October 21st, 2010
08:37 AM ET
4 years ago

More than half thinks Obama a one-termer

(CNN) – President Obama is busy trying to convince voters that Democratic incumbents deserve to keep their jobs, but a new poll out Thursday suggests a majority of Americans doesn’t think he deserves to keep his.

According to the survey from Gallup, only 39 percent of Americans say the president deserves to be re-elected while 54 percent think he should join the ill-fated ranks of one-term presidents.

Those numbers may be an ominous sign for the White House, which is expected to step up its re-election efforts shortly after the midterm election season is over.

But similar Gallup polling of past presidents suggests a lot can happen in two years to change public perception. After all, at this point in 2002, 62 percent of Americans said former President George Bush deserved reelection as the country resoundingly unified around the president in the months following the September 11 attacks.

But two years later, amid a war that was growing increasingly unpopular, Bush eked out only a narrow victory over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

And at this time in 1994 – amid a struggling economy and legislative failures - only 38 percent of Americans said former President Bill Clinton deserved a second term. Clinton of course went on to win re-election easily two years later.

Moreover, in 1990, former President George H.W. Bush's reelection seemed all but certain given his high approvals at that time.

The latest Gallup poll surveyed 1,029 adults by telephone from October 14 to 17 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in August found similar numbers for the president when it comes to 2012: against an unnamed Republican candidate, that poll had the president losing by 5 points 50-45 percent.


Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • issues • President Obama
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. 12 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    If the main street media had vetted this radical Socialist in 2008 he never would have been elected the FIRST time. He promised a LOT of things and has given us the exact opposite. Gee, would would have thought an inexperienced community organizer with leftist policies would have been a FAILURE?! It is scary that that many people would still vote for Obozo. An indictment of the education system in this country, for sure.

    October 21, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. PEDRO

    Yeah, but 45% of those people also thought George W. Bush was a good president, so we can pretty much assume they are not qualified to answer any questions correctly.

    October 21, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    Let say GOP ticket in 2012 Sarah Palin / Christine O'Donnell then your report wrong CNN
    Actually stormy weather over CNN

    October 21, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. The Real Me

    One and Done!

    October 21, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Gary

    Oh whatever. The devil is in the details: "The latest Gallup poll surveyed 1,029 adults by telephone". That's real representative. The only people answering random survey calls are people over 65 with rotary phones.

    October 21, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Knucklehead

    I'm not sure this means anything. Polling the American people only reveals their fickleness. Does Obama "deserve" to be re-elected? Maybe not. Does that mean he won't? I don't see anybody on the horizon that could challenge him. But like the article says, a lot can change in 2 years. Nobody saw Obama or Clinton coming 2 years before they were elected.

    October 21, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. Tim

    But how could the smartest man in the room only be a one termer? Obama wants you to know you are wrong.

    October 21, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Dave

    These polls are always interesting but fail to capture the most important point...who would be the other option?? It's easy to say to a poll that if you had the perfect alternative that offered me everything I want in a candidate I'd pick him. But what it doesn't capture is that the alternative could be Palin (blow-out win for Obama), Gingrich (ditto), Romney (closer but still a win), and on and on. The Republican Tea Party won't have it's own house in order by then so a second term is a no-brainer at this point.

    October 21, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. TangledThorns

    Can't wait for Sarah Palin to relieve Obama's failed agenda in 2013! Obama has no experience and people wonder why things are so bad?

    October 21, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. sandy

    I totally disagree! If anyone thinks this man can fix in 4 years what the Republicans did to this country, they are either stupid or don't understand government. This President inherited a disaster and as we all know, it takes time to overcome a disaster. I think he has been treated unfairly, though he has brought some of it on himself. I for one do not see anyone in either party that I would trust more than him to lead this country. I have nightmares just thinking about the Palins, the O'Donnells etc out there. Obama will certainly have my vote in 2012.

    October 21, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Rick in OP

    This will make it easier to repeal Obamacare in 2011.

    October 21, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Canuck

    Ok, so, go back to Republican leadership... that worked out so well last time...

    October 21, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Dave

    If I was Obama, I wouldn't want anymore than one term. Who would? Battling the likes of Boehner, McConnell, Palin, Tea Party idiots and every other nut in the woodwork would make me goofy. I would run as far and as fast as I could from the White House.

    October 21, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. Dean

    This is what happens when you pick a boy to do a man's job.

    October 21, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. gt

    wow... wonder why... no jobs.. still at war... taxes to high and the dept... yep.. good bet he is one and done...

    October 21, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Angus McDugan

    There's only so far a great smile and a good talk will take you.

    October 21, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. Jim

    The President would fare better in these so called polls if he would grow a set of stones and use the bully pulpit to slam the GOP. I don't understand why he has kept reaching for GOP approval when all they have done is show him the middle finger. I didn't like GW Bush but I'll give him some credit is he didn't take any crap from the Democrats while he was in office although he was quite useless otherwise. The President knows darn well the working class has been getting the shaft while the rich class has been living the high life for far too long. The middle class needs someone in Washington to stand up and fight for us and not give olive branches to the GOP. Stand up and fight Mr. President and slam the GOP every chance you get name names when they say no, call them out! Mr. President show the middle class you care. Words are just words but actions will be far better then trying to appease the GOP. The GOP has already shown they don't give a rats behind for the middle class yet somehow stupid Americans who don't have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of vote Republican? Are Americans that dumb or do they just forget the past too quickly?

    October 21, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. lisa

    it's not because, he didn't do his job. he wasn't ALLOWED to do his job. his term has truly showed how sick and twisted america truly is. this country is more concerned about the color of ones skin than all the issues that lay before them. let the man put america back on track. if they stop close their racial eyes and let the man do his job. we would all be for the better.

    October 21, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Lucky

    Only 49% of adults in America know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. Case closed.

    October 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Sammy Davis

    I hope these polls are correct. Get this radical loser out of office.

    October 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Angelica

    Presidential debate will declare the winner, Obama can crash any body with the facts. Plus I thing that economy will start growing, and if not Republicans will be punished by angry people as well. So, not so fast.

    October 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Stan

    Sure, let us see if the people will still feel the same way one year from today. The good news is, when someone reaches a very low point, things can only get better. 2012 is two good years away!! this article makes it sounds like election is tomorrow and the Republicans have any meaningful alternative to the status quo, remember its the same party of Paladina, O'DOnnell, Angle, and other block heads who have absolutely no clue of what they'll do to fix the problems.

    October 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Jude

    i'm voting Obama.

    October 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Colorodan

    Company after company reporting record or improved profits. The stock market up about 60% since early March 2009 a few weeks after Obama took office. Nine consecutive months of private sector job growth. The economy expanding. Obama must go!!!! I will not be denied my right to be denied health insurance coverage due to pre existing conditions. Makes sense to me.

    October 21, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. Reynald

    I wouldn't mind having another democrat win. However my vote will be for Obama to avoid having a Republican win that year

    October 21, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7