June 3rd, 2010
01:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Polls: Obama at 48 percent approval at 500 day mark

President Obama's approval rating is at 48 percent.
President Obama's approval rating is at 48 percent.

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama marks 500 days in the White House, a new average of the most recent national polls indicates that less than half of the public approves of the job he's doing in office.

According to a CNN Poll of Polls, 48 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing, with 45 percent saying they disapprove of the president's performance. This stands in sharp contrast to Obama's popularity after his first 100 days in office, which was at 63 percent in a CNN Poll of Polls compiled for that occassion.

The CNN Poll of Polls' Thursday release comes on the president's 500th day in the White House, with the count starting on January 20, 2009, the day Obama was inaugurated. The CNN Poll of Polls consists of the six surveys conducted in late May and early June: Fox (May 18-19), NBC (May 20-23), CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (May 21-23), Quinnipiac University (May 19-24), CBS (May 20-24) and the Gallup tracking poll (May 29-June 1). The CNN Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

"Obama's administration has had a lot of ups and downs this year, but the average of his approval ratings has remained relatively stable," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "His average approval rating has hovered between 48 percent and 50 percent throughout 2010, and for the past three months, it has ben at either 48 or 49 percent."

So how does Obama's approval rating at the 500 day mark compare to his most recent predecessors?

George W. Bush's approval rating stood 77 percent in late May 2002, just eight months after the September 11 attacks. Bill Clinton was at 51 percent in late May 1994. George H.W. Bush stood at 65 percent in May of 1990. Ronald Reagan's approval rating was at 45 percent in May of 1982. Jimmy Carter stood at 43 percent in May of 1978 and Richard Nixon was at 59 percent in May of 1970.

"The changes in Obama's average approval rating has been uncannily similar to the ratings that Ronald Reagan got through his first 500 days," Holland says. "In their first year in office, both of them had approval ratings in the 60s until late summer. Both of them dropped below 50 percent for the first time in November of their first year in office. Neither of them got over 50 percent in the first five months of their second year in office. If the Reagan pattern holds, Obama's ratings will stay in the 40s for the rest of this year, hit bottom in January of 2011, and then start to slowly rebound. Of course, history rarely repeats itself."


Filed under: Poll • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Enough

    Wow, CNN still has him that high.....after the lousy job he's been doing since taking office. Guess you'll never be able to convince those sucking from the system, since Obama is a guarantee their free ride will continue.

    June 3, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. rhumba

    I think that the American people don't understand a president who doesn't "grandstand" for political attention. Mr. Obama is working hard to do what he thinks is best for the country, but I don't think we'll be seeing him playing space cowboy like Dubya and landing on a carrier in an F-16. Sadly, I think Mr. Obama's ratings would go up if he went and stood on the burned out oil rig with his arm around the shoulder of a fisherman with 100 reporters and raised his fist to the heavens and cursed BP. Why do we Americans need this kind of show? Isn't it better that he's doing his job and not pretending to be a superman?

    June 3, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. 90% of an Iceberg is Underwater

    I don't think it is unfair to point out that competence was not the Bush Administration's strong suit.

    We elected a thoughtful, deliberate thinker that would make smart decisions. That is what we have in President Obama. No Drama Obama is what appealed to us. In fact, I dare say that an African American that exhibited any anger or aggression would have scared enough people to prevent him from being President. He needed to be exactly what he is because of the FEAR FACTOR.

    Now we need to just be patient and let the man do and be what we elected him to be. You know quiet competence isn't sexy but it is the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Funny how 14 months ago, America was in a panic over the Swine Flu. Notice how nobody is talking about that any more.

    Remember how the GOP'ers were smearing the President as a intellectual wimp that was soft on terrorism? Ask those dead Somali pirates or those scores of DEAD Al Queda & Taliban terrorists if this man is to be triffled with.

    Remember how the American automobile industry was on the brink of imploding ... and now a year later ... they are adding jobs, earning profits and paying back the United States Treasury.

    We now are fighting an Oil Well Rupture in the Gulf of Mexico ... I'll take the competence of the Obama administration to fix the mess that British Petroleum has caused and I won't blame the accident on the government. Afterall, they are NOT in the oil business ... that would be socialism.

    Competence.

    June 3, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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