September 1st, 2009
03:20 PM ET
2 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. Insight

    Those who really know politics, know that it is the independents that are the ones to watch when determining if a politician is likely to be successful. They are the ones who will reject Republicans when they oppose such things as stem cell research and keep their party in the dark ages. They are also just as likely to reject Obama when his Justice Department drops prosecution against Black Panthers who were blocking access to a voting site while having that same department begin prosecution of the CIA. The 20% on either side of the political spectrum will never take a critical look at their party.

    September 1, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. nick

    bla blah blah....No president comes with experience. If it was experience, George bush was a governor of texas....Go figure!

    September 1, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. ROGER

    This does not mean that 53% disagree with his policies- I agree with what he wants to do, but do not approve of the way he is trying to do it. When reps declare they want him to fail, are looking for the "great white hope", etc., refuse to participate and then whine that he is not being bi partisan, he needs to pull the dems together, disregard the reps, and steam roll over them.

    September 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. matt

    Who cares about the polls. Obama will be fine in his second term!

    September 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. GK

    Obama is helping the weak and the poor. I thought all good Christians should help the weakling. If anyone does not want healthcare reform, they are free not to accept them.

    Go Obama 2012.

    September 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. a health economist

    Maybe the sould ask whether they would rather have had the alternative. I'm an independent and many things Obama has been doing I disapprove of, including health care reform.

    But I'd much rather have him in office than McCain/Palin.

    September 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Don't believe a word of this folks............our friends at CNN are trying to make news. Just where are these alleged INDEPENDENTS coming from ???? I also think that the Republican Polls numbers are wrong..... CNN should do a poll on how Democrats and Republicans feel about their(CNN's) fair and impartial reporting. Remember that CNN represents Lou Dobbs as an "Independent" who seldom disagrees with RUSH.

    September 1, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. chuck

    As a gay man sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting on federal civil rights, I get very anxious when I see him wasting time on the golf course. He does not understand the urgency of my gay brothers and sisters. None of them ever do.

    September 1, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Liz

    Obama doesn't need to govern from the center. He needs to govern in the best interest of the American People! He needs to stop trying to placate the America-hating right wing, who've already announced they have no intention of supporting one, and pass a good health care reform bill. Then when the majority of Americans find themselves a lot better off healthcare-wise, maybe his poll ratings will go up.

    September 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Charm

    What's really happening here is those with special interests aren't seeing their interests catered to quick enough or to their liking. And polls are worthless. All that data can be skewed to either look positive or negative. Next story....

    September 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Paul from Phoenix

    I am an independent. I voted for Obama. Count me as dissapointed.

    September 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Kurt

    I'm not an Independent nor a Democrat. I'm a republican that did not vote for Obama.

    I think he's doing a pretty good job. This is standard numbers for all presidents when you compare them to a war condition. NEW wars always make a presidents ratings spike. Existing or no wars always see this curve. Go back and look it up, it's not made up folks, it's fact.

    September 1, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. JR

    Polls don't matter, the facts remain that if Obama ran today, he would win again....period!

    September 1, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Shari, NY

    From the time President Obama took office I distinctly remember hearing him say that the economic situation could take more than his four year tenure to clean up (it is that bad). I am not a young person but thank god my memory is still in tact. And by the way, Willy Brown, President Obama to my knowledge has not bashed Bush since winning the election. Our fellow bloggers are influencing your thinking. Have a nice day!

    September 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. S M R

    Polls don't mean squat, WE WILL SEE YOU ON ELECTION DAY!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. 60's survivor

    president Obama will overcome all the negativity constantly cranked put by the blind right. these people are so determined to see this president fail. they don't care who it hurts. they will just try to call it collateral damage.

    September 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Sher, Or

    You people and your stupid polls!

    September 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Tom L

    Those Independents are racists! Seems to me if you don't like what President Obama wants then you obviously don't like African Americans...

    September 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Mario, mtl, ca.

    You have lost all credibility, you are turning down as a network

    September 1, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Tracy

    Jeez – it took years (since Ronnie was in office) to get this country in the mess its in (and we are all responsible for the mess – not just one party or one president), This guy has been in office for 9 months and polling 1000+ people is what we use as a yard stick – give me a break – most of these independents did not vote for him any way.

    September 1, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Gerry

    My wife and I are independents she voted for Obama and is very disappointed that she did and said that never would she do it again. I guess we have to vote for the best of the worst.

    September 1, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. W. Axl Rose

    Obambi will NOT move to center. He's far too arrogant to do that.

    September 1, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Nikki Oldaker

    Too late for Independents to have Buyers Remorse...the election is over and Obama can smile until 2011 since he has both the Senate and House too pass any Bill he wants passed. That's the way it works – the only way to stop him is to vote in 67 new Independent Senators to stop him.

    September 1, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. John

    Bush should be in Jail:

    1. Lying about WMDs of Iraq.
    2. Creating false intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs.
    3. 4300 US Troops Died.
    4. 25000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.
    5. $800 Billion spent on Unjustified and Misleading war. – Still Al Quida is not eliminated.
    6. No 9/11 terrorist from Iraq.
    7. Unregulated Banking – Mortgage Crises – 2.5 million lost their homes.
    8. No health care for 50 million. – Yet Iraq was Attacked.
    9. No rescue relief for Katrina.
    10. Bush misleading in 2008 "Our Economy is still strong".
    11. Bush Stating "Mission Accomplished". Since then 2500 US Troops have died.

    September 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. BLM

    Farrell in Houston: Well, they sure won't swing for a democrat that offers destruction of America as we know it.

    September 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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