March 22nd, 2010
11:07 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN poll: Majority disapprove of Obama for first time

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals that 51 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama's job performance.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals that 51 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

Washington (CNN) – For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's job performance and 46 percent approve of it.

Full results (pdf)

Obama's approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.

The new poll was conducted before the House on Sunday narrowly approved the Obama administration's signature domestic policy proposal: health care reform.

The measure, which Obama plans to sign on Tuesday, represents the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.

In fact, health care was the policy area that drew the second highest negative rating, with 58 percent registering disapproval. The highest negative rating was 62 percent for his handling of the federal deficit.

While his performance ratings have slid, Americans personally like Obama. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents approve of him as a person, and only 25 percent disapprove.

On the economy overall, 54 percent disapprove of his work and 43 percent approve. He scored well for his handling of the environment and education, as well as on national security.

"Obama scores some of his best numbers on 'commander-in-chief' issues - Afghanistan, Iraq, and terrorism," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In January, 51% approved of Obama's handling of Afghanistan; that number is now 55%, an indication that the public has a positive view of the latest military offensive in that country."

The CNN poll was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Wake Up Please

    Obama hasn't been great. But some things he's been very good at, and he's getting better.

    Far too many people have been conned by nonsense Right Wing talking points, and now they are going to see there are no "death panels", Palin in a know-nothing, Liz Cheney is a snake, Fox News is a PR firm and that Obama tried to do more than any president in recent history to reach out to the other party. In fact that attempt to reach out has been one of his major mistakes – primarily because the Far Right bit the hand that was offered, while barking nonsense to scare anyone gullible enough to listen.

    Americans are often wrong, but we do learn too.

    The health plan is a major accomplishment for the United States, who finally joins the ranks of every other civilized nation who strive to protect the health of their citizens.

    March 22, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. Danielle

    I don't understand how those who voted for Obama can now disapprove of his performance. He promised "change" and health care was a major component of his platform. Well, now we're seeing the change. He didn't misrepresent himself or his goals, yet now many of those who voted for this change (presumably) disapprove of it? What did they think they were voting for in 2008?

    March 22, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. malia

    We don't forget! It is clear the American people do not want Obamacare. Congress will get their own overhaul in November...

    March 22, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. johnrj08

    A year-long $2 million a day misinformation campaign waged by the insurance industry and the relentless lying of the Republican Party are what is responsible for this poll. CNN knows this, yet it fails to say anything about it in this article.

    You're really starting to suck, CNN.

    March 22, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Lori in St Pete

    I'd be interested in the polling data. I have participated in online surveys for points that can be redeemed for merchandise. I never make it past the political affiliation questions, as I state I'm an independent who leans dem. Polling data reflects what those asking the questions want it to reflect by weeding out those with a different viewpoint.

    March 22, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Jake

    He is a disgrace to America. He is a dictator-Marx/Stalin/Castro/Hitler/Obama 70% do not want the HC bill -he cares about Obama&Obama

    March 22, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. fitz

    I am so proud of Obama and Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who put their political careers on the line to get this reform passed. After eight years of incompetence with the Bush administration, the American people finally have people with brains and hearts who will work for the good of this country. Most educated people I know support health care reform and admire what Obama did to get it passed. Even my husband, a lifelong Republican, (now 'decline to state') complimented Obama on a job well done. I would recommend today's editorial by Paul Krugman (NY Times) as required reading for Democrats and Republicans alike. Obama recently said that 'Democracy isn't pretty'. Certainly listening to the racist, homophobic rants this weekend was not pretty. He and other Democrats might not get re-elected but they certainly showed their mettle to get this needed reform passed. My son got home from 7 months in Iraq with the Marine Reserves. When he was no longer active and job hunting he had no health insurance. It was a scary time (he is now on active duty again). Under this reform, he would be covered.

    March 22, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. jab

    and its only going down from here.

    March 22, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. carol

    It is the Repulsicans who disapprove. 1,000 people is not representative of a "majority."

    March 22, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. Gary P.

    How I long for the days when we had a President who cared about the country, the American people, and the Constitution. I pray we may see those days once again, and I fear in my heart that we may not.

    March 22, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Clark

    When Mr. Obama says: "it was a hard vote, but it was the right vote" .... what standard is he using to determine "right" from "wrong"?

    As a Christian, he can't find his agenda supported by the scriptures unless he quotes verses out of context.

    As an American, he can't find his agenda supported by the Constitution.

    So, what is he using .... the lessons he learned under Pastor Wright? thus imposing his religious beliefs on all the rest of us?

    March 22, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Who cares what your poll says. This is the smartest and bravest president we have had in a very long time!

    March 22, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Suzanne Thompson

    Considering the size of the US population, 1,030 is too small a group to render meaningful results.

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. The_Mick

    As the year progresses and people realize the Republican "sky is falling" scare tactics have little substance, I think the effect on the November elections will be minimal.

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Obama is not my hero

    Education? What has he done for education?

    March 22, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. Peter s

    Rich Barbieri your statistical numbers don't add up! its just like the ones used by fix news cum fox!. Sir, go work for them thats where you belong! on the loosers side!

    March 22, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. sirwilhelm

    americans dont know whats really in their best interests

    we say we are american but then we dont really support our constituion because we ignore our egalitarian duties to ALL people

    March 22, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Steve Lyons

    No doubt. The people faced with paying for his socialist ideal just got a whiff of how much it will cost them. They were all planning on sticking the Republicans with the bill and didn't think they'd be on the hook too.

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. james

    Obama has just started the second civil war,on purpose....
    Just remember next November.Then the dems wont be laughing ....

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Joe

    Maybe more people are finally getting it and seeing what is going on. So sad that the economy, trade and jobs among other things have been set aside to pay so much attention to health care!

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. James

    All this poll shows is that the American people are disappointingly vulnerable to absurd political propoganda. Keep up the good work Mr. President. If the lemmings only give you fours years that's their problem. Hopefully we can get you eight!

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Mike

    Just another moron dumocrat who thinks what is best for the people regardless of whether or not the people want something.

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. A Kickin' Donkey

    President Obama has brought

    health insurance to children that couldn't get it before ...

    added insurance for 30 million people...

    his poll numbers will be going up.

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Dimslie

    To add some historical perspective, what were Hitler's poll numbers after his first year in office?

    March 22, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Dave

    Mark me down as approving. He's done more good in the 14 months than Bush did to ruin our country in 8 years.

    March 22, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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