July 23rd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama's approval on economy drops to new low

President Obama’s approval rating on the economy is down to 42 percent, according to a new CNN Poll.
President Obama’s approval rating on the economy is down to 42 percent, according to a new CNN Poll.

Washington (CNN) - Americans approval of how President Barack Obama is handling the nation's economy has dropped to its lowest level of his presidency, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 42 percent of the public approves of how Obama's dealing with the economy, down 2 points from March, with 57 percent disapproving of his performance on the economy, up 2 points from March. The survey's Friday release comes as the president made comments at the White House on what he termed the progress made this week on the economy and job recovery.

Full results [pdf]

The poll suggests a wide partisan divide on the issue, with nearly eight in 10 Democrats giving the president a thumbs up and nearly nine in 10 Republicans disapproving of Obama's job on the economy. According to the survey, two-thirds of independents disapprove of the president's economic performance.

"The public hasn't given Obama good marks on the economy since last September, and his approval rating on the economy, now at 42 percent, has been stuck in the mid-to-low 40s throughout this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Part of the reason for that is that Americans haven't seen much to cheer about on the economic front. Nearly eight in ten say that economic conditions are somewhat poor or very poor."

While there were some vague signs of optimism in poll results earlier this year - when the number of Americans who said that the economy was in "very poor" shape had been slowly but steadily declining - that seems to have fizzled. Thirty-seven percent said things were in poor shape in our May poll; the same number feel that way now.

"Nonetheless, the Democrats are winning the battle for public opinion when it comes to deficit reduction versus job creation. Only a quarter say it is more important for the Obama administration to focus on the deficit; 74 percent say that creating jobs is more important," adds Holland.

Thursday the president signed the Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010, which restores unemployment benefits to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession. The Republicans argued against the legislation, saying that the Democrats bill would add to the country's already massive budget deficit.\

According to the survey, the economy remains the No. 1 issue on the minds of Americans, with nearly half saying it is the most important problem facing the country. Only one other issue, the deficit, cracks double-digits, but only 13 percent pick the deficit as their top concern. Immigration, health care, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq trail far behind.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted July 16-21, before the passage of the extension of jobless benefits but after passage of the Wall Street and financial reform legislation. One-thousand and eighteen adult Americans questioned by telephone. 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 • Economy • issues • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Joan

    Let's see now. You were on the road to a depression but it didn"t happen because of his policies. Yes, the recovery is slow but that is true all over the world not just the US. He passed Health Care to help millions of people. He passed a Wall Street reform bill to prevent a meltdown from happening again by regulating the big financial institutions. They don't like it but who cares. He passed a bill to cut out wasteful spending from many departments in the governments. Some big companies who get big perks won't like it but who cares. He passed a bill to extend unemployment benefits to people who cannot find a job (are not just lazy) and it will help these people retain their dignity until their luck turns around. Now he is calling for a bill to give more tax breaks to small businesses. He has done so much in his short time in office to help the middle class but big money, big business and big media is doing everything they can to help the Republicans belittle his accomplishments. The rest of the world can see how lucky you are to have him as President but you guys don't appreciate and deserve him. It would almost be interesting (but devastating) to see you guys vote the Republicans back in with their same old trickle down polices, repeal the Health Care and unemployment bills, deregulate Wall Street and start a war with Iran and then see you all squirm and complain when your country tanks again.

    July 23, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. obama victim

    let the left wing spin begin.......3-2-1 go

    July 23, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    Maybe CNN should point out some of obama's accomplishments that has been positive for the economy.
    That should change his poll numbers or if all fails CNN can do their own poll and report numbers to make obama look better as they uaually do.

    July 23, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. mar

    if you just want a quick fix....it's not going to happen. It took us 8 years to send the economy down the toilet. It will take a longer time to get it back on track. So quit complaining!

    July 23, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Bob

    The results shown here don't tell us enough. Of those who blame both parties or neither party, we do not know what percentage support which party. We also don't know the relative amount of blame assigned to each party among those who blame both.

    I blame both parties for being weak. I blame large unions (especially public employee unions) and certain large cap companies far more than I blame the actual parties, though.

