March 30th, 2010
08:30 AM ET
4 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. Connie

    This isn't credibile in my community or email contact. Where did CNN find these people? Was it at an Acorn rally?

    March 29, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. franky12

    It's all about getting the job done! No politician is well liked by more than the majority. It's nice that Pres. Obama finally realizes that the honsymoon is over... That he has to go to work!

    March 29, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Sarah

    Democrats continue to tout all the great reforms that were in their bill and point out the unanimous GOP opposition. Of course, the truth of the matter is that all of the most popular reforms could have passed with large bipartisan support if taken individually. The Democrats packaged several good reforms with a lot of things Americans hate, including a huge expansion of entitlements. Entitlements are exactly what is already bankrupting this country. It is dishonest to continue to talk about this bill as if the GOP opposed the reforms that America wanted.

    March 29, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    The Republicans are the Neanderthals of the Holocene era. They struggle along with obsolete technology(fossil fuel), obsolete spirituality(Evangelical Christianity) and are terrified of the change that needs to happen both to this planet and this nation. So they huddle in their caves filled with hate and no answers and just like the Neanderthals, they will fade away. Of course Republicans really don't have to worry, as they don't believe in evolution or any of the other discoveries of that past 3500 years. They are just waiting for the end of the world, and they're right, of course, the end is coming with the imminent extinction of Republicans in general.

    March 29, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Greg in Texas

    Certainly not the greatest president in history, but definitely better than the losers the Republicans have given us recently.

    March 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Brian Paul

    Whoever approves of this bill is just another lamb cheering on the way to the slaughter. They have no idea what effects it will have on everyone in the very near future. Mainly your employers. In return it will effect you! Your cheering as the big money falls. When the big money falls where are the jobs and salary's going to come from. Your laughing now! Your cheering him now! You will feel the pinch sooner than you think. If you work for someone else or get paid by companies for any service you provide then tIghten your belt. Well at least you'll have your crappy health care controlled by such trust worthy people as your government to fall back on. You make me sick to my stomach!

    March 29, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Steve

    Hey dennis paul – I'll enjoy paying for it just like i did the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq War and the Bank Bailouts – ALL caused by the Repubs!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Doug

    All our comments and all the polls mean nothing. The only poll that matters is the one that will be held in November. My guess is that with all the selling the President will be doing between now and then that America will not be buying, but that is just my opinion. Like I said, we will know in November.

    March 29, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Ann P

    Glad it's swinging the right way, but that's what I hear in the streets. The polls don't carry a lot of weight. As someone said earlier...who are they polling...people at home all day at their phones watching Fox News? I suspect Obama is going to gain a lot more support as this and other initiatives move forward. He is about getting things done for us and we are seeing that. The Repubs are in a world of hurt as their past speaks for itselt...about as much as their lunatic fringe does. As long as they hang on to the "do nothings" like McCain/ Palin, their fossils. All they are good for is lining their own pocketbooks and spewing BS.

    March 29, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Obamacare will bankrupt the US

    Why aren't the Democrats out bragging about the changes to flexible spending accounts? Why aren't they emphasizing to their constituents how they will no longer be able to buy OTC drugs with their FSA funds? Isn't that a wonderful feature of this healthcare bill?

    March 29, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Amy

    Go Janet Lynn!!!! Totally agree!

    March 29, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Kevin St Pete FL

    Keep it up, Mr. President.

    March 29, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. Abdul

    Really James?. Still pinning this mess on Obama. really. So, did you just awaken afer an 8 year coma? Please say yes. that's the only xcuse you have for such an idiotic comment

    March 29, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    listening to GOP supporters here I can't help it but believe that these folks DO NOT want America do recover and get back on track. If America recovers Obama will be re-elected and the GOP gang would trade off the well being of the entire nation for a change in country leadership. How unbelievably stupid! GOP has lost all common sense...!

    March 29, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Erick

    Way to go, President Obama. Keep it going! We love you President Obama!! We believe in you to help us to get our america in best shape. You are in our thoughtful. :)

    March 29, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Spring

    Yay. Go Obama. See Obama get results.

    March 29, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. obama akbar

    His approval rating would be 20% if the people paying for all his crap (people with jobs) were at home to answer polls.

    March 29, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. JR

    Good job Mr. President!

    As for the the "sour grapes" out there on Social Security, if you're so unhappy with the Health Care law, maybe you should just give up your Social Security checks too.

    It makes me "sick" to know I have to pay out part of my hard earned paycheck so you can continue to whine and snivel online...

    March 29, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Happy Dem

    It amazes me that there are so many people being so vocal against our president and all the good stuff he's doing for us. For one thing, if you illiterates ever left your barns you'd see how much everyone else's perception of this country has improved out there. Oh, but in your minds, who cares about anyone else, right? You are all selfish, sore losers who can't think of anyone else but your own interests. if that is your perspective in life, I feel sorry for you, because you will continue to lose out. Those of us who care about more than ourselves, are happy to finally see a brilliant man directing this country in a positive direction, and away from wars fabricated by the likes of you. So there, I'm very happy and proud of my President! At least he does not manufacture false threats, and focuses on reality instead.

    March 29, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. marcus2

    The Republicans can do nothing but give big tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. That's the basis of their policies.

    March 29, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Ryan

    I'm happy and sad when I read these strings of comments.
    There will always be conservative Republicans that hate whatever Obama is doing, and liberal Democrats that love it. That makes me sad. But it seems a lot of you posters are paying attention and thinking, seeing both sides of the coin, and really understanding that every decision in Washington has it's positives and negatives. I just wish the media zealots on both sides of the aisle didn't cloud the minds of the American people with half-truths and spun stories. Beck, Olberman, Maddow, and Limbaugh, all need to stop. Just report the news, and let the people decide what we think without telling us. THAT'S really what's wrong with America.

    March 29, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Abdul

    You would think by now that everybody has figured out that there's always a poll to support any political viewpoint. Just like there's a network to justify any political viewpointl Lefties like msnbc and righties like fox. None of the polls are scientific. It's all about the demograhpic of those polled. Rural Tx is most likely to dissaprove of Obama whereas Urban Ill most likely will not.

    March 29, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Tom from Tx

    I'm not a "lefty" but I do get a sense from talking to colleagues that the Dems are in there for the long haul and have picked up a lot of credibility in contrast to the Repubs. What is a "lefty" anyway? When did it become evil to help people in need? I hear all this spewing about "Christianity" from the right, but I sure don't see them practicing those values. Quite the contrary; they seem very self-serving and hypocrital and the ones in politics have no fresh ideas. Tax cuts seem to be their only solution to everything. Doesn't add up.

    March 29, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Abdur R Azad

    Enactment of health care reform has brought into surface the metel Obama is made of. A president cannot and should not always look into poll numbers while doing things. That is the sign of a president with guts. And Obama has proved it. It is time for Republicans to understand this, and plan their future course. Otherwise, they will become a party of NO for quite some time.
    Reelection? Only time will tell.

    March 29, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Tom

    And what was GW's poll ratings throughout most of his administration? Below 30%

    March 29, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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