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)
  1. IndyVoter

    I have NEVER seen a bigger bunch of whining, cry-baby, me-me-me, I want it now-now-now "adults" in my life!!!! This is why so many Americans are in mountains of credit card debt, in houses that they coudln't afford, have more children than what they can afford to take care of and marriages that are falling apart. SELFISHNESS, mixed with a huge dose of ignorance about how the government works. Pres. Obama pledged to work toward bi-partisanship and he meant it. I didn't like it when Pres. Bush rammed all of his crap down our throat. Nor do I think Democrats should just ram stuff down everyone's throat. Its called PATIENCE!! We will have health care reform. C'mon people. Stop being so fearful. Its only stresses you out and doesn't help the situation one bit!

    August 21, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. rob

    why would you even think the do nothing anti-American GOP would make gains? The only gains they have is in their lying–thats it .

    August 21, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Randolph Carter the narcissistic koolaid drinkin' Obamabot

    Maybe Obama should consider raising the terror alert level. Then we'd all fall in line and do as we're told. Have a nice day!

    August 21, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Tommy

    For the GOP to gain they would actually have to do something. And, from the 12 years spend in the majority in congress, we already know they are not too adept at doing anything but stopping progress.

    Aim high!

    August 21, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Reformed Republican

    If you had rethuglicants lying and throwing fecus at you 7/24 your "popularity" among the uni-brow, gun totin', bible thumpin' "real" Americans would go down also...

    August 21, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Carl Justus

    We have the most honest and productive president since FDR and the republican party of NO is beside itself trying to discredit him. They have spent millions to disparge him anyway possible, even lying about his health care plan, the stimulus, which was started by the Bush administration to bail out WALL STREET INSTEAD OF MAIN STREET.

    The republicans are trying to blame the 700 billion the Bush administration with the secretary of treasury, POWELL, brow beating banks to accept the money or they would bring down the CEO on Obama.

    Paulson had no real plan and change it twice after it was stated how he would use the money. The Bush administraton was saving those who filled their pockets cold hard cash.

    I doubt that CNN will post this message for they are getting like Fox opinion network if you state the facts about the republican party or do not praise them they will trash your comment.

    August 21, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Much ado about nothing.

    August 21, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. GOP = 21st century dodo

    GOPers, don't get too excited. Thedip is due to liberals becoming disillusioned with Obama's excessive willingness to compromise and capitulate to Republicans, and the relative lack of grit he's shown so far.


    August 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. cake

    i dont know who getting my vote but defenetly not GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Randolph Carter the narcissistic koolaid drinkin' Obamabot

    This is actually very easy to explain: Most Americans are obese morons who believe everything they see on TV. Have a nice day!

    August 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Jerry D.

    It seems that most of the polls that say the President rating is dropping is targeting more Republicans than Democrats. The only way that anyone can say the President is not doing is a good job is to ask everyone that voted for him to recast their vote. CNN grow up and stop putting ill food in rich people mouth. They are the only one's being poll and not the poor people.

    August 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Operation Crush Rush

    Keep giving them enough rope President Obama,they cant help but take it.hahaha

    August 21, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Peoples Voice

    It would be very hard to be lied about as much as the Repugs have lied about President Obama without some damage done.

    That's okay. He'll get his bill passed. People will see their health care and cost improve.

    Before all is said and done, he will prove to be one of the greatest presidents we've had and the Repugs will prove to be the worms they are.

    August 21, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. bill

    i am falling out of my chair laughing at so many of you people. Obama's numbers are tanking and you all say the polls are a crock or that its the GOP's fault, the America needs to get rid of the GOP, that polls are down because its the liberals who are not satisfied with him because he is listening to whomever instead of doing what he "promised".

    Are you people in fantasy land or what?

