September 24th, 2010
12:13 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama at all time low

(CNN) – President Barack Obama is contending with the lowest approval rating of his 20-month presidency, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds.

The president's approval rating now stands at 42 percent – an all time low in CNN polling and 8 points lower than where Obama was only three weeks ago. Moreover, 56 percent of all Americans think the president has fallen short of their expectations. (More poll results)

The president's sagging poll numbers couldn't come at a worse time for congressional Democrats, themselves facing a nine-point deficit in the so-called "generic ballot" question heading into the midterm elections. In fact, the president's approval rating is the same as that of President Clinton's in 1994 – the midterm election year that saw Republicans wrest control of both the House and Senate.

In even worse news for congressional Democrats, likely voters say they are considerably more likely to vote for a candidate the president opposes than one he supports. On the other hand, 50 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a Tea Party-backed candidate while a third of Americans said Tea Party support would dissuade their vote for a candidate.

Still, the president can take some solace in the fact several past presidents have been beset by slumping numbers at the 2-year mark: In addition to Clinton, both Reagan and Jimmy Carter found their support at 42 percent at this point in their first term. Of course, Clinton and Reagan went on to big reelection wins only two years later.


Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. stufit

    Just wait, it has so much lower to go. Remember working Americans are getting their Health Insurance renewals now, and those that believd the corrupt, incompetent, inept, union toady when he said it would not cost one dime more are finding out he lied, again.

    September 24, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. the_dude

    "falling short of expectations" is putting it mildly.

    September 24, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. C. Pope

    Who's taking these polls?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know anyone who has ever participated in one of these so-called polls! Are you only polling Republicans? LOL

    September 24, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Laughable

    i give CNN a 2% approval rating! and that's PUSHING it!...obama has my support 100% because I see all the hate coming from the right and the obstructionism! that entire right wing in the senate and house need to be voted out and they will be come november!!! and these tea partiers gotta go!

    September 24, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Obozo VooDoo Economics 101: Spend your way to prosperity, tax your way out of recession.

    With every passing day Obozo shows the American people he is CLUELESS. 15 million people out of work and he wastes a TRILLION dollars on DemocRATic pork and a year passing "healthcare reform" that is actually another government entitlement program that will add TRILLIONS to our debt.

    He'll be down in the 20's or 30's soon.

    September 24, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. tjaman

    Is there anywhere I can express my approval for President Obama and everything he's been doing? Our president is AWESOME! :)

    September 24, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    Obama is doing a great job. Especially if you consider how many people (Republicans, Fox media, & hate radio) are working against his success. We are very fortunate we have President Obama instead of the circus that McCain/Palin have become. We would certainly have been in the Second Great Depression with Obama's leadership and sacrifice.

    September 24, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Michael C.

    George Bush is the reason obamas poll points are sinking! Obama is the best president since FDR!

    September 24, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    This is what happens when you betray the American people by enacting an insanely expensive entitlement program over their express wishes, wasting a trillion bucks "stimulating" your friends in unions and sending the bill to the rest of us, and paying bankers to fail.

    September 24, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Sorry I did not get the memo that CNN was officially trying to be FOX news with constant barrage of negative propaganda.

    September 24, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Pam

    Maybe you should start polling different people for each poll instead of the same people every time!
    I still support the President. My disappointment and disapproval is with the Republicans who have done everything they could to derail everything this president has tried to do! And I am very disappointed with the likes of Sarah Palin who has a problem with speaking the truth Honey there are no death panels so why do you keep spouting that? Are you really that ignorant??

    September 24, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. wake up

    Obama is a well spoken, far left winger. America is waking up to what he is:
    * A fraud
    * A poltical / Chicago animal
    * A terrible descision maker
    * The worst president in decades...I could go on and on.
    *Why is he surrounded by socialists and communists? Because he has always like their philsophy.
    At least america is coming around to what's best. A small government with local power and low taxes.

