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. Peggy Robson

    Are we surprised, not hardly. He is not the "Yes We Can" Prez that he claimed to be when he was running around the country. He just can't make a decision. Not up to the job as far as I am concerned.

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

    pools dont always reflect what the entire population thinks

    June 3, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. leaning right....

    fast forward 2 years and it will be in the 30s, because 30 percent of this country is so ignorant there is absolutely nothing he could do to diminish their blind worship of this empty suit.

    June 3, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. db

    Honestly, I'm surprised it's still this high. Really, this guys tenure has been one disaster after another. The economy continues to tank, casualties just passed the 1,000 mark in Afghanistan, he can't seem to muster much concern about the worst ecological disaster in US history (in fact, his administration just approved additional drilling in the gulf.) If this were GWB, his numbers would be below 30%. Wake up America!

    June 3, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Justin Russell

    Not bad when you consider that no other president has had to deal with the Wall Street and Fox News coming after him every single day.

    June 3, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Orlando r.

    And of course reagan won in 1984 by a landslide!! I believe Obama will be relected in 2012.....once people see what Obama is doing rightt. Stop with the name calling "socialist" accept it u right wing republicans, he's succesful and is a way better then bush ever was

    June 3, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. socalgal

    "Obamas administration has had a lot of ups & downs this year...". Nary an up in sight – and the downs won't matter after he dismantles the USA brick by brick. I highly doubt he has a rating of more than 25%...they certainly didn't ask me or anyone with intelligence. Hell, we still have folks who vote based on looks, gender and race. Wifey is no better – who in the hell wants a family in the white house who had no pride in the white house until they arrived? Talk about a civics lesson. Social services should remove the kids from this home.

    June 3, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Washington DC Insider

    I hate to say it, but Obama is not winning votes in the Democratic Party. Us Blue Dogs are getting fed up, and while we won't vote for a Tea Party Candidate, we definitely are going to examine Moderate Republicans and Fiscally Conservative Democrats more closely.

    November will be the great reckoning for the Democratic Party. If we lose more seats than we gain, that will be the writing on the wall for 2012.

    June 3, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. sycamor12

    who in their right mind would approve of his performance

    June 3, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Greg

    How he does not have ratings lower than Carter is beyond me. THIS GUY SUCKS!!!!

    Hey maybe he can have someone else sing for him while the oil spill gets worse!!!! dirt bag!!!

    June 3, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Obama is no Ronald Reagan. He doesn't have the conviction or the backbone.

    June 3, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Naqib

    And Falling...

    If not for the purchased love... i.e spending half of the peoples money on the other half... it would be worse

    June 3, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Nexis

    It is just wrong to speak of Obama and Reagan in the same paragraph. Reagan was a visionary and a leader. So far Obama has shown only the ability to stand on the sidelines and comment about the world around him. As an American I pray there is something more to this man we elected President than what he has shown thus far. I am affraid there is not.

    June 3, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Geoz

    Thank God W. is gone. That guy was a nightmare from day 1. And you 77% who ever approved of him share in the shame. Worst POTUS since .... since... Buchanan.

    June 3, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. BeverlyNC

    I am definitely part of the 48% who strongly support President Obama. Thank God we have him as our intelligent and careful planning leader. He has had to deal with more Republican-caused disasters one after the other since he took office.

    President Obama saved our economy, saved the American auto industry who have repaid their loans and are hiring thousands of new workers, created over 500K new jobs with the Stimulus package, stopped the abuses of the people by greedy insurance companies, ensured healthcare for children and eliminated pre-existing conditions, passed financial reform so the banks are once again regulated as they were before the Bush run wild policies, and now is working on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" supported by 80% of Americans and the Military Joint Chiefs (but not Republicans even though McCain said he would), and is now working to get regulations and protections in place for energy companies in the Clean Energy Act. Republicans don't want that either. Republicans don't want anything that benefits the American people and protects us from abusive companies like BP.

    President Obama has worked miracles with what he was handed and I am so proud we finally have an intelligent, good man with integrity, character, and honor. We have a moral leader and we should be grateful for all he has accomplished and is still doing to move our nation forward.

    June 3, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. The Other Micheal in Houston

    And once again no one asked me or anyone I know! And you know what the stupid part about polls are, the ask 3000 people a few questions and they make it appear that these 3000 people speak for the rest of us. They dont! The real polls, an election, will tel you what we realy think about President Obama. If my memory serves me correct, towards the end of October 2008, there was a poll of polls stating that then Senator Obama would only have 38% of the vote, hmmmmmm, enough said.

    June 3, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Deb

    He's doing a fine job. Cnn why don't you rate yourself and how you report the news.

    June 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Justin M from Ohio

    The 45 percent that disapprove never gave Obama a chance anyways. I think they disapprove because they think he's not in touch with the American people because he's an "elite." I ask thes people: How is it a good idea for a person with average (or below) intellect to run a country full of self-righteous ingrates such as you 45 percent? Would you like another eight years of the Crawford idiot to make you look good and flush the country down the toilet more?

    I, for one, think this president is taking America ahead as fast as Congress will allow him to. He has moved forward in many domestic policies that will strengthen our weakest links. Remeber that we're only as strong as our weakest link. Unfortunately, we're also only as smart as our dumbest people- I'm talking about you 45 percent!

    June 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Justin

    I wonder if Obama will follow the same dip and rebound that Reagan had.

    June 3, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You're doing an OUTSTANDING job Mr. President. EVERYTHING has befallen you in addition to the financial debacle that nearly destroyed our economy and our country. You rolled up your sleeves and methodically, and WITH THE HIGHEST LOVE OF YOUR COUNTRY dove in and SAVED US. You did this with unprecedented hate and obstruction from those that could've made a difference if they'd only cared about their country.

    I do not always agree with you, but I have NEVER in all my many decades seen a President that truly cared about the people. You have earned my respect and my loyalty for continuing to do what is RIGHT and JUST in spite of what it may cost you politically. I am proud at long last of my country for electing you, and I am proud to call you my President.

    Fear not. Continue on the path of righteousness. God walks beside you as do millions upon millions of us.

    Obama 2012.

    June 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Blaum

    Obama is a joke of a president..... he was elected for 'change you can believe in"....but the truth is....and this is becoming more apparant each and every day...... he is just business as usual in Washington.... especially with his puppet, Gibbs, hanging around...

    he'll get a nice taste in November of the REAL polls......

    June 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Hmm... No breakdown of how many of the disapprovers are real liberals who see him as a corporate sellout. Speaking of corporate sellouts, how come the American media isn't covering the resignation of the German president on Monday or the reasons behind it? Or the auto worker strikes in China? Thanks for nothing, "journalists." Have a nice day!

    June 3, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Obama Corruption

    Perhaps Obama should offer the pollsters jobs like he did in efforts to bribe two candidates out of running for federal office (in violation of a few federal laws)....

    June 3, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Abu Bhuiyan

    When Obama took office, he got two wars at his shoulder. Housing market completely broke down. You have to realize why this happened and and the previous administration is fully responsible for this mess. Obama is fixing the mess. You have to give him time to fix those mess.

    It is my firm belief when people voted him for another term, it is probably possible to fix the mess or ateleast he will try to close the gap.

    June 3, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. katiec

    Once again, if it is a CNN poll I do not trust their findings. No more than i would trust a poll conducted by Fox.
    I was contacted by a company conducting a poll once, and, once they found out I was saying what they did not want to hear, their quota was suddenly filled up.
    Those who are biased will not give us anything but what they want us to hear. Same with their commentators. And, with their constant headlining of people like Palin we all know where they stand.

    June 3, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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