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. Jack in Florida

    He is doing an incredible job. Don't listen to the lies that the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Becks spread about this administration. There is more intelligence and honesty in this administration than in the Bush/Cheney group.

    Go Barack.....I am 100% behind you.

    September 18, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. brian

    Liberals are the scum of the earth. Time warp back 1000 years and you would all be living in mud huts.

    September 18, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. AustHall

    President Obama has proven himself to be above the typical petty political fray and is acting in the best interest of the American people.

    I and millions of other Americans support and truly appreciate his efforts.

    September 18, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Shari, NY

    The current Mayor of NYC is using stimulus money to embark on many ambitious projects, e.g., the reolcation of Amtrak's Penn Station hub to a another site which will be refurbished to accommodate trains. This will mean the creation of many jobs not just in construction but in several other industries. Things will get better all over, that is if governors and mayors put their shoulders to the wheel and exercise fiscal responsibility. Let us be patient!

    September 18, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Joe In Vegas

    When the unwashed get wind of this, they'll start making a lot of noise again at their tea parties (protest rallies) and screaming at the town halls (thanks for soiling that American tradition.)

    All the noise and hate is what brought down President Obama's approvals (progress for the GOP), but American's are not all ignorant, lying, spiteful, narrow-minded, racists. The true American's have been onto you for the get-go–

    you noisy little *ssholes are going to have to find another tactic to you screaming and lying. Break a leg.

    September 18, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Vote out all republicans!

    I fully support President Obama, he is doing a phenomenal job!

    September 18, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Mike in MN

    Update to previous post on realclearpolitics poll of polls.
    It has just been updated.
    Gallup daily tracking thru 9/17 stays at 51%.
    Rasmussen daily tracking thru 9/17 ticks up to 48%.
    New poll added, Democracy Corps thur 9/16 at 52%.
    Poll of Polls average stays at 53.2%.

    September 18, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Great President!

    President Obama has led with dignity, wisdom and compassion despite having to fight republicans every step of the way.

    September 18, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. glib lib

    Without a doubt, the next president will be left with a country in much better shape than it was when Obama took office.

    September 18, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Ishmail M, Derry

    We don't trust you CNN anymore you just like FOX TV people. Disrespect to the President is disrespect to the nation.

    You guys are seen as clowns on TV, no wander youth don't take you as serious news providers. President is smart and fine job.

    US is going to be strong and respected as superpower again.

    GO PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

    September 18, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    Since 29% of people are idiots anyway, Obama just has to show the 10 percent who are apprehensive about people with a D behind their name, that it is OK to like a Democrat.

    September 18, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. KPL

    If you want to call this economy a gift from G. W. Bush to Obama, than I guess 9/11 was Clinton's gift to G. W. Bush. How quickly you forget. Democrats AND republicans supported the Bush response to 9/11. But, of course, now that it has not gone quickly and smoothly it is all Bush's fault. I'd like to hear someone say what the better answer was. I haven't heard Obama's yet. Hmmmm. In fact I haven't heard any Democrat come up with even a suggestion. They're too busy blaming. So easy to point out a problem, isn't it? Not so easy to fix one. So stop blaming the one man who tried.

    September 18, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Mel Bailey

    Appealing to the best that is in us will always win the day. The wingnuts want the President to get low and dirty and that would be a mistake because the Republicans have owned that dirty turf for quite a while and no one can beat them at the game of getting the poor to rise up against their best interest, proving that a great deal of people can be fooled all the time.

    September 18, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Kyle

    Being that his approval rating his historically low... and that Dems have spent more money in the first hundred days than bush spent in his whole 8 years. Is the economy getting better, not really, unemployment is still a problem. lets not forget this all started when clinted derregulated the banks back in the mid 90's thats were the mess started. Will Obama be a one-timer? Its looking that way unless he grossly improves his ratings and the americna people then he will not be re-elected.

