September 1st, 2009
03:20 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Independents disapprove of Obama

A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.
A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-three percent of independents questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, with 43 percent in approval. That result marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of independents give the president's performance a thumbs-down.

Obama's overall approval rating of 53 percent is down 3 points from a month ago, and down 8 points from June. Forty-five percent of those questioned disapprove, up 5 points from a month ago and up 8 points from June.

According to the poll, nine in 10 Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing, up three points from a month ago, with 15 percent of Republicans approving, down 8 points.

"Obama won a majority of the vote among independents last year, and that helped put him in the White House," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Losing their support makes it more difficult for Obama to govern from the center."

Broken down by issues, the president still gets majority support on foreign affairs and terrorism, but a majority now disapprove of how he has handled health care, taxes, the economy and the budget deficit.

Is the fight over health care responsible for the downturn in Obama's numbers?

"Yes, in part, but his standing on some other issues has taken an even bigger tumble," adds Holland. "Among all Americans, his rating on health care has dropped 13 points since March. Compare that to his 16 point drop on the deficit and 17 point dip on taxes and it looks like there is growing discontent with Obama's overall domestic agenda - not just his health care policy."

According to the poll, Obama's approval rating on how he is handling the war in Afghanistan also fell 18 points since March.

The survey also indicates that 37 percent of Americans think the media has treated Obama fairly, down 18 points from February. One in four say the media has been too critical of the president, up seven points from February and 36 percent say the media has not been critical enough, up 10 points.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Read: The full poll results


Filed under: CNN Polls • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Whatever CNN!

    What a pathetic network!!

    September 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. lisa

    CNN, you're killin' me w/ these polls man. They're about nothing. And you come out with about 3 every week. Are we going to continue to poll this man's popularity on everything from the kind of beer he drinks to the kind of underwear he buys every 3 weeks?? Because that's going to get boringly tedious after a while. In fact, we might already be there. Please just stick to reporting the issues and let's vote "Most Popular" at the END of the school year.
    As they say in the yearbooks: "Stay sweet & funny."

    September 1, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. truthsayer

    A poll every week of 1000 people is not going to impress anyone

    September 1, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. JB - NYC

    Duh? Where were you last November 4th?

    September 1, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Farrell in Houston

    Independents are smart people and will not swing for a Republican who offers nothing.

    September 1, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Michael Bindner

    Yes, but how many former "independents" are now Democrats. What are the numbers for "Independents Leaning Republican" "Independents Leaning Democrat" and pure Independents?

    September 1, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. rr

    he needs to give SPECIFICS in what he wants in a health care bill and how he plans to get it. Everyone wants lower costs and more access to health care, but HOW and at WHAT COSTS?

    Also, he needs to give specifics about an exit strategy from Afghanistan, dealing with the upcoming implosing of medicare, medicaid, and social security due to increase costs, the nine TRILLION dollar debt he's going to saddle us with, immigration reform, etc.

    Enough of the generalizations and platitudes!

    September 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. ADO

    Stop with the polls. Can we see the complete poll rather than just the results? How were the questions phrased? How many people were polled? This is making my head spin!

    September 1, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. bsmith171

    Obama is a creation of DAVID AXELROD.

    DAVID AXELROD is now setting the policy and the unoffficial president. he sends his puppet Obama
    out to read AXELROD quotes from the teleprompter.

    Obama is not to be taken seriously. he can't think without AXELROD telling him what to say. can anyone say affirmative action OBAMA?

    September 1, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Millie Bea

    And how many people were asked? I wasn't.

    September 1, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Truth is Justice

    The only 'CENTER' in President Obama's left lopsided view,
    might be the center of a doughnut.

    September 1, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. W. Axl Rose

    Looks like America is waking up with a BAD hangover and asking, "What have I done?"

    September 1, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Obama do your job RIGHT

    Huge majoritiy of people here on CNN are liberals, but they so would love to call themselves independents, like my many friends but vote democrats every election.

