September 18th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
10 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. Nateer

    Change is going to take time, it won't happen over night. If we can get healthcare reform passed (no help from Republicans of course) things will be better. I think our economy will benefit from people having medical coverage as well. Republicans say no, but, hey, they're nonproductive anyway. GO PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

    September 18, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Ellen

    SLAMMER!!! This isn't what Republicans have been striving for. They want American in the dump!

    September 18, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Aaaah, yes. Polls are nice.

    Meanwhile....when are the Democrap pussies calling out all of these lunatics going around carrying guns to his rallies? When is somebody going to borrow some cojones and say that this is unacceptable. Chris Matthews said it best last night when he said that if the Black Panthers had shown up at a site where the President was speaking with weapons the police would've promptly hauled their butts out of there but pronto. Why isn't this being done with Obama? What are they waiting (hoping) for? I am totally incensed with these no-character, greedy, disloyal, scardy-cats.

    September 18, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Lynne

    And Gallup had the spproval ratings for the republican Congress at 27 % and Democrats at 36% so president Obama's ratings in comparison are holding up well.

    Seems to me the American voter wants Congress to get down to work , stop the bickering and worrying about the 2010 elections!! The media could do the same.

    September 18, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Offend Equally

    How does anyone support obama?
    – Nationalize Car Industries
    – Nationalize Banks
    – Telling PRIVATE companies how much money they can make
    – Appointing unconstituional Czars 32 of them!
    – 787 Billion stimulus down the drain
    – Trying to nationalize health care
    – Lies, deceptions!
    – Instructing minions to use the race card to dispute anyone who disagrees with him
    – Apologizing for US abroad, making us weaker.
    – Putting us in generational debt within a decade!!
    on and on and on

    September 18, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. AJ

    I had faith that the majority of this country wasn't a bunch of mindless sheep following the hate train! Go Obama!

    September 18, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. BOBBY K. FROM BIRMINGHAM, AL.

    Great news! A leader has to realize that he/she cannot please everyone but a good leader strives to make everyone better.
    Let's work harder America and support OUR President BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. suzyku

    Good, that means the nasty and I believe racist antics of the right wing nuts aren't as successful as they hope!

    September 18, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. unshrub

    This must kill the conservatives that have been spending all of their time trying to destroy the image of Obama so his agenda does not pass. What conservatives refuse to learn is that the MAJORITY of people are in favor of Obama’s goals. This is democracy when the majority speaks. Conservatives like to claim that they have the will of the people when in fact it is Obama who has the will of the people. As the economy keeps getting better, and as people learn the truth on his health care agenda, Obama will keep his popularity and this will cause the liars like of Rush and Beck to get even nastier about Obama. So folks, as Obama continuous to do the will of the people, the right will keep lying and this is going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.

    September 18, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. diridi

    these Republican Idiots are crazy to cry...on pres. obama. John Boener, and another dude, mitch Mcconol...are idiots...ok....pres. obama is with brain to think about American Problems...I bet he is going to fix this much needed health care reform with public option...period...Wyaming senator says, US health care is good...he got to be an idiot...idiot...period...

    September 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. williams

    To all American people, hear this Obama is favoured by God no matter what ever that has been spoken against him, he will not fail and America will not fail. But at the end of his tenure America expecially the republican will realised that he was there by him self, but God appointed him to be there for a reason. Thus republicans should give him a chance to do that which he was called to do that is by fixing the problem in America and helping the world come together again as one

    September 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    ahhh more americans like him than the polls say . try contacting people that have cell phones . and not old style land lines ( in house phones). you might get a better average even higher .

    fire it up ready to go

    change is comming

    September 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. mjm

    Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) now disapprove. Over the past week, the President’s ratings bounced to their highest level in two months but have now retreated to earlier levels.

    That's according to Rasmussen on 9/18/09.

    But then again, what do THEY know?

    September 18, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW

    Go President Obama!

    He let the fear-mongers show themselves for what they are in August – I'm talking about you Palin, Grassley, Enzi, Pawlenty, and other so-called leaders who currently reign over the confused Republican Party.

    Now President Obama's coming out strong when it counts to get us real health care reform!

    What has been the Republican response in September? To turn their follower's fear (created by the wanna be leadership of the Republican Party) into hate for President Obama.

    Classical politics of personal destruction.

    President Obama and the Democratic Congress: I STAND WITH YOU!

    September 18, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. FAYE, NV

    I think our president is doing quite well considering what mess he inherit going into office. Most of the problems were created by the Bush Adm and the GOP for following Bush choas.

    So my hat off to the president.

    September 18, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Bradford-Livingston

    Why is it that certain people in our nation find it difficult
    . to address President Obama as the President, yet every time they referred to the other Presidents they addressed them properly. America is sick and will self destruct if we don't get a handle on that ugly monster -Racism,our nation was built on our religious beliefs and we have forgotten the Path Trodded for us today. Wake up- Wake-up

    September 18, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. yuri

    It ia very tempting to suggest that the boisterous beaus-RL, and GB, right along w/ belles as AC, LI, and MB, are doin' their bit to bring down BHO's poll numbers quite a bit.

    September 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Karen - Missouri

    The only protesters were the ones gullible enough to fall for Republican scare and deceitful tactics. Ever since the primaries, Republicans have done absolutely nothing constructive except try to create hate and lies. There's nothing conservative about them...they want to spend enormous amounts in Poland for missiles because Bush said so instead of Obama's more realistic plan yet the Repubs want to deny healthcare to millions because they (GOP) don't want to spend a dime on Americans.

    This independent says give Obama a chance...he's working harder than any other President and does it with grace and dignity. And so far he is right. I am so disgusted with GOP for the past few years...and at 60 and white....I'll never trust GOP again with our nation's safety and/or economics...any decisions for that matter.

    September 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Carl Justus

    Under the circumstances Obama inherited he is doing a great job. You must put the economy in context of what he inherited.

    We have been talking about health care reform for 40 years I am absolutely sure of and why the republicans along with their owners the insurance companies, the drug companies, the hospital corporations, and the AMA have killed it in the past and many are doing it again or trying to.

    Health care is rising three times faster than wages, inflation, and any other items, except oil than you can name and it time we told the industry it is time to get it under control.

    September 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. katiec

    Yes, the misguided protesters received alot of attention.
    But not as much as the racial articles that the media pushes,
    sensationalizes and tries to keep constantly stirred up.
    Gosh, none today.
    For that, keep up the good work CNN.

    September 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Ray

    The president inherited a mess left by Bush and company.

    It took them 8 years to flush America down the toilet.

    It's going to take probably 8 years for Obama to repair things.

    It's going to be a tough road for all of us to go down, but the president is trying to repair the damage. I definitely give him points for that. If the GOP had two working brain cells anywhere in their party, then they'd realize that they had the biggest hand in putting America in this mess and do everything they could to help fix it. As it is, all they're doing is arguing and making fools of themselves. They're not part of the solution, they're part of the problem.

    September 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. anthony wright

    I believe the president is doing a commendable job under much stress.

    September 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Polls mean nothing unless they're in Obama's favor.

    September 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Fed Up

    Yeah. He actually got something right when he talked about Kanye West. That won my approval.

    September 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...Oh yes, and in my frustrated diatribe I forgot to add: GO OBAMA!!!!!!!
    The majority of us are NOT afraid of showing our support for you, and calling out those that have crossed the line of just merely disagreeing with your policies. I hope to God that these off-the-wall lunatics are rounded up and put in check.

    September 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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