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. ron

    Ah, the right, tea party and lunatic fringe can't stand these polls. Of course they can't stand anything that doesn't go their way. If they can get their way with truth then lies will do, fear or anything that they believe will turn the tide. Well, thank God we have a President that is trying to do the right thing for the country. Millions of Americans need health care and now we are on our way to having it. The financial meltdown that Bush left us is improving thanks to our President. He is working to bring the troops home from the two wars that Bush put us into, all not paid for. So, when the right talks about the deficit that we have and the legacy we are leaving our children make sure that you own your piece of the problem.

    March 29, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Meghan

    I really don't put much stake in poll numbers, especially now that the millions of people that don't have home phones aren't polled (including myself). I have to wonder what effect the demise of home phone service has on "random sampling"? I'd guess that younger, more liberal, childless households forgo the home phone more often than our conservative, older friends with larger households. Does that skew a poll? I don't know a ton about the science of polling but it makes me doubt polls.

    I support President Obama and would vote for him again if the election were held tomorrow. Great work Mr. President, keep it up!

    March 29, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    Not an endoresment of Obama by any means. How come the CBS poll showed dramatically lower approval ratings? Did you poll only the inner city populations?I know no non union working individuals who agrees with Obama's policy nor his agenda. No one even knows what was contained in the bill including our politicians!

    March 29, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. maripil

    This is a big win for Pres. Obama. Our President has been very transparent of his views and hopes to get the healthcare reform done!! It may not be a perfect bill but will get tweaked along the way as long as the Democrats are in unison and in line with President Obama!!

    March 29, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. km

    Gotta love the people who think 2012 is gonna be a big disaster for Democrats. Based on the actual election results and participation numbers from 2008, statistically, it is next to impossible for a Republican to win in 2012. 2008 saw 1.5 new Latino voters, nearly 3.0 million African American voters, and nearly 2.0 million college age voters. How many of those you think are staunch GOP supporters? Obama won by more than 8.5 million votes and over twice as many electoral votes. The number of white voters actual decreased from 2004 to 2008 and it's likely to continue that trend. Between 2008 and 2012 400k to 800k older, conservative voters will statistically die of old age...that puts the margin at just over 9.0 million votes.

    March 29, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Observer

    The 1st question you should ask is are you familiar with the details of the bill.

    March 29, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. Daniel

    American people is with you Mr. President, no matter what republicans say.

    March 29, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Anne

    Most of my friends have always approved of Pres. Obama. I am amazed how often the un-American protestors get media coverage. They seem to be having fun waving idiotic posters with lies on them. They keep complaining about stuff that isn't even true. We need to have more positive news reported. We love and respect our president.

    March 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Guest

    Love our President. we must support him and give him credit, he is trying so hard, but working with the republicans is tough. He has such a full calendar and is on tv regularly keeping people informed – which I think is a great thing. Did we see Bush on tv keeping the nations updated – no. He would not know what to say anyway, so ...

    March 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Pete Boron

    CNN Phony Poll....1,009 Adults, NOT REGISTERED VOTERS!.....Or working people, only those laying around watching OPRAH & the college nitwits.

    March 29, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. dennis

    This article is nothing more than Democrat Propaganda distributed by their Pravda media.

    March 29, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Gracie

    Bull... the 50% that approve of this crap are the 50% that DON'T pay taxes and get everything paid for. How about, you don't get to vote unless you actually contribute to society?

    March 29, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Bob

    This health bill is the biggest scam of all time. It would have been cheaper just to PAY for all the un-insured instead of turning the system upside down. Or perhpas more would have health care if they had a JOB! America needs to wake up and see what is really happening here. Those that can still think clearly will sink his poll numbers to historic low.

    March 29, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Mike

    A poll is simply a reflection of the questions that were asked a very small sliver of the public on a certain day.

    It is natural that both sides of the ideological aisle take turns trumpeting or downplaying the printed results.

    Those that do either are in serious need of mental help.

    March 29, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. Sensible Joe

    President Obama's made significant headway on health insurance reform, concluded a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, opened new financial aid opportunities to college students, got law enforcement ferreting out foreign and domestic terrorists, stood up to Israeli expansionism and went to Afghanistan to get down to brass tacks with its government... No small accomplishments there. Kudos to him - he deserves credit for what he's getting done, in spite of obstructionists and naysayers.

    March 29, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. adrift in canada

    Well done, President Obama. By the way, after you are finished your second term as president, come to Canada and get citizenship here. You'd be elected prime minister no problem. (I'm joking, of course, but you probably would win.) We need a leader with vision and the guts to do the tough work. Some Americans are too blinded by ideology to realize they have a great leader – the kind many other countries would love to have.

    March 29, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. steve

    The horable mess that Obama was left with is well known. I watched as the last president stated on telivision right at the end that it was absalutly nessasary to bail out ailing financial instatutions
    I think the last adminastration did everything in its power to get fuel up to five dollars a gallon and bury the next president before he left office. He almost got both of his goals accomplished. Thank goodness it was just almost

    March 29, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Proud GOP member

    Such a liberal news agency as CNN won't be biased NOT!! Go check FOX and ask yourself why are so many people upset and why are the Dems so worried about the upcomming November elections.

    March 29, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Toby

    Only Republicans would sit around and try to demonize bringing the United States into the 21st Century. Sorry slavery is over, yes FDR instituted Social Security, yes Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act, yes we've integrated public schools, yes a black man is our president and he did just provide needy Americans with easier access to health care! Sorry GOP.

    What kind of embarrassing citizens scoff at these sort of developments. Why don't you move to Afghanistan if you want to live in the stone age, and bring Limbaugh and Palin with you!

    March 29, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Fitz In Texas

    'Obama approval up in wake of health care victory"

    And what's laughable is CNN believes it.

    March 29, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. Concerned

    Who's Obama?

    March 29, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Greg K., PA

    I'm with President Obama. This legislation is a great step in the right direction. I think most people against the legislation don't fully understand it. As the population understands the law better, it's population will increase.

    We've had universal health care for decades (anyone can get care from an Emergency Room), but it's the most inefficient system in the world. This isn't charity so much as bringing capitalism to an anti-competitive market to lower costs for consumers. We're making a necessary short-term investment that will eventually result in nearly everyone paying their own way.

    At the end of the day, this act is projected to start paying us back in ten years and we'll break even in twenty, all the while costing less than all the money we threw away on the Iraq War. How is that a bad thing?

    March 29, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    When the same people that are opposing Obama's Health Care Bill start lining up for care that they couldn't get before what will they have to say?

    March 29, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. jody from Kentucky

    Seems like we need to replace all the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats with true Democrats so President Obama's agenda can be fulfilled I know that my family and I will do so.

    March 29, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Norm

    Republicans wouldn’t even vote for their own ideas. If they have an idea in the morning they will be against it in the afternoon. Republicans have no interest in people unless it benefits them. They hate government except for their government salary, pension, Medicare, air traffic controllers, the military, airport security, the Federal Highway System, FDA, and Homeland Security. That is, they’re against everything until they need it.

    March 29, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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