September 18th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: Obama approval holding steady

Barack Obama's approval as president is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to new CNN Poll of Polls.
Barack Obama's approval as president is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to new CNN Poll of Polls.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama's approval rating is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to a new CNN Poll of Polls.

Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, according to the CNN Poll of Polls, which averaged the six national surveys taken since the president addressed a joint session of Congress on September 9. Thirty-nine percent, on average, disapprove.

The 55 percent approval rating is almost identical to the 54 percent mark that Obama had in August, according to an average of national surveys conducted last month. "The early part of the summer was a bad time for Obama, whose average approval dropped 7 points during that period. But since then, his average approval rating has stabilized in the mid 50s," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Protests at health care town halls held by members of Congress in their home states and districts received a lot of attention in the news media in August and early September. Many of those demonstrations were directed against the President and his proposals on health care reform.

"It looks like the town hall protests in August didn't drive his ratings down, but it also looks like his nationally televised speech didn't do much to push his ratings up," Holland says.

So how does Obama's 55 percent approval rating stack up to his predecessors in the September of their first year in office?

That mark puts him substantially ahead of Bill Clinton and right in the same ballpark as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, says Holland. "Obama is well behind both Bushes, but bear in mind that George W. Bush's mid-September ratings for 2001 were affected by 9/11," he says. "It's impossible to say what his approval rating would have been if 9/11 had not occurred, but the best guess is that Bush would have probably been in the mid-to-low 50s."

This latest CNN "Poll of Polls" consists of the six surveys conducted since Obama's speech to Congress on September 9: Fox News (Sept. 15-16), Pew (September 10-15), Bloomberg (September 10-14), CNN/Opinion Research (Sept. 11-13), USA Today/Gallup (Sept. 11-13) and ABC/Washington Post (Sept. 10-12). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.


Filed under: CNN Poll of polls • President Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. we'r1

    Our President is not just a good leader but lead by example of what a strong leader is, a family man and husband and father.

    September 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Happy in VA

    President Obama is by far the best president this country has seen. President Bush and the Republicans got the US in this awful situation and now they expect President Obama to get us out. Well guess what he will because he is smarter than Bush on any given day – even Laura Bush knows that! We need to ban together as a unified country and stop all the racism and prejudice. People need to get real and be honest with themselves! He is a smart African American Man – get over it!

    September 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Cindy-San Francisco

    Go President Obama!!!!! You are doing great. We need him in office the next 7-8 years, that's for sure.

    September 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. jon

    In all fairness I do think Obama is doing a good job. There were a lot of huge challenges within the first days of his administration and there still are. I think many critics are not only being unfair, but in many cases spouting lies based on fear and misinformation. For one, I wouldn't want things to turn around too quick because quick fixes tend to come back worse.

    The thing I don't understand is how people are so irate about wanting to reform health care. I don't know anyone who would disagree with the thought that something currently is wrong with things. The President has offered time and time again to meet and work with people, and the right has sat back and waited for our President to fail. I want to hear real dialog, not criticism or lies. I do believe the right has many valid points, but the dirty politics and harsh words are uncalled for.

    September 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Celobrity

    Thank you, President Obama. Your efforts do not go unappreciated. I think you rock!

    September 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Tony T

    Funny, funny stuff!!!! This administration hasn't even filled all of its cabinet positions after 7 months. It spent $780+ trillion on nothing. Told Acorn that it had a seat at the table on shaping the future of this country. Has defied the American people's opinion Instead of ending the war immediately, as he said in the campaign, has added troops with no plan. Wants to cap and trade energy, to the tune of $1700 per household TAX. Hired atleast one proven communist to work in the White House. Said he would would be bi-partison, and has governed on the far-left. Who is voting "good job"?? The truly clueless. I have yet to find one thing this administration has done well. Truly a classic case of a one term president.

    September 18, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Mike, FL

    A year ago before President Obama took office, no one expected that he'll be able to end this recession within one year of taking office.

    No matter what you think off his other policies, we all have to be grateful for the actions he took to end the worst recession since the great depression.

