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. Loser

    This guy is a joke

    June 3, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Rickster

    Truly astonishing that 48% of people approve of this loser president. He has been an epic failure at everything he has done thus far including presiding over the worst ecological disaster in American history. Heckuvajob, Barry!

    June 3, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. pissedofnyc

    noticed everyone bashing bush for admitting to water boarding, but no comments oh how the chosen one has and will be making historical achievements, like jacking up our deficit to a number never even challenged by any other president in the world – yea, bush is an idiot chosen one is a god – But keep on focusing everyday on Palin, yea, nice to see where your priorities are, IDIOTS!!

    June 3, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. atypical

    it doesn't matter who you'd have in there. no one is going to get high marks, and in the days ahead it will only get dicier as we run through politicians like water through a dry creek bed.
    change is in the air and it isn't a slogan.

    Nunti Sunya: to the era of transparency and expansion.

    June 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Susan

    He is the most clueless President ever!

    June 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. DaveM

    Is it any wonder his approval ratings are low? He is trying to clean up the worst economy and the worst wars in recent history, which he inherited from the most incompetent and corrupt administrations in history. He is having to make some difficult decisions. Americans are fickle and have amazingly short memories.

    June 3, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. stevegee

    Let's see ... 48% approve of Obama, and 48% don't pay any income tax. Isn't Socialism great?

    Wake up people! In 2010, vote American, vote Republican!

    June 3, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I only wish President Obama had President Bush's guts when it came to defending our country

    June 3, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. jap3

    Less than half? So I guess that means the majority of Americans are finally realizing we may not have a country left at the end of four years of "Change"? Hopefully that means there is no way he will serve a second term. Assuming we last that long. Republican or Democrat, any President who cannot find it in his busy schedule to attend a time honored tradition and lay a wreath for all the men and women who served this country and gave their lives to make sure he had the opportunity to be President, does not deserve to be President.

    June 3, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Still holds on to a good 65-70% approval in my book. Besides for this disaster in the Gulf, which I don't blame on the President, these first 500 days have been a success in my eyes.

    Healthcare Reform – Passed (B-)
    Financial Regulatory Reform – Passed (C+)
    Renewal of START – Passed (A)
    Iraq War – Ending (A)
    Afghanistan War – Work in Progress (B+)

    June 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Mark

    Who thought it was a good idea to increase the size of our wasteful gov't???

    June 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Enrique

    President Obama has 100% of my support. Not only did he inherit two wars and a plummeting economy, but he has tackled some major issues that previous presidents either couldn't address or refused to. Though he faces some extremely difficult challenges such as high unemployment and the disasterous oil spill, he has shown us what competent leadership is about.

    June 3, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Patrick

    I really would really only put the odds of him having a 2nd term at about 50/50 at this point. He seems like he would be an excellent ambassador to the UN. Maybe that is where he should be not running our country.

    June 3, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Tony

    President Clueless is trying to beat Presidet Dumbo "Carter" My money is he will have no problem.

    Nobama thought this was Camelot and everything he said was the law. Thank goodness we have some who will stand up and show him how to run a country not and organization.

    For the 1st time in my lifetime, I worry about my country because of the leadership.

    June 3, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    He ticks off the "family values" fake christian Party of NO - that's enough for me.

    ha a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    June 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Robin

    Why is anyone surprised at this low approval rating. Name one thing he accomplished that he promised. Where are the jobs? Where are the tax cuts? All the Obama's care about is their weekly Whitehouse parties and entertainment. The man is an empty suite and nothing more.

    June 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Sounds grossly over exaggerated.

    Most of those who voted for him, are now doubting their choice.

    June 3, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    His rating would be drastically lower if he had an "R" behind his name instead of a "D". It's absolutely amazing the number of people on this site who still want to blame Bush for everything that is wrong in this world and yet will defend this simpleton. Obama should go back to being a community organizer. He must've been pretty good at that as that seems to be the premise that got him elected. That and reading off a telepromter.

    June 3, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Ohio

    I'm fairly confident that 48% is a high estimate for this "president". Considering he won't be getting the Republican OR Independent vote in 2012 spells L-O-S-E-R for the left wing liberal and his left wing nut job celeb friends. GOOD RIDDANCE. 2012 can't come soon enough!

    June 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    Watch it drop as he muddles his way through the first real test of his ability to lead through a difficulty...the BP oil spill. I don't think anyone can look at the performance of this administration through this so far and say "leadership" is what we have seen. He has been a confused bystander at best.

    June 3, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. sick of these polls

    just goes to show you that less than half are reasonably impatient, or easily brain washed by the right wing nuts in this country...thus, the cycle will continue in this country...we are a seriously disturbed population here in the US...we're never satisfied, we don't allow for progress, we complain too much, did i mention we're impatient?...and oh ya, we're impatient! these polls don't surprise me..just show you how childish most people in this country can be..they rant and rave and don't take personal inventory!

    June 3, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Glo55

    Since he is blamed for everything that goes wrong in this country. I'm susprised he got that much.

    I pray for him and his staff everyday. Maybe God will show everyone he is in control and not the President.

    June 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. sick of these polls

    also..i for one am VERY proud of what our president has done so far..he has a TON of stuff on his plate..and 45% of this country disapproves? please! if you think you can do what this man has done or better, sign up..run for president! let's see how you can handle the ignorance and hate in this country...the problems he faces are TREMENDOUS! relax!

    June 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. anagram_kid

    This just reaffirms that no matter how much he achieves there are some who cannot accept the fact that we now have a president who is intelligent, thoughtful, well educated and a natural leader. My advice to these people is to stop resenting the accomplishments of others; it won’t make you happier or more successful.

    June 3, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Ohio

    And notice all the comments to the article on President Bush and NO comments on this article about BO. The demonRATS are all over Bush for his waterboarding comment (which most Americans agree with him on) but say nothing about obambi's loser ratings or how he's botched health care "reform", did nothing for jobless Americans, has done nothing to protect us from terrorists and is ignoring the oil spill. Typical.

    June 3, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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