    Truth is when polls showed Bush going down hill you all loved it and praised the polls as right on the money... now they are not? Is Obama being persuaded by some small groups of Americans... heck no, not from the right anyway... its a very large group which is why he is listening to some degree. The small group is the liberal who want social states of america. EVERY state shows more conservatives than liberals. GOP is not gaining because people grew unhappy with them and now they are seeing the Dems are no better.... just because one goes down doesnt mean the other automatically goes up. People are sick of both of these parties doing whats best for them and the cronies and not for America.

    You people need to grow up and wise up.

    August 21, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. WILLIAM, from CaLi!

    What are they going to do? Impreach him! Look, there will be almost 3 1/2 more years of this drama long as these Demos think they have the blessings of THE do whatever it is that they want to do. But, I think the patients are waking-up from that Democratic induced coma in need of some Healthcare and finding out; that there isn't any DOCTORS in the WHITE HOUSE!

    August 21, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. JSL

    I hear and read a lot of people "disaproving" how he's handling health even giving the GOP a chance for bi-partisanship.

    Give people a chance to be more specific...I' think you'd be suprised at the TRUTH behind those numbers. They're tired of playing nice with the GOP tin foil hats..

    August 21, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Socialists for Obama


    Your doing a great job pushing our socialist agenda, i really appreciate what your doing, Keep redistributing the wealth around, eventually the wealthy will be poor and uneducated just like the rest of us democrats.

    August 21, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Kate in SW Fla

    Well, I for one will NEVER vote for another Republican again. They are a poisonous influence in this country, scaring the elderly almost senseless with these totally ridiculous claims of death panels going after grannys. And the Republican leadership has now joined the fringes, claiming people are right to be scared, what with Obama being a nazi, illegal alien who wants enforced euthanasia to lower costs! Now they are trying to terrorize the rest of us by sending armed militia to prowl around town hall meetings. At the moment, people are very nervous, which is understandable. Once this health care reform passes, and no grannys are put to death, things will get better.

    August 21, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Laurie in Spokane

    Geez, give Obama a break. He's been in office for what – 7 months?
    Rome wasn't built in a day, and the damage done by Bush and his minions will take longer than 7 months to repair.

    August 21, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Rocket

    Hey I really like him but liked Bush, Clinton and Reagon too. But that does not mean I like his agenda or the way he is running our country. There is a difference and unlike the liberals who hated Bush I and a lot of other conservatives like Obama just not his job performance.

    August 21, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. ali

    Considering the constant negative rantings about everything he does it is no wonder peoples opinions are being affected. I have never witnessed so much hatred coming from people who I beleived were good decent people.

    People complained about the previous administration and even made fun of them but it was never the irrational anger and total lack of respect that I am witnessing today.

    I find it interesting that the same people who are so irrate about health care reform and other administraction policies (that were by the way part of the campaign promises Obama was elected on) tend to be the same ones who complain about anyone in a position of authority. There is a segmant of the population who will fight any authority even if it is to their detriment.

    August 21, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Oregon calling

    I have faith in President Obama, Congress on the other hand...........

    Peace 🙂

    August 21, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. doug

    According to Zogby, Bobo's approval rating is NOW at 45%. And for you who say the majority want gov. run healthcare, you are wrong. The majority, 53% DON'T want gov run healthcare! Get your numbers right before you speak. Why do you think all this rucus is going on all over America. You who want this healthcare want only one thing...Something for FREE. Well, this is not a welfare state, this is the United States of America, and we work for a living. That is why and how we became the GREATEST country on earth. And it will remain that way. If you don't like it then LEAVE!!

    August 21, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Todd

    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!!!

    It is a shame when you can't see the real truth! Not only are you NOT the majority, you are about to be wiped off the face of the planet with your liberal give me free health care because I'm to lazy or stupid to get it myself mentality!

    August 21, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Proud Member..Party of No

    The key here is that the democrats are losing ground. More and more people consider themselves "conservatives" rather than republicans but when push comes to shove they will vote for the candidate who is closer to their conservative beliefs(i.e. republican). And more and more people are getting a good look at liberal policies and they don't like what they see.

    August 21, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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