    September 18, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Lori

    I'm constantly amazed at President Obama's even-tempered, forgiving attitude. This man is so special, so above the fray, so advanced and so beyond the common I am shocked he would make the difficult choice to lead this country and try to improve his fellow man/women's existence. And am I ever grateful. I listened to his nationally televised speech to the joint session of congress and I thought (being a student of history) it was a speech of excellence of par with Lincoln. If anyone can help this country in the healthcare arena, as well as with its other problems, it will most definitely be him.

    September 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. somak

    Replying to : "New poll of polls, 55% of Americans are one neuron short of a synapse. Remarkable!"

    This really shows the "Democratic character" of ripublicans. That was the attitude of Bush, I know what I'm doing - "Invading Iraq". If you disagree, even if you are majority, just shut up.

    And, in spite of their this kind of perception about Americans, they call themselves "True Patriots", "Real Americans".

    There is a limit some one can lie. I think Republican leadership and followers define that limit.

    September 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Pangea

    Without a shadow of a doubt, Obama is the one of the best if not the best president that the US as ever had. Whoever disagrees with that, must be a right wing racist nut. Go Obama in 2012, and why not in 2016 if the Constitution is changed! Just like in Venezuela!

    September 18, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Richard Puente

    Thank you President Barack H Obama. This country would be lost without you...

    September 18, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Tony T

    Andi: "No one seemed to care about the poll that showed almost 3/4 of those polled SUPPORTED a Public Option." I would really like to see that poll. I laughed out loud when I read that. You have it backwards. Put the kool aid down and please provide a link. Not going to hold my breath though....

    September 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Haily

    Hooray for the intelligent down-to-earth President!

    September 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. trapezemedusa

    I've just conducted my own informal poll at work and by a 10 to 1 margin people support Texas seceding from the union. Could all of you right wing lampsters please get behind this movement with your typical Obama zeal so we can get some movement on this badboy.

    September 18, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Haiti

    I am a foreign born and I understand foreign policies very well. America you need to wake up because the only reason you love Obama is because you don’t understand socialism. Make no mistake about it, socialism seems to be fine at first and at the end it will only destroy a country. The Lord hires Obama only to take you guys where us foreigners are today. We only came to your country to escape socialism. Because once you realize it, it will be too late. It will be beyond repair because US will be in too much depth and once the fight starts, it will never end. Be careful what you wish for.

    September 18, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Ceibena

    President Obama is doing a great job.
    If I had a chance to say thank you, I will say:

    Thank you for bringing us back from our financial crisis. ( How quickly we forget) I also hope and pray that you get to pass health care for those that are in need of care regardless of status. May God always protect you and continue fighting for those who don't have a voice.

    You are forever in my prayers.

    September 18, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Good lord, there sure are a lot of people lacking in grammar and spelling responding to this!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. steven Essien

    If CNN polls job approval rating is in the mid 50, In reality the president job approval rating should be in mid 40.

    September 18, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Hank

    He's Black, Young & Smart.....he hasn't been in office a year yet and already we're are seeing progress toward a better America. God Bless America, God Bless Our President.

    Hank.

    September 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Wonder

    I read these blogs...too often. No one ever says anything about the fact that the repub party had no candidate to stand up to Obama. If he is or is not a one term president will depend a great deal on if the current republican party can resist their own meltdown. As for the state of the country and those who are "embarrassed to be Americans", get out and change it rather than complain on here. No one will change their mind on these boards. It is just for arguments.

    September 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Robert Blake

    It's great to finally have a president we can be proud of; one who is working to help all of us, not just the rich. The American people appreciate that, even if we don't agree with him on everything. He is also fortunate in the enemies he has made. Their irrational and extremist opposition enhance his status. Keep up the good work, Repugnants.

    September 18, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Obama worst president EVER

    Another poll sample consisting of 70% Democrats says Obama is still popular. Stop the press!

    September 18, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Jay

    I support Obama 100% – he's action oriented, decisive, able to lead by example AND by enabling others. I, too, am VERY satisfied with my vote last November.

    September 18, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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