christ like but dealing with the wolves in DC, he has to come out punching sometimes. I think thats the real reason his numbers are falling, not that they were not going to fall anyway. President Obama is very intellengent man, he will figure this out and when he does show that side of him, look out!!!!!

    August 19, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Bill in California

    AS THE MEDIA PRODUCED MASS HYSTERIA WORE OFF and the repetitiveness of the RHETORIC rang hollow there was nothing to cover the nakedness of the EMPEROR in his 'NEW' clothes.

    August 19, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Right Leaning Independent

    Obama can expect support to continue falling while he pushes an agenda that is unpopular with the majority of Americans!! Americans are beginning to understand that our country is seriously in debt with no plan to take care or the problems on the horizon due to this debt. Furthermore,the majority of Americans consistently polled do not want the major overhaul of health care that he is proposing. I think most Americans would agree that there are parts that need to be changed but not the entire structure as proposed by Obama..

    August 19, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Alfred E. Neumann

    Stands at 51% – pretty soon it will be sitting!

    August 19, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Dave in Houston

    I think he is doing a wonderful job.

    I believe he is letting the Republicans discredit themselves yet again, this time with health care, and is actually increasing his stature.

    He is a wonderful president and I'll bet he is going to turn out to be one of the best ever.

    August 19, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Steph

    No one said change was easy. President Obama knows this, and I doubt he is at all concerned about his poll numbers. He is concerned about doing what is right for the American people, and health care reform and repairing our economy are the right things to do.

    August 19, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. PJ- New York Independent

    I love how this is phrased 'Stands at 51 percent'? Why not say he's down in the polls????

    It's down from 54 percent- down from 61 percent. Bottom line- he's slipping further and further as people finally wake up!

    August 19, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. I wholeheartedly support President Obama!

    You are doing a fantastic job! You have done more in 7 mos than the republicans did in 8 years. Keep up the great work and don't let their obstructionism hinder your efforts to help this country.

    August 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Great Job President Obama!

    Keep up the great work of trying to fix this country the republicans DESTROYED!

    August 19, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Obama is using up his political capital early on to get a healthcare reform bill signed. Probably If he had not taken on ths issue his numbers would be higher. However, We didn't elect him so he could keep his numbers high all the time.

    August 19, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Matt from Boston

    ...and the trend will continue as President Obama and the rest of the Dems push a health care program that a large majority of Americans do not like.

    August 19, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. donttreadonme

    Not a big surprise he only won the election 53% to 47%. The idea of this “80% supper majority” that many of you were bantering about was nothing more than liberal media talking points regurgitated by the lemmings posters.

    I have to say I am surprised to see it is still above 50% and have to wonder how many of this 50% are eligible voters and legal citizens.

    Still think the Republican party is dead?

    August 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Tina, Georgia

    Change we can believe in? My foot!

    August 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom

    Poll have become a joke since cell phone users can't be reached. So they usually reach those who still have landlines, which are usually the less tech savvy and also older among us.

    No one has ever polled our friends or family members, we are a group of 75, 100% Obama supporters!

    August 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Scott, Tucson

    And in other polls but not mention by CNN, Obama is hovering at 47% approval. That's change I'm starting to see, if he sinks even lower than he will have a difficult time trying to persuade any democrat to back his wacky ideals.

    August 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    The style, diplomacy, caring and compassion besides utter brilliance displayed by this President is one of the reasons I will never vote republican again! I came to realize republicans are all out for themselves and the rich and don't really care about the middle or poor class. They are hypocrites and are trying to impede anything that would help us. How they can object to health care reform and still show their faces shows me they have no consciences. They will never get my vote again!

    August 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Proud Member..Party of No

    "The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday."

    Well, it was fun while it lasted, huh dumbocrats? From all of your incessant chirping right after the election about the republican party being "dead forever" and will "never win another election" to this in just 7 short months. You can thank your incompetent leader for the fall due to his dismal performance.

    August 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Enlightened Voter

    We, as a country, are blessed to have him!

    August 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Wow, down ten points in six weeks. Hillary better start waeming up in the bullpen for the 2012 Democratic nomination. We can write Obama off as a failed experiment in 'change'.

    August 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Texas Observer

    I do not think President Obama is going to worry too much about his numbers right now. He is currently working on Health Care Reform – an area where a big majority of us has not experienced the weakness of the system. Let us face it – the % of people that get sick with some major illness and need substantial care is low. A good percentage of those people may also be satisfied with their experience. However, the president knows that this is an unsustainable system financially, and it is not serving a lot of unlucky Americans right now. So, he is swimming against the tide to do the right thing. My family and I have been fortunate to have good insurance and we make over the limit that President is considering to tax for this. I completely support the President here. It is morally the right thing to do and let’s show our support in any ways we can.

    August 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. therealmarie

    Seems that CNN and FoxNews has a little more work to do in lying and misleading the public about him and his policies. Oh, the Corporat gremlins forever busy as a bee.

    August 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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