June 15th, 2010
04:54 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Disapproval of Obama handling of oil spill jumps

President Obama, Gov. Charlie Crist, and Adm. Thad Allen at a briefing with local officials in Pensacola, Florida Tuesday. A new poll indicates nearly half of the public disapproves of how Obama's handling the oil spill.
President Obama, Gov. Charlie Crist, and Adm. Thad Allen at a briefing with local officials in Pensacola, Florida Tuesday. A new poll indicates nearly half of the public disapproves of how Obama's handling the oil spill.

Washington (CNN) – Nearly half of all Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new national poll released hours before the president gives a prime-time address from the Oval Office on the crisis.

An AP-GfK survey released Tuesday indicates that 48-percent of the public disapproves of how Obama's handling the oil spill, up 15 percentage points from a month ago. Thirty-nine percent approve of how the president's dealing with the crisis, down three points from May. According to the survey, 13- percent say they neither approve nor disapprove.

Other recent polls also indicate that a minority of Americans approve of the way Obama and his administration are handling the massive spill.

The president's overall job approval stands at 50-percent in the new AP-GfK survey, up one point from a month ago.

"Other recent polls have also shown that the oil spill has not affected the overall opinion of Obama's performance in office," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Many Americans may think his track record on the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other issues are more important than the situation in the Gulf. It's also possible that the oil spill has affected views of Obama personally but not his performance as president."

The president's prime-time address will come as he returns from a two-day tour of the region, Obama's fourth trip to the Gulf Coast since the environmental disaster began on April 20.

The AP-GfK poll was conducted June 9-14, with 1,002 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.


Filed under: Energy • Oil spill • Poll • President Obama
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Mariann Pepitone

    Susan L. If you think your brighter than Palin then start campaigning for senator as an independent. You probably will never accomplish what Palin has and I certainly would like to see a debate between her and Obama. Obama had no political experience, was absent from the senate seat for days and the majority of people complaining about him now are the same people who voted him in office. I did not vote for him but he is not responsible for the Oil spill and BP did not know this was going to happen. Accidents happen everyday. Didn't we just have two floods and children being swept away. Obama can only do so much and so can BP.

    June 15, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Illinoistom

    Obama is the dog that caught the car. We tried to tell you that a Chicago hack politician that reads well is no substitute for experience, but NOOOO you couldn't nominate Hillary. Here's a clue: next time you get a chance, vote for somoene that's run more than their mouth.

    June 15, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Jerry - Florida

    The "Superstar" can find time to continue on campaign mode (Reed, etc., etc.), but he takes forever to address one of the biggest disasters (oil spill) in American history. And to add insult to injury, he and his other morons don't have a clue as to what needs to be done.

    This is definitely "Change We Can (NOT) Believe In."

    And, oh yes, give Senile Reed the kiss of death. Or better yet, stay in Washington and start tackling the job that you were elected to perform.

    And one last suggestion, PLEASE keep Boblehead Pelosi permanently in California.

    June 15, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. leftisloony

    balls, this just in, follow up question to your poll released.......100% of the stupid people from your poll voted for obama.......and thanks to their voting efforts we have amateur hour in the white house...... i guess running a successful campaign organization really doesn't provide you with the real world executive/leadership experience necessary to run a country...........he sure is good at sound bites though....... have a nice day

    June 15, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. tara

    Unbelievable , that the White House ignored help , expertise and equipment from other oil producing countries which were offered within the first couple of days after the spill occurred.
    This is unacceptable and should be further investigated.

    June 15, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Chris

    What would McCain and Palin have done...NOTHING! They are the DRILL,BABY,DRILL authors! They live and breathe BIG CORPORATIONS...yes, like BUSH! Obama has to continue cleaning-up the mess made by the former President. By the way, where is the Tea Party group now?! Why aren't they claiming "No more Government intervention" now? They want to discontinue Social Security and close down the EPA. Oh my, this is why I'm switching from a Republican to Democrat this year. Follow my lead and vote out all of the Republicans. The Democrats can do more. And, not be a party of no more.

