January 26th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans split on Obama approval

 According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 49 percent of the public approves of the job Obama's doing in the White House, while 50 percent disapproving of how he's handling his duties.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 49 percent of the public approves of the job Obama's doing in the White House, while 50 percent disapproving of how he's handling his duties.

Washington (CNN) – One day before President Barack Obama delivers his first State of the Union address, a new national poll indicates that Americans are divided on job he's doing in office.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 49 percent of the public approves of the job Obama's doing in the White House, with 50 percent disapproving of how he's handling his duties.

Full results (pdf)

Fifty-five percent of people questioned say the don't think Obama has paid enough attention to the most important problems, with 45 percent saying he has the right priorities. And six in ten feel the president has paid more attention to financial institutions rather than the problems faced by middle class Americans, with 28 percent disagreeing.

But 63 percent say Obama's sincere and six in ten feel he's a strong leader. Fifty-nine percent of people questioned say the president is honest and trustworthy, 57 percent feel he inspires confidence, and 56 percent say Obama's in touch with Americans.

"Most Americans have a positive view of Barack Obama's personal characteristics, but they don't feel the same way about his positions on the issues or his track record in office," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Independents think Obama is a strong leader and they see him as honest, but only 42 percent of them say they agree with Obama on the issues."

The survey also indicates that Americans are divided on whether Obama can unite the country, if he's doing a good job keeping promises he made during the 2008 presidential campaign, and whether he has accomplished what they expected he would during his first year in office.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 22-24, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Obama Victim

    just keeps getting worse and worse for the soon to be former president.......fpotus

    January 26, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Monrob

    It is like he has gotten tired; his hair has turned white in just one year.

    Obama was so strong when he was running, not anymore.

    Oh well, I wanted Hillary Clinton.

    January 26, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Mr and Mrs Robert D Westfall

    Our Dearest President Obama and First Lady,

    We just needed to send a note to you both to let you know how many of us
    average folks really do support you 1000% for your brave and unwavering efforts to help US given the worst mess in modern history we all faced this year! My hubby Robert and I are so grateful for your "amazing grace" and truly heroic efforts on our behalf despite the many rude, unrelenting and yes frankly self-obsessed buffoons who criticize you daily! We will never be prouder of Our President as well as his inspiring, bright and warmhearted First Lady.
    Just know that there are
    millions of us out here that feel the same way but perhaps have not let you know their thoughts!

    Most Sincerely from Main Street Americans, Bonnie and Robert Westfall

    January 26, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Well we got what we voted for. Nice guy, speaks well, does little.

    I am so embarassed for the shollowness of our nation.

    January 26, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Bob in Pa

    Liking the man personally has nothing with him being a qualified or good president
    As I see it, BO does portray himself quite well.
    It is a shame that his ideologies are all screwed up.
    Wouldn't trust him with my childs passbook account.

    January 26, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. C Spurgeon

    He needs to come to the middle and stay to the middle and everyone needs to be concerned with votes against everything he tries whether Republicans and or Dems. The wackos from both sides need to sit down and shup or go by the wayside in elections. We need people who will work together with this president to get some things done.

    January 26, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. witch

    I am giving him my trust and time> We are always wanting IT NOW. I have no idea why people think it will all come together over night. I am in just as bad shape as so many other people but I want things to be fixed, because so many things are broken. So I will get him the time and if then he doesn't get it then I will not vote for him at least he is trying .

    January 26, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Sheba

    Here is the problem with this country in a nutshell, and it is not the President.

    Senate rejects Obama-backed task force designed to rein in ballooning deficits

    On Tuesday January 26, 2010, 12:32 pm
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has rejected a plan backed by President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the deficit this year.

    The special deficit panel would have attempted to produce a plan combining tax cuts and spending curbs that would have been voted on after the midterm elections. But the plan garnered just 53 votes in the 100-member Senate, not enough because 60 votes were required. Anti-tax Republicans joined with Democrats wary of being railroaded into cutting Social Security and Medicare to reject the idea.

    January 26, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. rod

    all polls are skewed.....a lot more people disapprove of the president, especially with respect to 'tactics'.....

    January 26, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Wisconsonite

    It really seems like this Admistration is being polled to death! I can't remember a president where so many useless polls have been conducted and being that I am closer to 60 than 50, I remember a few presidents.

    January 26, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    The problem is and always has been the Republicans' desire to put their party ahead of our country's welfare.

    They have stated explicitly that they want President Obama and our country to fail.

    These are the same Republicans whose tried-and-failed economic, military and foreign policies got us into our current mess.