    September 1, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. john in SD

    I wonder how CNN Polling Director Keating Holland got his job...did he respond to an ad on craigslist? How does Obama's plummeting support from Independents "make it more difficult for Obama to govern from the center."????? I would think that alone would make him start to govern from the center and would be a good justification for doing so. CNN, you are so pathetic....your blatant biased "reporting" is deplorable. I'm sure this wont be posted, but maybe the moderator that reads this will open his/her eyes and seek other employment.

    September 1, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. W. Axl Rose

    It's funny to see how you Obambi supporters are in denial. Yeah, blame the poll for the Messiah's failing presidency.

    September 1, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Texas Observer

    These are not real Independents. I cannot find one thing that this President has done that should upset a 'true' Independent.

    September 1, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    No wonder. Obama's waffling on important issues like health care reform. It's starting to look like Hillary Clinton was right when she shed tears in New Hampshire and said, "I just don't want to see us fall backward as a nation."

    What was Obama talking about when he said "the fierce urgency of now" in the 2008 campaign? And why did we keep chanting "yes we can" if we send them there and they just can't.

    Keep your promises, Mr. President!

    September 1, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom

    1. I am an Independent, former (yuck) Republican, and I SUPPORT OBAMA!

    2. These polls are flaky, since the majority of Obama supporters use cell phones and seldom have land-lines.

    3. Considering that President Obama has been IN Office a bit over ........ EIGHT.......... MONTHS.......... its very premature to convict and condemn him.

    4. Obama inherited an economic disaster; two wars........ and a BANKRUPTED NATION FROM BUSH!

    GIVE OBAMA A BREAK ALREADY! And the GOP says racism is dead!

    September 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Azar

    If he continues to court the uncompromising Republicans, he will lose more support. It is now obvious that the Republicans are determined to defeat even the watered down health care program.

    Therefore, he and the Democrats must solve the health care program with public option without the Republicans, otherwise, the health program is doomed to fail.

    September 1, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Alex

    a lot of people identify as independents when they, in fact, not. my father in law calls himself independent, but he's voted republican every single time.

    September 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Tim, Seattle

    Not all independants are smart. The fear mongering and lies by the right are believed by the easily duped. Some of the easily influenced and duped are independants.

    CNN is going Republican these days. Looks like FOX has some competition mow. A race for the lowest common denominator., Palin Stories and Health Care town-hall fanatics and GOP lies.

    Notice how CNN reports the lies being told but does little or nothing to dispel the lies and report the truth.
    I guess CNN wants their sagging ratings to be buoyed by the fear mongering by the right.

    So glad I switched to watching other networks

    September 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. nyc

    This administration has been a disaster from the beginning. But Obama had no experience so I don't know what people expected? You vote in a community organizing as President and that is exactly what you're going to get.

    September 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. mike,Texas

    Darn Obama and his socialist policys next thing you know we will have a government run military,public schools,police,fire departments,FBI,medicare,homeland security,wait aminute this sounds familiar.

    September 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. KJ

    Maybe if you take Lou Dobbs off the air. He has been against the President since he took office. He is still questioning his Birth certificate. Dobbs encourages viewers to become independents. According to Dobbs Obama hasn't done one good thing. The President has done alot of good and is trying to fix this enormous mess we have gotten into due to the previous administrations last 8 years. For all of you on the fence take a trip outside of the country and see how the news is reported and see how stupid the rest of the world thinks we are. its ridiculous. CNN please report the real news!! Based on the facts. Lou Dobbs should have been off the air as he won't get off the Birth certificate. You got rid of Glenn Beck didn't you?

    September 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Darko

    It's amazing how quickly people's opinions change when govt is reaching into THEIR lives and pockets instead of others...

    America just got it's reality check on Obama and dem leadership. Far left liberalism wasn't, isn't and never will be American.

    September 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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