    June 15, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Chris

    As much as I hate to say it, there isn't much anyone can really do at this point but wait. Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened before and we really have no idea on how to handle it. The Mexican oil well blowout that happened back in the 70's occurred 500 feet underwater and it took them months to put a stop to it. With this one being nearly 5000 feet underwater, who knows how long this one could take to plug. I just don't understand what people expect Obama to do about it. Perhaps he should commission superman for the job?

    EIther way, this is going to be a mess for the Gulf coast for decades to come. I'm still in shock that a poll came out yesterday that showed that residents of Louisiana still want more offshore drilling in their state. I really hope that they learn sooner rather than later.

    June 15, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Desmond in Canada

    These "talking-heads" deserved Bush and more Bush. You so called "Americans" do not deserve Obama. Give him to us here in Canada and in the rest of the world – people whom can apprecaiate a person of substance. We are so sorry he is your President and not ours.

    June 15, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Ally

    Obama is doing his best it is all about big businesses and corrupt politicians and there ambition for power and creed and what they can do for themselves not for the people and that is why this country is in the situation we are in know because they don't care about anybody but themselves and until everybody starts really caring about one another and really try and work together this country will continue to go downhill has long as it is about the power and creed and nobody wanting to take responsibility for there actions. AMERICANS WAKE UP.

    June 15, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Bob (Illinois)

    All this poll demonstrates is that the general public is totally clueless!

    June 15, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. "Save the Walruses" Mike

    I hope that he gives some time to Ed Markey D-Mass. to help us understand how we can help save the Gulf Coast walruses. Most of all I hope he finishes before the Lakers-Celtics tip-off.

    Is it 2012 yet?

    June 15, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. joe

    Why dont we all focus on the problem and what has not been done. Last night on a talk show, a Clinton advisor got it right. Barack Obama is not a LEADER. The Facts are 1) Royal Dutch had all the equipment i place and ofered to help with skimeers. The answer was no, no foregin ships working in US waters., 2) another foreign country offered to build all the sand berms needed to block the oil. AGain we cannot lets foreign workers do it. Why didnt anyone in the White House act on this??? Why LACK OF LEADERSHIP. I happen to like the MAN Obama. I think he is a dynamic speaker. A smart man, and an admired person. The problem, HE IS NOT A LEADER. How many more times are you going to blame Bush and Cheyney. The worst thing, here he is today saying the Gulf Coast will return. Sound familiar, how about Bush after Katrina, yet the leftist press is not going after Obama nearly as much as they did for the poort job he did after Katrina and I would agree he did a poor job. All you liberals, just admit he is not doing all he can do and stop saying there is nothing he can do and put it all on BP. BP is to blame but so is Obama.

    June 15, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. R.S.Girardau - Canada

    I am surprized that your do-nothing, all-talk president did not receive
    a much higher disapproval rating, he soundly deserves it.
    He has avoided taking a hands-on action until a crisis situation
    has developed – take the initiative Obama, lean on BP to expedite
    the control, and capping of the blow-out, and mobilize the many
    thousands of fine Americans prepared to clean-up the mess, to be hired and paid directly by the US Government, with the US Government controlling the funding and financial recovery from BP – or is that too common-sense and simplistic?

    June 15, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. blondearsenal

    Barack Obama is not capable to understand the magnitude of this oil spill.It is not on his agenda list. He sat back and let BP take care of it. The problem is Obama has the responsiblity to protect our shores. Obama has dropped the ball as he played golf , went to fund raisers and other social events he did NOTHING.

    Obama has people around him that are not capable to take on any thing other than their own agenda. ==taking power through bigger government. This oil spill was a nuisance and Obama treated it as such. He now has to deal with it because of political pressure only. Obama just wants what Obama wants- take over the country and our rights as Americans.

