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. Hendrik

    I agree with the finding.

    Now it is time for all of us who approve of our President to go out and vote. We need to get angry too and vote for the Democratic representatives and senators who are running. Simply approving of the President does not get things done. Action is required.

    Get out and vote in November against these disgusting Republicans. They have nothing good in store for us, at least not the common people.

    July 22, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Devil's in the Details.

    Wow, nothing like racial politics in full swing. I certainly question minorities view on Mr. Obama, he's been nothing but bad news for this country. African-Americans are being extremely bias.

    July 22, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. T

    Dont believe it.......what you are saying that white people change their mind about him.......dont believe this. That 37% did not voted for him anyway.....CNN the media is not going to change peoples minds about our President....we still in his corner.....we know CNN it not.

    July 22, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia

    Well – About Time!!! You have to start mentioning the approval ratings among African Americans because your other poll numbers are awfully LOW – which means, African Americans and other people of color are not included!!!!

    The polls from now on will have to be divided!! You should poll independents, republiCAN'Ts and Democrats separately!!! You also have to poll by race!!! You also have to poll by gender!!! No more YES or NO polls.

    CNN – I do not believe your polls from yesterday stating if there was an election today – ONLY 36% will vote for President Obama and 39% for any RepubliCAN'T reflects TRUE American – you numbers yesterday were HOGWASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. louis farquharson

    Good morning President Obama. First, i want you to know how much im honored to have you as president, not because im black, but because of your honesty and hard work for all people in the United States of America.
    We have a history of racial conflict that still scar this beautiful country we all call home. We also have a lot of holidays that are meaningful to some of us and meaningless to others.
    If it is in your power while in office you should propose a national Race Day. It will bring together all colors and creed. The theme should be a remembrance of all those people: black, white, red and yellow who work together to move pass the more horrible memories that reminds us of racism like slavery or during the civil rights movement. All people can appreciate a day like this for all to bond and remember how this disease of racism robbed America for even more greatness than it has already accomplished.
    Thank you and i know you will see us through.

    Martin said we'd get there, whether slow or fast,
    Barack Obama came along and now we're free at last,
    Call him father call him brother maybe even best friend,
    Took racism in the palm of his hand, never saw it again,
    Punched it in the stomach, poked it in the eye,
    If they say Obama is racist, id tell em that's a god damn lie...

    ~louis farquharson~

    July 22, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm african american and the POTUS' approval rating is high with me because he's getting things accomplished. Narrow minded people keep bringing up the race factor. Yes, I support him because he's black, but that's not my determining factor in judging his presidency. I'm looking at what he inherited and what's he doing to fix it. Let's just list a few inheritences:

    Recession: This an ongoing process to recover. He passed a stimulus bill that I supported to prevent the economy from going into a depression.

    -War in Iraq: Pulling out of Iraq. This is a war that I disagreed with from the start because I knew the Bush Administration was lying.

    -War In Afghanistan: This is a war I support and the President is giving THIS war the necessary attention it deserves.

    -Wall Street: I'm from New York and have always known thr guys on Wall Street to be a bunch of crooks. He put an end to that yesterday.

    So he doesn't get high marks from me because he's black. He gets them because that's what I voted for him to do!!!

    July 22, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. snow

    If nobummer was white he would not be supported by blacks.

    July 22, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. The Truth Will Set All FREE

    If those who confess disapproval of our President would really listen, and not just hear what our President is saying (even if closing the eyes will help), his approval ratings would go up drastically. If those who confess disapproval of our President would educate the American people by sharing correct information regarding the consequences of a deep recession, then his approval ratings would go up drastically. If those who confess disapproval of our President would stop spreading vicious lies and instead speak words of encouragement and truths, then his approval ratings would go up drastically. If those who confess disapproval of our President would think for themselves and not allow themselves to become victims of other's subjective idealism, then his approval rates would go up drastically.

    July 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Gil

    As I keep haring nothing, nothing, but No, No No, out of the repuglicans I wonder what members of their party think they will do in office? Run up more debt and then say debt is bad? What a bunch of fools!

    July 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Don in Sacramento

    So 90% of blacks approve of how Obama is handling his job. Wow! Have they been paying attention to the mess he's made of everything from the economy to health care and the oil spill? What about his wild promises of ending the war in the Middle East? I clearly remember Obama and his wife blatantly playing the race card during the presidential campaign. It sure paid off; now we have a totally inexperienced and unqualified president. Can't wait for 2012!

    July 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. ConsiderThis - FL

    I have only one question: Who's the standard by whom President Obama is being judged? Bush? Heavens no. Clinton? All fronts considered, I don't think so. Bush, Sr.? This is a joke, right? Shall I go on? President Obama has set the standard for being a President of the People, For the People and By the People; unlike any other president within the last 40 years. Aren't you tired of criticizing him no matter what he does? The man can't do anything right in your eyes. He gets blamed for everything wrong in America and then gets criticized for not making everything wrong in America go away. Are you serious? America is the problem; not President Obama. This is why other countries marvel at our politics. We seem to want the worst people to lead us as opposed to the best. Only in America.

    July 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Tim

    As Gomer says, "Surprise, suprise".

    Not.

    July 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Angi's mom

    Americans have a short memory. No one asked me and I vote thumbs up. For the record, I'm white.

    July 22, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. mark

    I give him a thumbs up for trying . however he needs to find his cohonies for all the as-- in washington who are just red necks

    July 22, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    How do you expect America to get of racial issues if all you ever do is report on the matter? Will this country ever grow up???

    July 22, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. felicia

    That's because blacks are happy to see there own kind getting the respect they deserve. And another thing we love our President is the bomb.

    July 22, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Me

    Supporting a president because he's black is just as racist as opposing a president because he's black.

    July 22, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Dan Holiday

    Of course not, because they don't care what happens to this country; they only care what happens to them. As long as the hand-outs keep coming, they are happy.

    July 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. S. C. C.

    Thanks CNN – You are the first media organization
    to include all racial groups concerning Obama's
    approval rating.
    I do not know what more can one person do in
    his first 19 months in office: Ledbetter bill,
    recovery passage, education, healthcare,
    wall street, unemployment benefits and now
    working on immigration.
    MSNBC gives you the impression that the 47%
    was an average score for all Americans

    Again – thanks CNN

    July 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Uncle Sam

    Really? Wow!

    July 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    NO kidding who would have guessed that.

    July 22, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Boogywogyman36

    Imagine that...and you're surprised why? Afterall, his "reparations" policies have only benefited people of color, while the rest of us try and find jobs that support their new "entitlement"...seriously?

    July 22, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Is that a surprise, that 90% of blacks support Obama? Heck, they'd vote for O.J. Simpson if he ran for president! To them, it's all about race, race, race.

    July 22, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. mike

    And even while he's throwing one of them under the bus without finding ALL the facts.

    July 22, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. jeff

    What do you expect.
    He was elected because of a similar margin of Affrican American votes
    He is an Affrican American and he can do no wrong by Affrican Americans.
    If Hillary would have had 15 % of the Affrican American vote she would have won, but they RAN away from her and Bill because they had a real Affrican American running for office.
    Everything Bill did for their community was forgotten
    Can you imagine what the country would say if 90-95%% of white America voted for a white Candidate.

    July 22, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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