March 30th, 2010
08:30 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama approval up in wake of health care victory

 A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 51 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 48 percent saying they disapprove.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 51 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 48 percent saying they disapprove.

Washington (CNN) – Passage of the landmark health care bill appears to have boosted President Barack Obama's approval rating, but it has not affected his re-election chances so far, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 51 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 48 percent saying they disapprove. That 51 percent approval rating is up five points from a week ago, before Congress approved the health care reform bill and the president signed the legislation into law. Four in ten respondents say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal and 6 percent say they the president is not liberal enough.

Full results (pdf)

Eighty-six percent of Democrats questioned say they approve of the job Obama is doing, a surge of 12 points over the past week. The poll indicates that 47 percent of Independents approve of the president's performance, up 6 points in a week, and 12 percent of Republicans give him the thumbs up, basically unchanged from a week ago.

"Some parts of the Democratic base, particularly lower-income Americans and union households, appear to be coming back into the fold," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Obama's approval rating changed the most among Americans who make less than $25,000 a year - the group that is most likely to benefit from the new health care law."

Among union households, the president's approval rating soared 9 points to 58 percent.

Health care appears to be behind the jump in Obama's overall rating. While the president's ratings on the economy and foreign affairs remained static over the past week, his numbers on how he's dealing with health care rose five points to 45 percent, although a majority still disapprove of how he's handling the issue.

"But short-term gains for Obama don't necessarily translate into long-term strength," adds Holland. "In a hypothetical 2012 presidential election match-up, Obama and an unnamed Republican are virtually tied, with no significant change between last week's poll and this one."

A CNN survey released earlier Monday indicates that 56 percent of the public disapproves of the new health care legislation, with 42 percent approving. On Tuesday, the president is set to sign into law a companion bill that makes changes to the main legislation he signed last week.

More than three in ten questioned say they dislike most of the bill, with one in four saying they oppose all of the provisions of the new law. Fifteen percent say they approve of the new law without reservation, with another one in four saying they support the new reforms but feel they didn't go far enough.

When it comes to health care, Republicans have made "repeal and replace" their battle cry, and Obama has said he welcomes the fight. At an event in Iowa City, Iowa, last week, the president scoffed at the GOP strategy. "My attitude is - go for it," he said.

According to the poll, 47 percent agree with the Republican strategy and want Congress to repeal most of the major provisions in the law and replace them with new proposals. But 50 percent are fine with the current law or want Congress to go back and pass something that would increase the government's involvement in health care even more.

Forty-seven percent of respondents say that this is a major victory for Obama, and another one in five call it a minor accomplishment and one in three say it was not a positive development.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: CNN poll • Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. BS Bill Misleading Americans

    In who's eye did this improve Obama's ratings? Obama's days in the White House are limited. The end is near. 2012 can't get here fast enough. Out with Obama and the rest of the Democrats.

    March 29, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. dennispaul

    50% are fine with the new law.....that means 50% are NOT fine with the new law.....hardly a rousing endorsement......hope the first 50% enjoy paying for it...along with their children and grandkids.

    March 29, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Stacie

    Woo Hoo! Yay! This is me doing a celebratory dance. I support MY PRESIDENT...and it looks like THE MAJORITY of Americans do too. So, stop telling me what "The American people" think.

    March 29, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Nowhere But Up

    Mr. President, you've had an historic week. I don't trust nor follow polls, but you are doing a fine job in my eyes. Keep up the good work.

    March 29, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. moosehead

    Obama is an unselfish, hard working politician, who genuinely cares about the everyday person. He inherited a huge mess from the previous administration,... and kudos to him for having a vision and plan, to bring back stability and prosperity for all,... give him a chance.

    March 29, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. SpringGambit

    Now matter how you average it, demographically, President Obama's numbers have always been 50% or better.

    March 29, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. John

    I'd be celebrating if I was getting free healthcare too. But, sadly I'm a senior whose Medicare benefits are in danger and who has been left unhelped because I haven't overindulged myself, I've made my house and credit card payments, paid large premiums even now with a supplemental and lived frugally so that I can take care of myself. Now Obama wants me to take care of everyone else too.