    June 15, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Wake Up

    My family and I stand with President Barack Obama during this crisis. He is doing an excellent job.

    June 15, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Darren

    I am a HUGE Obama fan and I want him to do 8 years to have a chance at cleaning up the disaster that Bush/Cheny left him/us.

    That being said, he definitely has not done enough ... in fact not even remotely close to enough ... to stem the flow of this catastrophe. He should have had the navy/army/air force in there within days and plugged that thing somehow. Should have been no expense spared and the money recouped from BP later. With this volume of oil already in the ocean, it's all waaaay too late now.

    I love you Mr. Obama and you are still the man to get America on the right path but sheesh ... really poor job on this one Sir.

    June 15, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. brooker

    Obama is doing a great job. Every President of the United States goes through some on-the job training and unfortunately Obama is getting everything thrown at him at once. No other president has faced more calamity. The only thing he has failed to do is keep the country united, but when you have a whole cable "news" network undermining your every move and playing to the fools in the trailer parks, that's not an easy task.

    Unless he does a 180, he's absolutely got my vote in 2012.

    June 15, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. George of the jungle

    Thats because the repos keep hollering like he can do more. As if they whould have done better. Let's not for get who wants all the drilling to take place . He was there from day one. The only thing is they believed that the people in the oil business knew what they where talking about. They have since changed their minds. They blame him for everything anyway. Hes made more trips in the past 6 weeks than the last president ever did. Just a GOP chance to complaine . Instead of politics they should try and help.

    June 15, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Wake Up

    One more comment................All presidents "Learned on the job".

    June 15, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    I honestly feel like the President is doing all he can with all the things he has on his plate. People need to try working with him as hard as they are working against him. I am ashamed of how citizens in my country are acting.

    June 15, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. James

    Obama is taking a lot of heat for this oil spill, but the fault for this mess stems from decades of poor oversight and sweetheart deals for these massive oil companies, who let their arrogance and disregard for environmental safety run amok. For anyone looking for proof that deregulation isn't always in the public interest, look no further than BP and this horrible disaster in the gulf.

    Every able bodied politician or oil industry tycoon should be down on the Louisiana shore with a mop and a bucket. It has been too long since they dealt with the consequences of their actions.

    June 15, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. Barbara Independent in NY

    It's amazing how many "government is too big" tea party types want the government to clean up a big business mess. If the Republicans supported alternative energy development instead of weakening drilling restrictions we probably wouldn't be dealing with this mess. Americans have to understand that we can't continue to support an industry that is based on greed. We allow the Republicans to gut our regulations and then we expect a Democrat to solve our problems overnight.

    June 15, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. George of the jungle

    for Thor( what kind of stupid name is that?) the BP money given to the Obama campaign came from individules Not the company. Randy you are a jerk and the only morons are the ones who agree with drill baby drill.

    June 15, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Maude

    How is this bad news for Obama. 50% approve the way he is handling this mess. Quit making attention grabbing headlines.
    This mess is massive. USA is being ripped apart by idiots who think the GOP goons can do a better job.

    June 15, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. CP

    Ex President George H.W. Bush stated that it was NOT the government's job to run the clean up of the Exxon Valdez. Why do people expect President Obama to do something other than what he has been doing for weeks now? Those of you who scream about BIG government not getting involved in your lives now expect the President to jump in the water and take care of the oil spill all by himself. The last I knew, our President has a degree in political science and a law degree from Harvard, not a degree in oil clean up. That is why he has made four visits to the Gulf area and has been receiving daily updates on the situation from the more experienced oil execs and workers. Personally, I don't know how much more he can be expected to handle – 2 wars, high unemployment, health care, an unstable housing market, immigration, alternative energy, a changing global climate – the list goes on and on. So many things were handed to him a year and a half ago and he has handled it all.

    As for turning away help, seems to me that it is BP's responsibility to get the help and from what I have read, they have turned away many offers from many companies. The problem here is BP.

    June 15, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7