    September 24, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. miguel

    I think that what affected this president the most was the length of the healthcare bill debate. Democrats failed to unite behind a bill and the president failed in not sending his own bill from the very beginning to prevent that debate from getting so nasty. Democrats knew that the GOP was not going to cooperate but instead of uniting behind a compromise what we had was House Democrats vs Senate Democrats vs White House, prolonging this debate in a time when the economy was the main issue. They deserve to lose this election for being so childish, and they need some new faces too. I am tired of seeing Nancy Pelosi

    September 24, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Peace

    CNN people are not interested in the presidents poll especially myself. He is there for the coming 2 years and beyond. If at all you are so called polling station, why not come up with the poll of the so called "pledge", and let people know whether it was accepted or not.

    September 24, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. jim

    Obama administration has been a complete failure that started out with so many people believing in what the man was saying.He has mismanaged the Gulf oil disaster and hasn't done a thing for our economy that has an unemployment rate at 9.6%. after 20 months.They say the recession ended in June 2009 so where are the jobs?

    September 24, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. shoegazer

    Well,at least he's more popular than Ahmadinejad.

    September 24, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. john, PA

    It's only going lower when this is all you have to run on:
    higher unemployment
    higher taxes
    higher home foreclosure rate
    tax evading Democratic Party
    tax evading Obama administration
    the “Porkulus” Spending bill
    out of control budget / no budget
    health care reform disaster
    Cap and Trade=TAX
    4 terrorist attacks in the USA since Obama took office
    Oil spill disaster in the Gulf

    September 24, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. S in California

    Again, I WAS NOT polled. He is doing a fantastic job as far as I, my friends and neighbors think. Sure he's made some mistakes but this man was given an enormous multitude of problems to fix and yes, he did ask for the job. I am more than willing to give him two more years to make things better. Those who voted for him but are now reaching out to republicans – you sound if as you were RIT (Republicans In Training) anyway. Just remember 750,000 jobs WERE LOST a month during Bush's presidency and maybe you will be willing to give our president and other democratic leaders a chance at the booths in November. Just think about it – more of yesterday or a new tomorrow? I'll take tomorrow.

    Democrats. Right for America.

    September 24, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Chris

    Polls 2 years away from the general election are meaningless. A little history lesson. 2 years in the Jimmy Carter presidency his approval rating was 53% and yet he lost re election by a landslide. 2 years into the Reagan presidency his approval rating was 39% an he WON re election by a landslide. 2 years in the Clinton presidency his approval was 38%, and he also won re election by a landslide. So yea, these polls are completely and utterly useless this far away from a general election. Im not worried one bit, lets just wait until the start of 2012 then we can talk about these "polls"

    September 24, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. C.J.

    Well yeah, he' falling short of people's expectations. In '08 you would have thought the guy had come down from Heaven itself to "save" our "failing, fledgling" democracy. The man has done most of what he said he would do when he was elected. And the stuff he hasn't done is becuase morons like Boehner and McConnel have consistently said no–Even on things they would have voted for in '07. Also, I'm not sure if CNN thinks its just trying to play ball, but Americans aren't idiots. Calling this article "Obama hits new low" is simply salacious. And irresponsible.

    September 24, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Chris

    This President is doing a great job. He came in as this country was in the midst of the worst economic condition since the great depression. He will rebound and will win re-election in 2012 because the Republicans have no one who can beat him.

    September 24, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. clark1b

    I wasn't polled. He has truly met all my expectations. I disapprove of 90% of what he has done and what he stands for.

    September 24, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Obama is as clueless as a fart in a tornado.

    September 24, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Orlando Patriot

    Yes, Obama just recently hit a new low but the country hit a new low when a majority of the voters (most of them with a hand out waiting for me free stuff) voted this incompetent and inexperienced man as President of the United States of America. They heard "Hope and Change" and didn't give a tiny rat's behind what this man believed? Did they even CARE to find out? In November we can start the process of clipping the wings of Obama to make sure he doesn't FURTHER damage this country. What has already been done we can change right away but can make sure he doesn't hurt this country further!!

    September 24, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Robert

    I think he's terrific.

    September 24, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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