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. Dave in SC

    America is lucky to have a decent, level-headed, and articulate President during these diifficult times. The GOP has shot itself in the foot with its over-the-top accusations and rhetoric. It's okay to say Obama is over-optimistic or even misguided on health care – but to call him a Nazi is simply juvenile and mean-spirited. The GOP will remain a minority party until it GROWS UP.

    September 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. John Canada

    All you Democrats on here who keep saying "Bush's Mess"? You people are being completely shortsighted ,are you just repeating what your leaders have told you. President George W Bush helped america to 53 straight months of Economic Growth. Which is more consecutive months of growth than any President in history including Reagan and Clinton. He weathered the storm from 9/11 and kept his people safe. Democrats who keeping saying what a mess things were , where are you gettin that. Yes there was a recession when he left office but the last 2 yrs Bush was in office the democrats are the ones who wrote policy and Pelosi and Reid were in charge so were is the accountability there? This is coming from a guy from Canada that doesnt have a horse in the race. I just think the democrats on here are being hypocrites and not taking account of all the facts.

    September 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Moosehead

    Keep the course Pres. OBAMA,... you're doing a wonderful job. The majority of the American people support you. Things are starting to improve, and they will only get better.

    September 18, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. ronie patrick

    Take my word for this statement. Our President is going to make history and will be probably be the best American President in history or just about second best to most of the other remaining living presidents. I am praying daily for this young bright man to be the best in the name of Jesus.

    September 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Idiot_Pelosi

    The JOKER can't seem to stay off TV.

    I'm sick of seeing him, and sick of his propagana speeches.

    He's nothing but a used car salesman.

    September 18, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Kate,Saratoga Springs, New York

    Given the circumstances President Obama is doing a great job. He is keeping his word to the American people. For 8 months he has been doing his best to make this country solvent again. There are some people out there who would do anything to bring him down.

    55% Approval. Keep up the good work. I think you will see those numbers start going up as the economy improves and true health care reform passes.

    September 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. abe

    What makes us human is recognizing our mistake. I don’t see how apologizing Muslim country for our mistake makes us week America is the greatest country. One of the thing makes is great showing respect to other! Did you know how many infrastructure we blown up everywhere we go? We have to be smart on our actions the more enemy we have the more week we become, we couldn’t even handle war on two poorest country in the world look! For our own good, is better to be smart rater than being dictator. Remember we almost dominate every culture in the world by just our name not by the weapons we carry. I don’t want to loose this respect
    God bless America!
    In God we trust………….
    PS for Muslim brother and sisters’ happy “ROHMEDAN”

    September 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Haha, 99% of polls are pulled out of the air. Just last week there were a dozen saying how his popularity was in a deep dive. Go Obama!

    September 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. i want my finger back

    boy, do i love the liberal comments on this site. obama is going down and there is nothing he can do to change this except go back to the political center, where most of the country is.

    chances of that happening are the same as accorn not playing the race card.

    1 and done.

    September 18, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Eli from Marion, IN

    Obama has done a good job thus far. Health care reform is something that every President has called for for decades, but Obama is the one that has the potential to get the job done.

    I am a Democrat, but I disapprove of all of you commenting that Republicans (or "Rethuglicans" as I've seen a couple times) "want America in the dump." Republicans are Americans just like us Democrats. They want the best for America, but they just have different points of view. Don't criticize their motives.

    Congratulations, President. Keep up the good work.

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. ronie patrick

    I would like to know why are the Republicans so mean and so nasty. I just don't understand the Republican Party. You just can't be wrong about everything and that is just what the Republicans think about dear sweet Obama our adorable President ,working his butt off trying as hard as he can to make things right that Bush left behind. I just don't understand do you? Lets all get together and pray for our adorable President Obama. We should be thanking God for this man and instead we are trying to kill him. Remember there is a God. God does not like what is going on with you Republicans , trying to play hate this President in everything he does. I just don't understand.

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Common Sense 09

    It's awesome to see how his ratings remain positive even when the republicans, fox and limbaugh try everything possible to bring him down, our President....the same President that's over them as well....plain stupid on their part!!! And he will definitely be a 2 term President after he restore this mess left by the darn republicans!!! Go Obama.....we're praying for you!

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. ZB

    Chanel?? – you talk about what Obama has done with the economy and what he had to start with. I was NOT a Bush fan but our deficit has gone from 400+ bill to over 900+ bill since Obama took office. I know something needed to be done but you can't say this is the answer. My kids and their kids will be paying for this their entire lives. Obama is NOT the answer to our economy period. He's a typical liberal and he'll sink the middle class plain and simple.

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Bob

    Obama is the most arrogant president I have ever studied. His arrogance will cost us all economically, in safety & security and in freedom.

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. reachingout2u

    President Obama takes a licking and keep on ticking, I will keep Praying for you and your family.

    September 18, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. S M R

    If 100% of the population had common sense, President Obamas approval rating would be 100%

    September 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. abe

    What makes us human is recognizing our mistake. How apologizing Muslim countries for the mistakes we made, will make us week. America is the greatest country!!! One of the thing makes us great is, showing respect to others! Did you know how many infrastructure we blown up everywhere we went? We have to be smart, and responsible for the actions we took. The more enemy we have the more fragile we become; we couldn’t even handle war on two poorest countries in the world! For our own good, is better to be smart rather than being dictator. Remember we almost dominate every culture in the world by just our civility not by the weapons we carry. I don’t want to loose this respect…..
    God bless America!
    In God we trust………….
    PS: for Muslim brother and sisters’ happy “ROHMEDAN”

    September 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Don Mitchell

    President Obama is truly an amazing man and an outstanding President. Canada rejoiced in his victory and the complete change in direction his win heralded...the Bush/Cheney reign of REAL terror had us in fear for your future in America but then came the election and we were elated. Clearly, there is still a very strong undercurrent of ultra right-wing nutjobs who are doing everything in their power to try and swing the pendulum back in their direction but it's not working. Please don't ever let it work again.....you have elected an incredible leader who will do everything in his power to maintain a balance and bring sanity back to the White House. The world respects you again America...you almost lost it all. Don't forget that.

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. SeaWife

    POTUS is doing a great job. I wholeheartedly support our president 100%.

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Jenko

    I'm really glad to see that the support for obama is still there. I really felt like the hatemungers were winning. I guess not. We should do a poll from these comments....Gobama!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. John

    It won't be long before his poll numbers rocket upwards! He's a great president and I'm proud of my country because of him.

    I feel Obama's numbers will improve once he accomplishes his goals. The hard part is getting there in time for 2012.

    September 18, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. JB

    BO is a fool! Plain and simple. Hes flushing this country strait down the pipes!

    September 18, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Pat

    Obama won the popular vote 53% to 46% in 2008. Wing nuts, with all their phony antics and accusations and slurring and racially based positions, have still had measurable no effect on anything. Definitely a good sign for Obama and the country.

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

    Obama has never left the campaign trail. His huge ego apparently needs constant stroking, but notice that he only goes out into mainstream America town halls where he knows he is popular. He has been in office for over 9 months now and so far has shown that he takes no responsibility for anything. He is still blaming the previous administration. He promised he would bring the parties together and all he has done is bash Republicans. He has been the leader in the divide not the UNITE. I am not one bit impressed and can't wait for this 4-year side show to be over.

    September 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. ted

    Besides quadrupling the debt in 8 months i suppose he is doing ok.

    September 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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