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. MikeH

    And being a CNN poll you know it's a fair and balanced poll, har har.

    So I see CNN finally uncensored all the anti Mitt posts. Gosh what's the pro-Mitt/ anti-Mitt ratio? Looks like about 15-20% pro Mitt, 80% anti-Mitt.

    Too bad CNN, looks like you'll have to find another Republican to root for.

    March 22, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. Julie

    I have a comment on the Congressmen that shouted Baby Killers on the house floor I think its disrespectful and he should be fined and sanctioned. This type of behavior should not be allowed !!!!

    March 22, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. double standard

    Stick your pool where the sun doesn't shine !!

    March 22, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. John W. Olver

    If 46% is the lowest the Presidents job approval rating falls to the Republicans are in trouble. They've been lambasting Obama without letup since before he took office. Republicans, along with CNN as well as much of the rest of the media, have blamed Obama for the economic collapse (George Bush's watch), the Wall Street Bailout (George Bush's watch) and the deficit (George Bush again). Say what you will about the President but he's tough, smart and can get things done even when one party refuses to participate in governing the country.

    There was talk all around the bombast circuit about how the Republicans were not listened to. If that were true there would be a public option, the medical insurance industry would have gotten clobbered in this healthcare reform and Medicare would have been financed by higher taxes. Obama has been portrayed as a socialist by you guys as well as the other talking heads but this plan is a moderate plan as are most of the President's positions.

    The media makes it's money by stirring up controversy not by reporting news. How much of CNN's air time is gobbled up by talking heads yammering on about things of which they know little or nothing.

    March 22, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. Scott

    I guess this shows that Americans don't want to have socialist measusres shoved down our throats. I like the guy and think his intentions are nothing but the best, but I think he is doing great harm to our country.

    March 22, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. rfo

    Wow, 1,030 folks polled via land line phone where the number is listed on whitepages.com. Real scientific and valid .... I think NOT!

    March 22, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. mark

    Barry's approval rating has been dropping though out the year. This is not the "First Time".

    March 22, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Russ H

    Well, Bush did us in and Obama finished us up. I am a retired military soldier, disabled, on social security also. Now to help my family and grandchildren and a few great grandchildren I have I will probably work a while longer. I have retired 3 times but keep coming back with what are idiiots are doing in the WH. Please government, wake up before you have a revolution against you. Pay your lobbyists back fast, because on reelections we will be after you. That goes for some of you republicans also.

    March 22, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. Carlos Avila

    Mr. Obama and the democrats, should have listened to the people, because are the American people who should have the final word, NOT the government, or the president. We, the American citizens didn't want No government health care. It was imposed in a country where the democracy and freedom are the highest value. To me, Mr. Obama wanted to be the only president in forty years, to do things other presidents were unable to do. And this is blindness for fame and arrogance. The Nobel Prize Academy made a deadly mistake awarding him the peace prize. And I think he is after causing the bankruptcy of the nation from the white House. But biblical prophecies have to be complied!!!.....

    March 22, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Wendy

    I want Obama to STOP trying to reaching out to the Republicans! It is obvious these crybaby losers don't want what's best for America, they just spend their time saying "NO" to anything Dems propose.Let the whiners gather in their "teabag parties" and cry in their Kool-Aid.

    March 22, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. md from maryland

    I am very suspicious of these so-called polls. I have never been polled and I don't know ANYONE who has been polled.

    March 22, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Pragmatic

    When all the drama cools down: when the health care reform bill begins to work, if the republicans will stop frothing at the mouth, screaming about "repeal" and start to work with Democrats on jobs, jobs, jobs, immigration reform and all the other challenges ... then maybe America can move forward.

    Fascinating, when Bush ignored polls, pushed for 'the surge" – the republicans hailed this as "leadership" .... when President Obama moves forward on health care reform, with more support than Bush had – the republicans howl "dictatorship!" Why?

    March 22, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. ld117

    CNN makes it sound like things are going terrible for Obama.
    "For the first time..."
    Well, different polls have different results. Some have been showing a majority disapproval for some time now, while others show a clear majority approve of the President's job. Conclusion? One single poll is never terribly reliable.

