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. sagin

    If his approval is in his mid 50's taking into account the nuts at FOX news, then, I am very certain the real rating is in the 70's. Shame on you republicans and nuts at FOX news to paint this great president with your swastikas and childish cartoons. I wish Mr. Obama knows how much he is loved here in Canada and around the world. I am so appalled by the republicans response to Mrs. Pelosi's emotional comment yesterday. OMG! Thank God the Glen becks of the world are very few in numbers! Shame on you Lou Dobbs as well – not sure why the very human Mr. Turner of CNN has kept this buffoon on his payroll!. The Cafferties and Sanchez of CNN are balanced enough to bring the ratings anyway!

    September 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Ryan

    He can do whatever he wants over the next 4 years. In 2012 – we will take back this govt and amend the policys back to freedom insead of socialism.

    I CAN'T WAIT TIL 2010 AND THEN 2012!!!!

    September 18, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Allison23

    SLAMMER!!! Just what Republicans were dreading. GO MR. PRESIDENT!!

    September 18, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Saul Virginia

    To those that are already calling the President, What planet are you from?
    He has done more for this country in less than one year and will continue to work on the issues he promised during hid campaign. You can call him all the names you want but the facts are there, The good economic news for example and the changes around student loans.
    The more you try you evil and vicious ways to bring him down or demonize him the more i get motivated to support him even more.
    So you can either join hands with people who want to do good to our country or simply just step aside and continue to live in denial.

    September 18, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. get down get down

    Everyone's tired and disgusted with the Republican tactics, protests, racial slurs hurled by the teabaggers, and demonizing the president. When someone is fighting for your rights and trying to rebuild your country, one should try to help him. Fox news shows are gonna be in some serious trouble for all those untruths and drummed up stories. Alot of Americans disbelieve their facts and are starting to realize that Hannity, Dick Morris, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Bachmann are the main core for spreading false rumors and statements to the American people for the GOP. I don't think they represent the American people as they say. They are good for laughs because, when you hear what they have to say to their audience, it makes the viewer question as to where they got their information or if they twisted a statement into a lie. The only person that deserves some media credit in which he has some truth is Bill O' Reilly.

    September 18, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Nathaleen Peal

    Mr. President you are doing a wonderful job. You got the "US" the people behind you fear not. That is why we selected you (Mr. Cool Obama).

    September 18, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Cogs

    Republican fear mongers are trying everything to make Obama fail. They are putting party politics ahead of everything else. They don't care if they ruin our country or stop health care reform efforts–they just want Obama to fail. Republicans are becoming irrelevant with their endless rants about paranoid accusations: "Brainwashing our children" "Hates white people" "Was not born in the US" "Pals around with terrorists" "He is the anti-Christ" "Wants death panels to kill grandma". It is embarrassing to see what has become of the GOP.

    September 18, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. J Johnson

    Thank you President Obama for being a man of substance and dignity. When all the hate-mongers and critics tried to bring you down, you acted civilly and remained true to your task. Thanks for trying to right some wrongs and attempting to the make the country fair for all. The Force is with you. Success is inevitable!

    September 18, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Polar Bears Against Palin

    To all you right-wing lunatics out there:

    WELCOME TO OBAMA NATION!!

    If you don't like it, move to Iraq.

    September 18, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. JP

    Since 46% of working americans pay no income tax under Obamanomics I am sure they support him. That means that the vast majority of people who do pay income tax don't support his reckless polocies. Can we do poll of just the people who are footing the bill.

    September 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Traj

    Joe Wilson did not want people to know Strom Thurman had a mixed race person (his daughter or grandaughet) in his family. He tried to hush her up but was told by Strom's family that she is the daughter and they are proud to have her in the family.... He had to apologize to her.. Look it up... Strom Thurman – Joe Wilson....
    Bet the media ain't bringing that up to show this confederate flag defender is nothing but a scum bag....

    September 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Deborah

    When Americans finally wake up and realize both parties are corrupt to the core, then we might have a chance to make a decent life for our children and grandchildren.
    I am afraid that if we don't take our country back we will go down as a small blurp in history and it won't be complimentary.
    If you koolaid drinkers get your cap and trade, every household in America will be paying approx. $1800 a year in additional taxes and God only knows how much more you will pay if Obamacare passes.
    I hope you people can put your money where your mouth is.
    Stand up and stop the corruption.

    September 18, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Lisa P

    The silent majority has always supported Obama. The only thing the loud minority has managed to do with their ignorant and ill-mannered protests is to convince some of us more quiet folk that it is time to speak up occasionally in defense of our President and his policies. After eight years of stagnation and misrule President Obama is moving our country forward into the 21st century, at last!

    September 18, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Reggie

    Holding steady, but still historically low. Look for Obama to be a one-termer.

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Alexander

    Rethuglicans: you lost; we won! Obama is supported by the majority of Americans! Get that in your little narrow minded heads! The President is saving the US from the disaster of the previous rethuglican administration! And yes, you are all racist bigots! You should form your own country, so then you'll fight among yourselves to see who the most conservative is!!

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Anonymous

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

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Anessa

    I think the economy is getting better,I just found a great job better than the one I had before being laid of in November. This crisis will also give the country better teachers because Obama is giving scholarships for teachers to complete their education. Obama will get a better country I believe in AMerica.

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. stormerF

    Poll the same people and you get the same results,time after time,after time.Un-employeement up to 12% in 5 states. The stimulis was suppose to keep it at the 8% level,Another lie?,Poll the states with the worst unemplyeement and see the results.

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Minnesotan

    Keep up the good work, Obama! You inherited the worst possible America from Bush and the Republicans. You've got a LOT of disasters and economic failures to fix, but you're doing a spectacular job so far! Now, get the Public Option fixed for Health Care! Ram it down the Republicans throats and bring America in line with all the other civilized nations! No more Republican Stone Age for us!

    September 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The Right Wing Nutjobs will try and try but they won't destroy THIS president!

    September 18, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Holmes

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

    September 18, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Bri

    I am proud of President Obama. He is the best President we have ever had. Republicans seem to forget the mess President Bush got America into. And what about all the underhandedness in his administration. Bush can't hold a candle to President Obama and yet, even though President Obama inherited the biggest deficit in American history, and even though he has to fix it – you blame him for everything! I would say to those who don't like President Obama, and for those who are trying to make his presidency a living hell – YOU ARE WRONG!!!

    September 18, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Melissa

    He's doing a very good job, despite all the efforts to block him.

    September 18, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Sniffit

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

    You know, if they archived these things, I'm absolutely 100% certain we could find you gloating over a poll that shows disapproval.

    Seriously, people need to stop attacking the validity of the poll whenever it says something they don't like...it's a lame tactic with no real substance. Polls are polls...you take them with a grain of salt and move on because they don't really matter and are only there because the media feels the need to invent things to talk about.

    September 18, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Priscilla

    President Obama is doing just fine. I am so very proud of him.

    September 18, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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