    If Republicans would do what they say, I'd be happy with them. Unfortunately, they had power for 6 years and ran deficits the whole time. The Democrats took over and started spending at record rates and running record deficits.

    As a 28 year old, I will be left paying for the greed of my parent's and grandparent's generations for a long time.

    July 23, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Donald Boon

    WE are in the depths of a unprecedented recession caused by the past policies of the Bush administration. We need real jobs now, not future jobs. Those jobs are a good, but we need jobs that will help workers now and in the future. Those jobs are building roads, bridges, and a New York – LA CA high speed rail line. These jobs will have a faster impact on the economy with construction and the suppliers that will build the products for them. These jobs will increase spending, tax revenues, and will lower the unemployment faster than tax cuts for small business on the hopes they will hire more workers. It is funny how there have been so many tax cuts for business and we are still losing jobs, maybe the republican’s that own these business are just keeping the money for them self’s. We are getting tired of this old idea of the trickle-down theory.

    July 23, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    Who are you people asking? He's great! And no amount of CNN trying to "out-Fox" the competition is going to change that!

    July 23, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. hal

    I like the way he puts a "spin" on everything! The sky could be falling and he would say that it is sunny and pleasant outside! Ha!

    July 23, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    People are finally catching on that Obama was an insanely expensive mistake, that the only "solution," whatever the problem, in his repertoire is to raise taxes and then spend even more than he raised.

    July 23, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    History lesson:

    Ronald Reagan's approval rating dropped to a low of 41%, during the Twin Recessions of 1981-1982, which lasted well into 1983.

    During Reagan's first term in office the unemployment rate was 10%.

    We survived America. We are already in a recovery although "good news" doesn't "sell" like bad news does.

    July 23, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. We're screwed

    When two-thirds of American without a partisan ax to grind disapprove of the president's handling of the economy, you know we're off track.

    July 23, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. nflorida

    This is one Independent who thinks he is doing the best he can given the circumstances. I'd like to hear the disapprovers come up with a plan that fixes everything instantaneously – that's what this country is about now – everything and everybody's life is asap!

    July 23, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    Thanks for the update, but i'll wait until it drops another 25 points and gets down in the GWB range before i start to sweat...

    July 23, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Sam

    It's about time we collectively realize how bad progressive big government policies are for this country. This November we need to give Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi the pink slip, and in 2012 let's give the White House back to a Republican or even an Independent. America can't afford Liberalism anymore. Bust the unions, ban welfare, social security and all pension plans, slash military spending, bring the troops home, secure the borders, cut taxes across the board, balance the budget and let's get this nation back to the levels of pride a prosperity we enjoyed during the 20th century, which sadly seems like too long ago.

    July 23, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Donald Boon

    The federal gas tax needs to be raised now!
    Why do we use outdated formulas for our federal gas tax revenues to fix our transportation needs? We need to raise the federal gas tax now; it will create immediate jobs for our economy and prepare us for our future growth. We have long ignored the responsibility of funding our roads and transportation needs by using out dated formulas. We now have higher mpg cars on the roads and more people and cars using the same over used roads and other transportation needs. I think we need to raise the federal gas tax 25 cents per gallon and break it down as follows: 75% to roads and bridges, 25% to rail commuter trains and mass transits busses. I have also been to china and they are way ahead of the US in this action, they actually want goods and services to get to their markets. Without this action you will lose the Democratic Party majority because we don't have jobs, so why vote for you. You are acting like the Republican’s think, we all need our jobs outsourced or we need low paying service jobs.

    July 23, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. J Klainski

    People don't realize that the stimulus was not big enough for the "Keynesian" aspects to work. It's all he could get. The Congressional cowards in his own party weren't much help either.Yet people now want to put the Republican's back IN power? What a country. I'm disappointed too (where are the "shovel ready" programs?) but that's no reason to disrespect the guy who IS trying to do something!

    July 23, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. snow

    How can anyone be so stupid as to think nobummer is doing a good job not just on the economy but jobs and national security matters? Not to mention his response to the oil spill was no action for at least the first month. He said he had the best and brightest in his office within the first few days but there is no record of anyone but polotical flunkies visiting.

    July 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Michael

    In November the clowns will be voted out. In two years, the ringmaster will go from this sorry circus.

    July 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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