    September 18, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Thom2

    He's made some real tough decisions already and saved the auto industry and a million jobs. He'll take the heat now, but what the right is REALLY worried about is his healthcare passing and doing well. So well that they won't be needed anymore.........you know it's true.

    September 18, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Fred

    Funny when Bush had a 55% approval rating the media (CNN) gave all the reasons that it wouldn't last. I wish the media would stop spending time kissing up to Obama and START DOING JOURNALISM LIKE THE PEOPLE TAHT EXPOSE ACORN. We would all be better if the media would lose their preconceived agendas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Kelby In Houston, Texas

    I am a shiny blue liberal Democrat.
    During the election, When I commented on the Poll of Polls, I would demand that the comment be read in a pompous Britsh accent because I thought it was funny.
    However, after so many polls, all polls became meaningless. These polls do not adequately represent the people and they never do.
    So, I have come to a conclusion that I like to share with all of you everytime I see an article based on Polls.
    POLLS MEAN NOTHING!!! Have you EVER been polled? Do you KNOW anybody who has ever been polled? I haven't. Polls, ALL POLLS, including the ones that make me feel good and the ones that make me feel bad, even the Poll of Polls are MEANINGLESS. They are USELESS. These polls do not matter.
    The only poll that matters is the one we all participate in on election day.

    September 18, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Irma in North Caroliina

    I truly believe that Sarah was the one who started all the hate in this country by the things she was saying at her rallys about the president, and then along comes Rush, Ann, Laura and the rest of the racits republicans to stick up for her. Look what she did with the death panel deal and she just keeps it up. Also we must not forget the tea baggers and the birthers that are also helping stir the pot some more. In the next two elections all these people need to be brought down on their knees, and then we will have a better America.

    September 18, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Peace

    Ok tea-baggers, when are you having the next rally to oppose these polls!
    Americans are too smart to understand your intentions.

    September 18, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Dar

    Poll of Polls my butt, is this the best that CNN can do is to muster up 55% approval rating from a far left group like all of you here. Get real people, like the rest of America is doing. CNN will always say how wonderful BO is. Just like FOX will always say what a nut job he is. WAKE UP, your dreaming if you think BO knows what he is doing right now. He gas a lot of learning to do and maybe after a couple of years under his belt he might come back down to earth and really start acting like a President. Right now BO is a kid in a candy store with an endless supply of kool aid.
    God Bless All

    September 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Nipp

    Good job President Obama!!My family and the 145 countries in the World stand with you!Today politics has seen dramatic change and some people are try to base their points of view only on the political party they belong to and personal interests.Others don't want to find common ground about the vital issues we are disscusing like Insurance Care Reform, Energy,Global Warming,etcI have the impression that some Americans don,t care about America.Unfortunately, this is the moment that the silent emerging countries like;China,South Korea,India and Brazil have been waiting for.If we don't come together as one , leaving politics aside, and defend this beautiful land along with our President, soon we will never lead the world again.Stereotypes and name -calling to the Goverment is not a good signal to the rest of the world.America cannot fail again!

    September 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Michael Templer

    As long as it's above 53% which was his share in the election then it's a positive. I'm not sure what good doing all these public appearances are going to do because even if his approval rating goes up to say 60% it's how it looks to those states these senators represent. He is going to have to do some horse trading and get this health care bill out of committee.

    September 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. juanita waters

    with the war going on how can we act this way we should be on our kneed praying every day that we can all just get along and make this world a better place to live in . every one is the same in god eyes .......................have a great day

    September 18, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. tj

    GO PRESIDENT OBAMA! You have my vote in 2012 IF there IS a Public Option in the bill that finally passes.

    September 18, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Tim Duplanty

    Look folks the only problem i have with Obama is that he is not wringing the necks of the knuckelheads in his own party that don't have the guts to do whats right and pass the exact health care plan that he is advocating. Including the public option. This whole thing should have been law by now.

    September 18, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12