July 22nd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama approval dips but not among blacks

President Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 50 percent again, according to a new CNN poll.
President Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 50 percent again, according to a new CNN poll.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's approval rating among all Americans has dipped below 50 percent for the first time since March, but he remains extraordinarily popular among African-Americans, who also overwhelmingly approve of how the president has handled race relations, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 47 percent of the public approves of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with half saying they disapprove of his performance in office.

Full results [PDF]

According to the poll, more than nine out of ten black respondents give Obama a thumbs up on how he is handling his job. 57 percent of Hispanics questioned also approve, but only 37 percent of white respondents feel that way.

The survey's release comes as stories about racial tensions have dominated domestic news coverage the past two weeks. The poll was conducted July 16-21, after a well publicized dispute between the Tea Party movement and the NAACP, but mostly before the controversial firing of an African-American employee of the Agriculture Department because of alleged racism.

Overall, 12 percent of all Americans think that Obama's presidency has started a new era in race relations and another 39 percent say race relations have improved since Obama took office. A quarter of all Americans say there has been no change in race relations during that time and another 25 percent say that race relations have gotten worse.

"Most blacks continue to believe that Obama has led to an improvement in race relations, while most whites don't think so," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the optimism about racial matters that first greeted Obama is gone."

The survey indicates that 59 percent of blacks think that race relations will always be a problem. That figure is back up to pre-Obama levels last measured in 2005, and is 14 points higher than last year. The number of whites who think race relations will always be a problem is also up - from 42 percent last year to 47 percent now.

"Blacks, Hispanics and whites agree that the Democratic party does a good job reaching out to minorities, and all groups also agree that the Republican party does not," adds Holland.

Thirty-nine percent of blacks say they are still thrilled by the fact that Obama is president. That's down from 53 percent who felt that way at the start of his presidency.

"But the drop-off started over a year ago and is not a reflection of recent events," points out Holland.

What about the year and a half old Tea Party movement?

According to the poll, a quarter of all Americans believe that almost all or most Tea Party supporters are prejudiced against minorities, and another 35 percent say that at least some are. The survey indicates that blacks are much more likely than whites to perceive racism in the tea party.

The poll's release also comes on the same day that Netroots Nation convention, a major annual conference of progressives, kicks off in Las Vegas. The convention occurs at a time when some in the progressive community are disappointed in the Obama Administration for not pushing harder for more of their agenda. According to the survey, 38 percent of respondents disapprove of the president's performance in office because he is too liberal, but nine percent say the give Obama the thumbs down because is not liberal enough.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned. A special sample of 308 African-Americans and 303 Hispanics were interviewed for this poll. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    I guess you can fool some of the people all of the time.

    July 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Blacks tend to approve of whoever takes care of them , without them doing anything for themselves.

    July 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    And at least on "whitey" thinks he is doing a great job, considering the great big, heaping pile of still steaming elephant dung the republiKKKans left him to clean up.

    And he has had to do with no help from the racist bigots in the Party of NO
    ideas and even overcome every procedural barrier they can come up with to obstruct him as he tries to get America out of the ditch they put us in.

    July 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. get real

    And the poll number for congressional republicans is....much lower than Pres. Obama's approval rating. Approval ratings for Newt, Romney, Palin, Paul, etc... each is lower than 47 percent. So, this is irrelevant, but thanks for doing another goofy poll! Are the pollsters' jobs funded by stimulus money? If so, when do the funds run out?

    July 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Incompetent-DICTATOR

    So how many of those 90% support Obama JUST because he's black? That sure seems like some sort of latent racism to me. So much for the "post racial" President.

    And I'm 100% sure when Obozo gets his arse tossed out in 2012 there will be riots in the streets and claims of racism.

    July 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Blacks, far more than whites, tend to favour the soft-socialism Nanny State Obama so admires. And, well, Obama's black...

    July 22, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Black, brown, white, yellow and red, we support President Obama.

    This country has been BLESED WITH THIS MAN AS OUR PRESIDENT. At this moment, in this time, he continues to be the right man to lead us. Yes, he's made mistakes, he's human. But he is NOT afraid to show compassion towards those that would be cast aside; diligence and hard-work where others would've tired; DIGNITY in the face of unprecedented under-handed, and undeserved attacks from his foes and those that do not know better than to succumb to their hate.

    YES. I PROUDLY STAND BY MY PRESIDENT.

    July 22, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Dave, Central Illinois

    My wife and I lived in an apartment building where we were the only white couple. Except for a very nice family above us, we were shunned and openly insulted for simply being white. So, don't any of you libtards tell me that many blacks are not racists.
    I don't care what happened in the past – this is the present. Non of my ancestors were slave holders. They were poor tenant farmers in Illinois. Once blacks truely start to diversify and stop voting as a block, then Martin Luther's work will finally be acomplished.

    July 22, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. thor

    This is to be expected.Blacks have nowhere else to go with their support.They are just follwers of the democratic party that have been told for years that Dems are the only ones that can help them.They of all shoud be upset by this president policies that keep them unemployed and relying on government.