    March 29, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. hal

    Of course it is....next week it will be up to 75 % approval rate! LOL!!

    March 29, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. ran

    As it should be.

    We need to get ride of ever single fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republican in 2010/2012/2014 and replace them with either a true Democrat, Independent or if need be a Republican but one who wants to work for all the people.

    March 29, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Barry

    I have yet to meet one person who speaks favorably of this President, and I live in California.

    March 29, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Flipper

    "...how he's dealing with health care rose five points to 45 percent, although a majority still disapprove of how he's handling the issue."

    Interesting how CNN buries this fact in the article.

    But hey, up to 51% after months of trying to ram through a horrible bill, and they only do it after numerous backroom deals, massive corruption, borderline unconstitutional methods, historic partisanship, etc.

    Bravo! Dems, prepare for the slaughter (no, not that Slaughter) in November.

    March 29, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. valwayne

    Funny that the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls are showing Obama at 48 and 47%, well after the passage of the bill. Accounting for normal variation you see in these tracking polls Obama may have gone up a point or two and has now come back down. CNN usually shows Obama higher than Gallup or Rasmussen so it was suprising when they came out with a lower number just as the healthcare bill was passed. Not they are back in their normal range to .....2 to 4 points higher than the other polls for Obama. Funny how that worked out! The only reason Obama is showing improvement is because they showed him so low first?

    March 29, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Debby

    Yep okay CNN lets see this poll in October when doctors turn away seniors just having medicare. Why don't you report on the Mayo Clinic for one.

    March 29, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Al

    Yeah! I pray everyday for the strength, persistence, and good will of our president. May God always protect him and our beloved nation.

    March 29, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Mark

    Wait until the Obama health tax hits companies both large and small. So much for creating jobs!

    March 29, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. virginia nielsen

    He's going to be the best president ever because he came from the real middle class, like me... almost all the american presidents came from welthy families , never really knowing what is the day by day for an average, regular citizen. Good for us that he experienced what is real life !
    OBAMA 2012!!!

    March 29, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. dan smith

    Really? They didn't ask me or anyone I know. Wonder were they got their data from? Mostly union thugs and welfare people I imagine.

    March 29, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    About time. Maybe now more Americans are paying attention and not listening to faux news and those retarded beings.
    Are the "teabaggers" coming anywhere near MD? I hear they are heading East campaigning even though they live in RVs. I would love to be there to welcome them. NOT!

    March 29, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Janet Lynn Rubert

    The reason so many people oppose health care is because of radical extremists like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and a host of others who misinform evangelical nut jobs who listen only to their message. They're not objective listeners and they don't represent rational Christianity. They have commandiered my religion and are causing panic. The whole movement is being viewed by the world as a bunch of goofy Americans who oppose common sense and are disrespecting most countries who have and like so-called socialized health care. I just returned from Ghana where yes, even they have universal health care. I don't want to pay for those who refuse it because eventually they WILL get sick or injured. Is it any different than forcing us to fasten our seat belts, not drive drunk or use a bike helmet? And do this opposition group actually believe corporate America is better than their own government? Roll over Thomas Jefferson and those who fought and died for us.

    March 29, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Jon

    Americans will always be split under statism. Let federalism and division of power between the states and federal government return, and we can get back to being Americans.

    March 29, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Bostonian-TheWoodlands,TX

    You don't say....................

    March 29, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Charlie in Maine

    "In a hypothetical 2012 presidential election match-up, Obama and an unnamed Republican are virtually tied,

    Well that is fine with me. When they actually name tha Republican Obama's popularity will go through the roof

    March 29, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. RCasson

    Just keep doing what you're doing with a high head. You'll be re-elected easily Mr. President. I truly believe this.

    March 29, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. FLAGSHIP, NC

    His approval rating is actually higher because the younger population operate using cell phones, where the seniors are inclinded the have landlines and be at home when the polls are taken.

    March 29, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Annie

    Someone once said, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time." So why bother with polls?

    March 29, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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