June 3rd, 2010
01:13 PM ET
5 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. Steve (the real one)

    Only 960 days to go!

    June 3, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. sniffit

    48% of the people cant be that stupid.

    June 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Shermani

    This charlatan will go down in history as the worst community leader of all time. He doesn't even deserve the honor or privilege of being called POTUS. He is a complete failure, and socialist. I can not wait to vote him out of office. I tried to keep him out before with my vote, but too many so called American's were drinking the Kenya jungle juice. How sad is it to think that we would have rather had Hillary as POTUS, as opposed to this clown?!

    June 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Get A Grip

    Well of course his approval rating is at 48 percent with a CNN poll. However, in the real world it's more like 41 percent.

    June 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. normajean

    Considering that this president has had probably the most difficult administration in recent history what with the destructive attitude of the opposing party, the economic mess, health care that had to be corrected, Wall Street, job and home losses , not to mention oil spills, I think he has got to be given a lot of credit.My family , friends and I have never been polled,and considering that I would guess that there are more than stated percentages in his favor, but we'll accept 48% for now.

    June 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Charles

    I can't believe CNN is trying to draw comparison between Reagan and Obama.
    It just plain foolish, Obama has absolutly no chance of matching Reagans occomplishments, so they are dooming him to failure.
    In the end if Obama can pull of completeing his first term he will be lucky to fade away into mediocrity, with his only lasting claim to fame as being the first African-American president.
    A foot note in America's long history.

    June 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. bill486

    At the end of his presidency, the highest number will be the percentage of his opponents, detractors, & enemies who consistently underestimated the man.

    June 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Ronald Reagan didn't betray the American public by endorsing and then signing an expensive, intrusive, and nearly socialist health take-over a majority of us didn't want then and that two-thirds of us want repealed. Reagan didn't waste almost a trillion dollars in a "stimulus" that mostly went to political supporters in government employee unions. Reagan wasn't an arrogant know-it-all utterly certain he knew better how people's lives should be run than they knew themselves.

    Reagan was a long way from perfect, but he was infinitely better than the present Clown-in-Chief.

    June 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Dean

    I'd say 48% of the people is about the same percentage as the amount of people who get government handouts. Don't worry, once illegal aliens get amnesty his approval ratings will go above the 50% mark.

    June 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Jeff Spangler

    Maybe it's time for the admitted "campaign hacks" (Gibbs, Axelrod) and Chicago political gangsters (Emanuel, Jarrett) he's dragged into the White House to "seek other opportunities". They fooled the public once in 2008 but shame on us if they fool us again. These folks aren't ready for prime time and neither is their boss. The novelty of a Negro is gone.

    June 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. He Gets a B (80% approval)

    Considering all the issues Pres. Obama has to deal with, he deserves credit for keeping composure and perspective. The opposition pretends to have all the right answers, but in reality, they couldn't do any better given the same circumstances. It's easy to be critical on the sidelines with insufficient information, but it's harder to lead with full access to information.

    June 3, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. felicia

    And i STILL fully support my President, he is doing an outstanding job President Obama is handling his job functions just fine. Cnn is trying once again to play to the right to boost their ratings. It doesn't matter President Obama is stilll the best.

    June 3, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. jeff jackson, alabama

    Only 48% in a liberal poll at that. I'm one of the
    few conservatives I know who watches CNN
    and keeps up with their web site. What if the
    poll was really fair? What do you think then ?
    35% maybe 38% ?

    June 3, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. malabar

    He acts like he is still a professor, unattached and like we are so lucky that he's wasting even 1 minute on us. obviously not presidential material. people knw when they're being manipulated and so Obama has a very big problem on his hands. he exudes weakness, he bashes the country he is supposed to lead, he can't even b man enuf to drop his tired childlike blaming of everythng on Bush. i guess its Bushs fault though right? hahaha, i never liked Bush, but boy do i miss him!

    June 3, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. carol

    I think President Obama is doing a great job. He came in this job a big big mess. I think he has a lot to deal with and he is doing the best he can. Everyone is down on him please tell me why no one else can do any better than he has did in his 500 days. HE IS THE BEST

    June 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. BB

    Obama gets a 90% approval from me and just about everyone I know
    and I do not know of one single person that has been polled in regard to President Obama EVER!!!!!

    Where he loses a few points with us is trying to have Bipartisanship with Rethugs...it's a great waste of time, the Rethugs are a great waste of time!

    Bipartisanship? I'll hug your Elephant if you'll kiss my A (another word for Donkey).

    June 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Amazingly enough there are those who will still defend Bush . . . yet can't bring themselves to speak well of our current president .

    Between the two, history will deem the Obama presidency more favorably.

    June 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    ...and despite past presidents having similar (or even worse ratings) at this time, the sheep will claim his presidency over. Wait and see sheep as he is re-elected and gives you 4 MORE years of anger and blind hatred

    June 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. BB

    I Love this President....the best ever in my adult life.

    GO OBAMA!!!
    God bless you!!!

    June 3, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Tony

    Well... he was more popular than Carter at least. *LOL*

    June 3, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Peace

    The comparison with the previous Presidents sounds funny. Each individual had different tasks/problems to tackle at those days different from what Pres. Obama is facing now.
    All in all, with all the problems overflowing in his plate, at 48% he is doing extraordinary well. Mr. President, we stand by you all the way, and please keep it up.

    June 3, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. U.S. Common Sense

    HAHAHA ... trying to compare Obama with Reagan. Try comparing him to Carter instead. They are more alike.

    June 3, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Dark Knight

    Poor guy. He came into office so naive and now he's learning that being president is not easy.

    June 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "Of course, history rarely repeats itself."

    I disagree. It's repeating itself as we speak. O-Blah-Blah was elected not on his merits or qualifications, but on a wave of discontent for the previous administration.

    So was Jimmy Carter.

    And we all know the current administration is Carter's second term.

    June 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. D.

    The most promising, least delivering WH ever!

    From promises of change the way DC works to promises of perks and positions to control politicians the Chicago way! Ugly ugly ugly!

    June 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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