    July 22, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. rachel

    Of course not.

    July 22, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Clemon

    Its all about color. Loyal but misguided.

    July 22, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. G

    Its all about the policies....Americans want a balanced budget, economic strength, education reform and alternative energy projects but still drilling in the mean time....they hate more taxes, more government, socialized medicine, frivolous lawsuits, bank bailouts. He is a charismatic, likeable guy and if he would get the policies right he would have the poll numbers.

    July 22, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. stef

    I will always support President Obama, they have truly beaten this man down, his head is white as snow., My heart is extremely heavy. for our president The media and the pundits have beaten him down, No matter what he does, it's never good enough. All of our lives we have supported white presidents, it's time for us to stand behind our own. Yes, there are going to be many mistakes, he's not prefect, but he is trying very hard and I think he has done an outstanding job. He will go down in history as one of the best presidents ever. We love you President Obama, you are simply the best.

    July 22, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    I am a white middle aged man. I am wholeheartecdly for Barack Obama. He has delivered on his promises. I only with there were about 3 more Demicratic Senators so he wouldn't have to water down his propsals to squeak them passed the party of "NO" and those blue dogs.

    He not only is doing a good job but some of his acheivements have been historic.

    Do I wish he could do more? Sure and I bet he does too, but he has far exceeded my expectations and, what is most important in poiltics, he is miles ahead of anyone the GOP might pick to run against him.

    July 22, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Blacks, Hispanics and whites agree that the Democratic party does a good job reaching out to minorities, and all groups also agree that the Republican party does not,"

    Translation: Democrats promise more freebies to blacks, Hispanics and whites–i.e., more government goods and services someone else is taxed to pay for–while Republicans have a clearer understanding of exactly how pernicious that practice is.

    (Republicans, these days, prefer to waste Other People's Money on pointless wars against annoying foreign pip-squeaks and Americans who dare to take other than government-approved drugs.)

    July 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. TangledThorns

    2012 can't come soon enough. America has turned against Obama's failed policies.

    July 22, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Ronnie Rayz

    Prez. Obama, hmm I voted for him, thought he might work out but it seems he is all over the board- the Health Care reform is no really a benefit to people who had any coverage already, the pending taxes & reporting under the bill are DRACONIAN and it seems that although I dont want to believe it, it seems he is trying to too much too half arsed, he has not picked the best people for many positions, Kagan has never been a Judge, never tried a case & she get on the SUPREME COURT? Huh, I am not a conservative and she would likely go usually how I would like but it seems she would personal opinion filter into her thought patterns & decisions......the bottom line if you have money,a good job, and make say from $100k to $200k Obama is not helping you, in fact unless you're unemployed, derelict, an illegal or make under $50,ooo a year he wants to pick, your pockets!! POTUS pick someones nose, not their pockets...

    July 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Orlando Patriot

    I thought if Obama was elected it would finally eliminate the discussion of race? Seems to me that this president has mad race even MORE relevant and this poll shows that is the case. Appears that the black voter cannot except the fact they elected an incompetent person as president.

    Only someone with low intelligence would vote for this fool so unfortunately this poll identifies a large number if the unintelligent voters that made this gosh awful decision to elect a Community Organizer with no business experience as president. Congratulation....You voted for "Change" and you got it. Way to ruin this country.

    July 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. La Piovra

    I believe we are seeing the effects of misomelania and misepisia being directed at the President and the Speaker by the right-wing noise machine. No, I am not translating this stuff. Let us just say it involves evoking a visceral, physical disgust, in the crassest terms, against those who are not white Anglo males. It is working among those who are not members of the targeted groups and even a few who are. My guess is that the refusal of most African-Americans to be sucked in (though they were in the Sherrod case) will be adduced by the inciters as proof that "they" are "racist" and out to get "us". The resemblance to Holocaust denial is not accidental.

    July 22, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Ruth

    I am not black and my approval is still 100%.

    July 22, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Carmelle

    This is nothing but the result of the right wing hate machine. As simple is that. The guys has done everything to not appear to govern for Blacks, and yet, for some reason they they think he's racist against Whites. Amazing!

    Blacks are not here to hate. We are trying to get educated, working hard and being role models to others. There are fringe on all sides, so stop creating a boogey man out of the minority. Let's move forward together and stop letting Fox make money on your fear.

    peace and love!

    July 22, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. katiec

    President Obama is still supported by many Americans, including the blacks. Do not know where you get your statistics from, but, we, the silent majority are getting sick of them as we do not give any poll much creditibility,
    Why do you not headline what Americans truly think of the party of no?
    Never see much detrimental to them.

    July 22, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Hasn't dipped among my white friends - maybe they should poll other than republicans and teabaggers.

    Look at our alternatives !!

    July 22, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Julio Quiroga

    President Obama will be re-elected no matter what said the dirty republicans.

    July 22, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. vic

    Tea party and republicans spreading rumors its not good

    Tea party become anti minorities

    July 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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