August 21st, 2009
10:20 AM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Confidence in Obama drops; No gains for GOP


A new poll suggests Americans are losing confidence in President Obama. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll suggests that Americans' faith in President Barack Obama to make the right decisions for the country is dropping.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned in a ABC/Washington Post survey released Friday say they have a great deal or good amount of confidence in the president's leadership, down 11 points from April. According to the poll, half of all Americans have little or no confidence in Obama's ability to make the right decisions, up ten points from April.

But the survey indicates that a dip in confidence in the president doesn't mean a rise in confidence in Republicans in Congress. Just 20 percent of people questioned say they have a great deal or good amount of faith in Congressional Republicans to make the right decisions, unchanged from April.

"This summer has been the season of discontent with all politicians," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The ABC/Washington Post poll indicates that Americans don't have confidence in the president or in Congress, and aren't confident about Democrats or Republicans."

According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing as president, down two points from July. Four in ten disapprove, up three points from the 37 percent who disapproved of the president's performance in last month's survey by ABC/Washington Post.

Three other national polls released earlier this week, NBC News, Pew Research Center and the Gallup daily tracking poll, all separately indicated a 51 percent approval rating for Obama.

"Why does the ABC/Washington Post poll show a higher approval rating than other recent polls? One clue may be that all those polls report virtually identical numbers who disapprove of Obama - roughly 40 percent - and that's the same disapproval rating that the ABC/Post poll has," notes Holland. "The difference is the number of respondents who say they don't have an opinion of Obama, which is lower in the ABC/Post survey. That suggests that there may be a large number of Americans who like Obama but are reluctant to say so. The ABC/Washington Post poll may be overstating Obama's support, but it's also possible that their interviewers are doing a better job of getting people who mildly support Obama to say so."

The release of these surveys comes as protests over health care reform continue at town halls being held by members of Congress, who are on summer recess and back in their home districts and states.

According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, half of all Americans disapprove of how the president is handling health care, up six points from July, with 46 approving of how Obama's dealing with the issue, down three points from last month. The survey suggests that much of the drop in support comes from seniors and independents.

But the NBC News poll from earlier in the week suggests no change in Americans' views on Obama's health care performance. Forty-one percent questioned in that survey support how Obama's handling the issue of health care reform, with 47 percent opposed. The 41 percent who support the president is unchanged from an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from mid-July, before Congress began its summer recess and intense media coverage of protests at health care town halls held by lawmakers. The 47 percent who oppose Obama's health care performance is up a single point from last month. A Gallup poll released last week also suggested that the president's approval on health care is unchanged from last month.

"One key finding from the ABC/Washington Post poll is the intensity of support or opposition to the Democrats' health care plans," says Holland. "Forty percent say they strongly oppose those proposals. The number who strongly support them is much smaller - only 27 percent."

The ABC/Washington Post poll was completed just as the debate over the public option for health care reform erupted in the media. According to the survey, 52 percent say they support the creation of a government insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, with 46 percent opposed. The 52 percent support is down ten points from late June, while opposition jumped 13 points. The poll finds much of the drop in support coming from seniors and Independents.

The ABC/Washington Post poll was conducted August 13-17, with 1,001 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (131 Responses)

    President Obama i support you My family supports you My friends and co workers Support you but lookie look Republicans still suck! lol hahah

    August 21, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Libertarian

    I disagree that President Obama is not changing DC. He's taking the hardest stance in HISTORY against some of the richest lobbyist in HISTORY – Health Care!!! Who is funding the status quo campaigns? Which CEO's are rated 3rd in the nation (after Oil and Banking) as the most grossly overpaid????

    GO PRESIDENT GO!!! I'm not fooled by those Ad's. You're looking out for us middle-class!

    August 21, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Terri

    I am so sick of all these polls. President Obama has only been in office 8 months and every other day we have a new republican based poll out trying to make us think the Presidents' supporters are loosing confidience in him. I for one don't believe these polls because I have never been polled nor has any of my family or friends been polled.

    My whole family and a slew of my friends feel that the President is doing a great job in the midst of all the Republican lies. So, if you add my approval and my family and friends approval that would give him about 60% approval ratings. For peace sake, wait until he's been in office for at least a year before you start with all these ridiculus polls.

    August 21, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. George the Democrat Obama fanatic.

    In 2012 his poll number will be good enough to win re election.

    August 21, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. matt

    So what exactly does this mean????

    That ALL politicians cannot be trusted. What can be done to fire everyone of them and start with a clean less corrupted group?

    August 21, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. republicans hate america

    because no matter how bad Obama may seem in the polls now i will never vote for the rush limbaugh party again. cant wait to see Obama voted into office again in 2012.

    August 21, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    President Obama i support you My family supports you My friends and co workers Support you but lookie look Republicans still suck! lol hahah and Yes the last Administration ran the Country on Lies so did the Republican Congress elevating terror threats to win an Election BIG FEAR MONGERS THEY ARE THEY CANT RUN A COUNTRY BUT CAN FEAR YOU TO DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Kevin B

    I would rather be in Mr Obama's position than the republican position. President Obama is defending the truth, while the GOP is perpetuatiing and promulgating lie and fear.

    Most americans would also take the truth against a liar on anyday...............

    August 21, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Caesar the Great

    The people who mention the over exposure is dead on. I dont agree with the Presidents views on many things, but I can respect what he is trying to do. The more I see him on TV, honestly dont remember the last day I didnt see him, just makes it harder for me. I think a break from media for awhile will do him a lot of good. I think that he means well, but the over exposure is making things seem less sincere.

