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. lancethecoug

    True leaders don't follow straw polls, approval ratings, or outside pressures............instead they do what they believe is right and hope the publc has a chance to benefit and recgonize the consequences. Well done Obama.

    March 22, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. AmFem

    Sorry, CNN. Your polls have always been so inaccurate. In fact, all the polls since the Presidential campaign, have been proven to be sooooo off. Remember all those ones that had McCain close to beating Obama? Ha. This is just another meaningless poll.

    March 22, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Thomas

    CNN didn't call me ! Call some younger people the next time you take a poll. March 19th to the 21st , what time yesterday did you finish counting ? Take a poll today and see what you find , CNN Your slipping, yesterdays news yesterday !

    Obama is a compassionate fighter, America loves a winner !
    The GOP needs a new tanning salon for there house leaders.

    March 22, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Aara

    Ok, so CNN is laying the groundwork for a "post health care reform act" surge by Obama?

    I wouldn't trust CNN any further than I could throw their very naive and biased commentators.

    March 22, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Matthew of Massachusetts

    If Americans had the power to impeach, Obama would be tossed from office. Reckless, arrogant, partisan, and totally out of touch with mainstream America and the principle upon which this country was founded.. Mr Obama is hazardous to the well being of this country.

    A Massachusetts Lifelong Democrat

    March 22, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Dale

    No new wars. This is why I voted for Obama and why I still support him. If we had elected McCain, we would probably have invaded North Korea and Iran and Cuba by now.

    March 22, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. Accountant Guy

    Good job Mr. President! Glad that you were able to get the job done, even though the Republicans, as usual tried to derail anything good for this country. Hopefully, Rush Limbaugh keeps his promise and leaves the US. He can take all the Republicans and racist Tea Party members with him too.

    March 22, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. Weekend visitor here

    Obama is going downhill in my estimation also. He's not the same person who campaigned, obviously reading the speeches as written by his speech writers (make that fiction writers). It seems he didn't have his heart or intentions in what he was saying. It worked with the crowds, so he used it.

    He'll be a one-term Pres... I know I'll never vote for him again, either.

    March 22, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. hampster

    Once the Americ people realize the benefit and significance of the healthcare reform President Obama's political capital will pill up higher than Mount Everest!

    March 22, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. MJH

    That's not at all surprising. When you agressively press an issue like Obama care despite widespread voter oppostion, it is hardly likely to endear you to the electorate.

    March 22, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. Malbon Yarn

    As a mathematician, I know how numbers can be used to prove almost anything that it wants. I find it hard to believe that what I've read is true. I also question your group. 100% of the people that I know who rate him as doing a great job, never are a part of your polls.
    Can our President and his supporters enjoy one day without the same old "junk." This president has accomplished more in his first year and a half in office then probably any other presidentMr. President, you are doing a wonderful job!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. Keith Long

    First let me say that I would have no problem voting for a black, Hispanic, asian or any other. That said, I disagree with most of his philosophies, as I believe do most Americans. Where I disagree with most Americans, I believe President Obama is the most arrogant, egotistic president we have ever had.

    March 22, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. Kevin Jenson

    Of course Obama's poll numbers are dropping like a rock. He and the Democratic Congress have been spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors. I thought the Republicans were bad with their waste of money and hoped that Obama would bring real change. However, the only change he has delivered is an acceleration of debt. Instead of making the tough choices to get the nation's budget in order, he has simply borrowed more and more money from the Chinese and left our children to foot the bill with higher taxes so we can service our nation's trillions of dollars of debt owed to China. The Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank.

    March 22, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I am proud of our President and Nancy Peloski for the good work for the American people.. Every Republican in Washington needs to resign if
    they cannot show good leadership and work with the President. This country is bigger that the republican party. Who cares what McCain says
    ,he lost the election. He needs to go home and be with his family.
    When God is for you, Who can be against you? When God is for you , He
    is more than the world against you.

    March 22, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. boo

    Obama has 55%, now 49%, now 51%, now 38%, now 66%. How do we know. We asked a thousand people leading questions and they answered for everyone. And that's the way it is ... today. New polls tomorrow.

    March 22, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Jennifer

    Love him!!!

    March 22, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    CNN, how can you possibly put up a poll taken before the passage of monumental legislation? Shouldn't you mention that some of those disapproving are disgruntled liberals? Don't you think this major accomplishment might change some of their views?

    Yeah, a headline like that will get lots of teabaggers to come here and gloat, but all you're doing with your disingenuous reporting is fanning the flames, and when this ugly powder keg explodes, you will be complicit.

    March 22, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  18. Unemployed by Obama

    Surprised it's not lower.

    March 22, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Obama supporter more than ever

    How amazing that Obama has succeeded where Presidents have failed for 100 years. Hopefully, those who don't understand how important health care reform is and willl be for millions of Americans will someday realize that Obama has done something truly wonderful for this country and for our fellow citizens.

    March 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. MikeE

    Over the cliff you go dems. In other news, Harry reid is at 8% approval and San Fran Nan is at 11%.

    March 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  21. P. D.

    What's up with the constant polling? i don't remember Bush being constantly polled. In fact, polls about him were few and far between. Obama is still at 40 something. the Republicans and Dems are way lower.

    March 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. Nick

    Is it really any surprise? Either President Obama and his party's failure to grasp basic economic principles belies the self-defeating idiocy of their policies (the disproportionate burden of which will fall on the poor and small businesses), or they willingly misled the public through doublespeak and deception. Now that the cognitive dissonance has set in, it should come as no surprise that a majority is angry. As much as they try to blast Republican obstructionism, the fact is that there are plenty of moderate Republicans who would have been willing to vote on a reasonable compromise bill. This bill was unreasonable, unconstitutional and doubles down on all the very worst aspects of our health care system. If they can't even get Olympia Snowe onboard, it is proof that "post-partisanship" was a nice marketing ploy and nothing more.

    March 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  23. Concerned Voter

    I approve of the President. I will like this bill even more once they fix the Senate bill and remove certain provisions (*cornhusker kickback, cough).

    March 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Flipper

    Wow...in 13 months the approval rating of Obama has dropped 30 points...in a CNN poll!

    Only 51% disapprove? That number, after all this crap with the health care reform bill, will no doubt only go higher.

    It's going to be hell for the Dems in November, especially if they continue to engage in questionable procedures to get their left-wing agenda, that the vast majority of Americans don't want, passed through Congress.

    March 22, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  25. Jamey Columbus

    And folks this is a CNN poll... this is bad news for OBAMA

    March 22, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
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