    Only an impatient idiot can't see and accept this.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    January 26, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    President obama, I know you are working hard, and I do appreciate that greatly; I have an idea that I think might help you; here it is:
    For all investments, we must come up with an investment total; this will come up with an investment sum; that number is 55 trillion dollars. That number is huge; there is no denying that, but if we are to sustain a US clean energy independent economy, that is what we must do if it is to be accomplished. This investment needs to be divided up to a 50 year time span. We must invest 8 trillion in solar over a period of 50 years, 8 trillion in wind over the next 50 years, 14 trillion in geothermal energy over the next 50 years, 7 trillion in hydrogen in the next 50 years, 10 trillion in biomass/ biofuel energy over the next 50 years, 4 trillion in natural gas over the next 50 years, and 2 trillion in nuclear technology in the next 50 years; including 2 trillion in offshore oil in the next 50 years. I think implementing a fair tax system is necessary to pay for this; $1million or more a year (30% tax on yearly income), 500 thousand- 1million (25%), 250 thousand- 500 thousand (20%), 100 thousand- 250 thousand (15%), 75 thousand- 100 thousand (10%), 50 thousand- 75 thousand (5%), 35 thousand- 50 thousand (2-3%), 10 thousand- 35 thousand (1%), 10 thousand or less will pay a very little tax (<1%). Fair Tax provides us with more freedom over our lives, less intrusion by the federal government and more money to save for a house, college, and retirement, while still paying for what is needed here. The population in the US after 2060, will be over 400 million; 55 trillion investment/ 460 million will equal $119,565 for each person to spend or invest on anything that will reform our economy to clean, renewable energy. The investments paid by the Fair Tax System will continue from then on according to the population/ income per person of the United States to be withdrawn for a period of one year every 50 years. We could solve our debt problem as well with the Fair Tax System I have in mind. A program has to be created to hire people to make sure that money collected in the Fair Tax System goes directly to the investments I described above; the money left after the 55 trillion, will be used to pay for other programs in the United States.

    January 26, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Dutch the Great

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. As we already know that Americans are unpatient. The economy is not going to change for the better overnight. I think the President has his priorities in order and people just need to take a chill pill.

    January 26, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Concerned American

    No one can unite America because there are those that don't want to be united. When you are out there saying you want your President to fail, you might as well say you want America to fail. Let's please stop the partisan posturing, and provide solutions that everyone can live with. You can't make everyone happy 100% of the time, because there are people lets face it who won't be happy no matter what President Obama does.

    January 26, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Silence Dogoode

    I'm divided...is he really an idiot or is he really out to ruthlessly destroy the constitution.....

    January 26, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Rickster

    I don't get it.......this guy has failed at everything and the world is worse off now than when he got elected. His approval rating should match his logo....."0"

    January 26, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. mike

    we need the tea baggers the uneducated fools that worked in the
    factories and now are out of a job I could care less remember one
    thing I don't want to spend more money in taxes I want to be making
    more and if that means you being out on the street so I can run you
    over with your car I just got at auction so be it

    January 26, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. gt

    great father,,, sorry president,,

    January 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    Did anyone see the moveon.org ad in the USA Today. ROFLMAO. That is good they still don't understand. Is George Soros supplying their drugs or do they buy their own with the stimulus money Obama gave them.

    January 26, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Steph

    Do we honestly need weekly polls?????

    January 26, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. ZeroBozos

    His personal popularity will get him a second term, especially if the economy appears to be picking up.

    January 26, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Jimmy James

    I am sure more speaking thru a teleprompter will change Americans views. He rehired his campaign guy. You won the election, enough speeches and tv appearance. Fix it. Mention this is Bush's fault and you will hear a loud "CLICK" of people changing the channel. Bush did a awful job that's why you were elected. Reminding us how bad of a job he did doesn't distract your performance the last year. 1.5 trillion extra debt. Thousands of pork projects (you promised no more pork), Iran, North Korea, Russia and China all think you are weak. Gitmo is open and will continue to be. A terrorist gets 50 minutes of interrogation and then a lawyer at the direction of Holder? Not even consult any of the security people? Your failures are many. A speech won't fix that, actions will.

    Follow Clintons lead. Move center and really be bipartisan. Clinton was a great leader because he listened to the voters. He passed welfare reform and balanced the budget. He gets all the credit for it yet it was a republican congress. As President you can get the credit of others or blame of all. You have to stop crying and blaming Bush. You knew what damage he had done and still wanted the job. Enough words. Action or you will be in the company of Jimmy Carter as the worst presidents and the last 100 years.

    January 26, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. frank, pennsylvania

    He is a good leader but will be better if he moves closer to the middle – avoid supporting abortion and adopt policies that promote core family values and ethics. The family is the bedrock of the society but his administration has witnessed the re-surgence of gay-rights, same-sex marriage and numerous other aberrations that could destroy the core value that made this society great and prosperous. I cannot support any administration that fails to take steps to protect core family values!

    January 26, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Phyllis

    The economy can't recover until you put the money into the pockets of those living on Main Street. We've bailed out Wall Street and the ungrateful crooks just kept on, business as usual with a few new tricks like rate hikes on credit cards and manipulating bank accounts to rack up huge fees. Stop giving them money. They are taking it out of our pockets faster than we can put it in. Give us our money back and then help us get ahead. Health care reform doesn't make health insurance affordable for us if we don't even have enough money to feed ourselves. Where would we be able to come up with any premiums at all. Bank reform, bank reform, jobs, jobs, unemployment extensions to tide the long term unemployed over. It's either that or welfare and homelessness.

    January 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. HELEN ATLANTA GA

    Did our President ..not say that this would not be easy. How soon we forget!

    He can't do this by himself.

    CNN...Do a show of the poor and middle class who is supporting him. He needs to hear something positive sometimes...so he will no he's not by himself.
    I'm so sick of people putting him down.

    January 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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