    August 21, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    [Poll: Confidence in Obama drops; No gains for GOP]

    So what is the POLL truly POLLING!!! If only 20% of ALL (which these pollsters always seem to make you feel like they are reaching ALL OF AMERICA) AMERICANS feel they trust the GOP and their decisions – and 49% have confidence in President Obama and his decisions – WHERE IN THE HECK ARE THE OTHER 31%?????


    The POLL furthers proves that the people that are being POLLED are basing their answers on HEALTH CARE REFORM!!! CASE and POINT!!!

    Therefore – DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!!!! The HYPE caused by the PARTY OF NO sense NO suggestions NO solutions!!!!

    August 21, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban about some polling in Piggly Wiggly stores in Alabama and South Carolina so we can get some really accurate statistics...

    August 21, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. VGal

    I would expect to see dips and then gains. A good leader doesn't look at polls and judge how they are doing on a day-to-day basis. (CEO's don't either – for conservatives who are going to poo poo this post.) Leaders look to the long-term. If Obama's policies continue to pull this country out of a recession, people will support him again. Thank goodness he's not worried about day-to-day polls like conservatives who bow to limbaugh for ratings.

    August 21, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Roger

    I support the president BUT his handling of the health care program has shown me that he has really under estimated the republican party & how they can destroy & manipulate their base who are followers & do not think for themselves & will lie, cheat, & do whatever it takes to destroy the democrats. I also hope he has learned that getting his own party in line before taking on such a task would have been helpful, remember the blue dogs are borderline republicans.

    August 21, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. sally

    confidence drops in obama and stays down for gop. hmmmph. maybe the monkeys of this country are beginning to finally figure out that maybe just maybe the gop is not the problem anymore than the dem. wait a minute, maybe just maybe they are beginning to see that currently we have a bunch of big business suck ups running our country and that we have a divide between them and us. so entrusted yet off they go. do we really know these people; are they so deserving. these are not leaders, they are politicians. yuck.

    August 21, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fat Dominican mamas, and slim ones like myself as well stand by our President. You're doing a great job Obama. Ignore the artificial hate, hold your head high, we're with you.

    August 21, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. DVSDen

    THis poll shows just how easliy Americans are manipulated by what they see on television. A small, near violent minority shows up at town hall meetings to shut down any discussion about health care reform and regurgitate disproven lies from the far right. All of the sudden, the president who has been in office for a whole seven months is deemed a failure by those who cheered on the most incompetent Administration in history for eight years.

    Meanwhile back in reality, the economy is stabilizing, the markets are moving up, existing home sales are improving, factory orders are up, cash for clunkers is a success, the $1500 Energy Tax Credit is a monster success (bias note- I am in home remodeling sales – I see it every day!), and somehow the Obama poll numbers are dropping to 50%, only twice as good as any other politican or party in the country.

    August 21, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Willy Brown

    Dropping like a lead ballon in a punch bowl.

    August 21, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. vic nashville , Tn

    I don’t believe these polls !!!!!!!!!!

    Who is answering these phone calls other side ?

    Age under 40 voted for Obama they didn’t change their mind

    By 2012 more will join with this group

    August 21, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Robin

    Obama spends his day blaming Bush.

    Funny thing is Reagan never blamed Carter. Reagan fixed the economy and created 20 million jobs doing it. This is PROVEN.

    August 21, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Kate in SW Fla

    Once the Health Care Reform package passes, all the crazy hoopla will settle down and people will start to realize how the economy is healing, under his guidance. A year from now, the Republicans who oppose, oppose, oppose are going to be exposed for the hypocrits that they are.

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Kelvin

    I am sick to see some people acting like kids do you think that the right side will get the job done i don't think so ,wake up people who did the damage this started with the war with trillions of dollars and jobs went over sea think people of W.T.C may be that will tell you some thing. Keep up the good work Mr Obama. They know you will get the job done and they are afraid, GOD BLESS YOU AND THOSE AROUND YOU.

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. The black Spider

    It's sad that people can not see what is going on here in America.
    The real power in america belongs to Big corporates, Banks, Insurance companies who set the agenda and are ready to destroy anything that wll go against their Big profit and salaries.
    They held hostage the two political parties and we the people are so ignorant to see that
    If Obama push too hard he will be killed or the BIG FAT Rich will sponsor lies and treaten their employees and shareholders to go against Obama in town hall meeting
    I hate capitalism.

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    WE voted for President Obama because WE wanted health care reform along with the PUBLIC OPTION.... WE – which was the majority, otherwise THAT OTHER person and his SIDEKICK would have won – WILL GET Health Care Reform with the Public Option because WE are the MAJORITY.

    It is a shame the those who THOUGHT they were the majority in America are no longer and it is driving them NUTS!!! By every means necessary the few FAR RIGHT WINGERS that are left are tyring their best to destroy the majority of AMERICA!! Tisk, Tisk, What a Shame!

    This is the WAY OF AMERICA – This is the WAY OF THE WORLD – Face the facts that you are a dying minority!!!

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Support your President.

    Stop the hate.

    Obama 2012.

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Nan

    Polls fluctuate like the stock market. When Obama took office he tried to tell the country that things will take time. In a country of the quick fix people expected miracles. It will take a few years for anything to really change. The GOP needs to come up with solutions and not just try to break Obama. The Dems need to grow a backbone. Obama needs to continue to remind the country that change is difficult and takes time. We need to relax and stop living moment by moment with polls.

    August 21, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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