    March 22, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Lazlo LaRouze

    Possibly, just possibly, expectations for IMMEDIATE change were too high. Remember the last eight years of Bush and the attendant damage and the current Republican mindset of making a shambles of whatever Obama tries to do. All very unfortunate and creating a difficult situation with the American populus on the losing end. Wait another year or so. Let him get a grip and see how it goes. It's tough starting out climbing up from the bottom.

    March 22, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Old Farmboy

    Well, all I can say is this better work or there has just been a mass political suicide and they don't know it. Congratulations that wanted mandatory health insureance. Congratulations to those that wanted to be able to get health insurance that were disapproved due to pre-existing conditions. I happen to agree with that to a point. But, here's what I see happening. First, Insurance companies are going to increase premiums across the board to compensate for the losses that are inevitable from this new deal. Next for those that get the Government option, taxes are going to go up to pay for it. How in debt do we have to go before we wake up. Oh yeah, and for those lucky enough to have a health plan at work... Guess what? That's going up too. Let's see, more tax, higher insurance premiums, less Social Security, less Medicare, but there is one advantage. The Federal Government has figured out a way to shorten the DMV line...

    March 22, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. David from Wisconsin

    I approve of him especially in healthcare and the economy. He dares to lead even against torrents of demagoguery. He has saved the economy from tanking, recovery has started, and he managed to get healthcare insurance reform in. That is astounding.

    This is his nadir. His ratings will rise from here. And he's come out of his corner fighting, these last couple months. That's what he needs to do.

    Keep it up, Obama! Jobs next!

    March 22, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. MSG Ratt

    Sure has taken some people a while to figure out that they made a very bad choice in selecting this particular president.

    March 22, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. CD

    How is this an accurate poll CNN? 1,000 people? That's it? Perhaps you should speak to the 5 million moveon.org members ...many of whom have been carrying out a continuous grassroots campaign across the country since Obama's election. Where did you conduct your poll of 1,000? In Crawford Texas? The media in this country has become pretty darn ridiculous and obviously caters and pacifies the right-wing wack jobs of this country. Seems we as a nation are incapable of anything intelligent anymore and only support fascist, racist, hate-mongering views that take personal aim at our president. Will now switch my homepage to NPR.

    March 22, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Joseph D

    Obama ad his staff have never worked for a living. They have always been on the dole. Making millions as community organizers and similar jobs. He wants the US to be socialistic or communist.

    The people who voted for him get what they deserve.

    March 22, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Jay Snead

    This is CHANGE! The status quo never goes quietly. I applaud his efforts...and Nancy Pelosi's negotiation expertise. One major issue down...now on to Immigration.

    It may not be PERFECT, but everyone agreed something had to be done. So let's see what happens. People forget that he inherited a ROYAL MESS. It takes TIME. He certainly can't do it overnight...especially with the GOP trying to undermine him at every turn. It's almost comical to watch.

    I'm standing with President Obama ... and I'm proud of it. I served in the Military 21 years...and I didn't like a lot of things...but I did them FOR THE COUNTRY. There is a tried and true saying: "We don't get to pick our boss ... so get over yourselves people. Like the Temptations said, "If you can't love the one you want; love the one you're with!"
    OBAMA 2010!!!!

    March 22, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Jake

    For all you that keep up this GOP and the insurance companies are in bed together–answer this what is Obama and the Labor Unions? Also all that stay on the war thing–name 1 soldier that was forced to serve–IT IS ALL VOLUNTEER NOW. Go back to Woodstock and cry the war tune.

    March 22, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Indy

    Thank God polls only tell a little tiny bit of the story, otherwise it would be embarrasing as a country to have an unfavorable rating right after the biggest and best bill in fifty years was passed. I guess one should be happy because it could me much worse if the Republicans were allowed to reign more terror after eight years of hell.

    March 22, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Len Smith

    What is the issue, we at least have a President that thinks and works for the American people, all the American people. The condition of the country was not his doing, but he has done a lot to begin to turn our great country around and I am most thankful to him and to the Democrats who have and continue to think of the best for all Americans. I am thankful they do something and have for years been the party that helps all Americans.

    March 22, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. dwighthuth

    It's only those opposed to wanting America to be a healthy America that are going against this bill.

    March 22, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. Scott

    Dang, how come no one ever calls me for these polls? Who are these "people" that the CNN polls always refer to?

    March 22, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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