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. mtrought

    I am sure there were other polls that said Bush, Reagan, Clinton, FDR, LBJ were sure one term presidents. This business of asking 500 people what the rest of the country thinks doesnt make any sense in 2010 when you have SMS that can give you almost 90 percent of the populations views

    October 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. King

    I hope the president do not run for another term or just quit right now because these stupid and unrational people will blame him for every thing that the repugs jack up and they are the ones who chose to put the gop back in power before the dems recovery could start working. Their unlogical trike down system havent worked for the last ten years it certainly wont work now since the markets are open wider. Corporations seems to gravitate where the money at, thats asia. Location locatio location. Main street is going to left out the loop.

    October 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Orlando Patriot

    What Obama needs to realize his that he "hoodwinked" the majority of the country in 2008 with his "Hope and Change" and "Change you can believe in" nonsense but it worked. It worked because the majority of the people thought he would bring a bi-partisan atmosphere (YEA, RIGHT!!!) and change the way government was run. What he ACTUALLY did was screw the American citizens and tell us that he doesn't give a tiny rat's behind what WE want pushing only what HE wants!! Well, I have news for you Mr. President – YOU WORK FOR US!! WE DO NOT WORK FOR YOU!!

    To use a historical phrase from WWII "You have awoken a sleeping giant" (the American citizens) and we will work diligently in removing your cohorts in less than two weeks then work on getting your egotistical, arrogant, and incompetent self out of power and put the country BACK into the hands of the American people where it belongs........

    October 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. ron

    What a stupid poll, Obama is not up for re-election,he's only been in office almost two years, give his policies a chance to work.

    October 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. GrandmaT

    I agree a lot can happen in the next two years. There a many, many of us who will vote again for the President, who are simply being quiet right now. There is NO defending the president right now, when Americans are reeling with the effects of new policy, but mostly still the crud handed to this president from the previous administration. What part of "this won't be done in a year or even two years" did people not hear Obama say in his campaign? He has been working SO hard...and it's WAY too early to judge how he does in his 4 year term. I personally think his popularity will soar again. His first two years have been climbing out of the muck...he will make his mark and will be re-elected. I still believe.

    October 21, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    That's a no-brainer.

    October 21, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Karma6338

    So what! The same was said about Reagan.

    October 21, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. munchmom

    Now, more than half need to make that happen....please!!!! I plan to do my part come election day 2012.

    October 21, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Lin C

    Well ,no one called me, my family, friends or co-workers. Are they calling the same people all the time?
    My opinion is that he in for 2 terms. Could someone add us to the poll when they call you again.

    October 21, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. thomas

    you know where you can put that poll. President Obama is doing a great job after dealing with Bushs for eight years. Did you forget.

    October 21, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Peter

    The economy rebounds in 2011, Obama is re-elected.

    Bet me $100.

    October 21, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. Hannah

    God, I hope not. I don't want to go back to the days of perpetual wars, no regulation, privatizing everything, education declining, no alternative fuels, the rich getting richer and the rest of us slaves to the wealthy. That's what you get with republicans. I will vote for President Obama.

    October 21, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Willie12345

    One can only hope that Obama is a one termer. He's done enough damage already.

    October 21, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Dan

    That will probably change when we know who the Republican nominee is. I could see Obama losing to someone like Romney, but I think most of the independent voters will bite their lips and vote Obama if he's up against Palin. Maybe he doesn't deserve a second term, but there are a lot of Republicans who don't deserve a first.

    October 21, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. AB Baltimore MD

    I think that President Obama deserves another term as president and I personally will work to ensure that he gets that term. President Obama has accomplished alot in less than two years. This was more than Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Alot can and will change in two year's time and American public opinion will also change in favor of Obama. Public opinion polls change like the weather all the time. Under Obama, the economy is improving and the country in on the right track towards prosperity.

    October 21, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Grundoon

    CNN, I'm so tired of these BS polls you publish. Your sample numbers are comlete crap. You talk to only 1029 people and that is supposed to be statistically significant and representative of our population of 300 million? Give me a break! You reached them by telephone and let me guess, landline? Please tell us whether or not you are because that is a critical variable. Also, how many attempts were made before reaching said 1029 people. How many people avoided the call because they didn't know who was on the line for fear of telemarketer, fund raiser, reserach survey, collection agency, or, dare I say, pollster. If people are so unhappy with the Dems then why are they forking over the grassroots dollars, not special interest dollars, to get Dems re-elected, which is far surpassing what the Republicans are getting. Dems are also coming out in very strong numbers for early voting. You think they woudl do that if they were going to vote against their party? Get a grip, please.

    October 21, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Cherie

    Today must be "stoke the GOP" day at CNN. You seem to alternate between the two parties on a daily basis now. I guess that is at least "fair & balanced". Let's see if the tighty righties go rabid over this one. As stated in the article however, both Clinton and Bush took 2nd terms regardless of the polls. One was a success, the latter a complete failure. So what?

    October 21, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. nickc1969

    The upcoming Republican Congress will turn the economy around and Obama will get the credit and a second term, just like Clinton in 1996.

    October 21, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Gale

    All politicians make pre-election promises, but Obama more than most. When people get discouraged by those promises being unfulfilled, thay have a tendancy to not believe in him anymore. Obama has overdone his promises and failed terribly in keeping them. When faith is lost, so is the election.

    October 21, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. tamont dixon

    Well like ive heard and like i know. the republicans live 2 get richer off poor people tryin 2 get rich. nobody no matter what is said can take away the fact that obama is at least trying even thoe some people dont like the way hes going bout it. he is trying and black or white i commend any body who is putting a effort into helping america. he has a huge mess 2 clean up that he didnt make and probaly wakes up like damn this guy messed this up (bush) so dont hate apreciate what hes tryin 2 do

    October 21, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. DVA

    The problem I see is that the American people have all become "reality show" followers. Politics in this country has become a joke and a platform for auditions, not for the good of the country. Where was the outrage when millions of soldiers and civilians were dying because of "two unwaranted wars" during the Bush administration. And now it is said to be Obama's war ? Eight years of mayhem cannot be fixed in 24 months. Limbaugh wanted failure the first week of Obama's presidency......daily worked on the same rhetoric and the people believe this man of so little character. Why have we become so tolerant of ignorance, ridicule and disrespect of the Presidency. The tea party sights the constitution yet does not want to answer personal questions about their background -FREEDOM OF SPEECH" is only for them?????? If ignorance and following the crowd is Democracy, then we are headed for a future that is truly frightening. Those who have complain and want more, but have no compassion for those who don't. God Bless America.......

    October 21, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. LIL DEEROC

    I Think The President will be fine he was condemn. Before he even made a year in office he can't do no worse than. The President before him so everyone in this country she jus relax

    October 21, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. mike

    Cut me a brake are you talking about your out dated survey that phones just half of the americans that have phone lines and that most of them are senior citizen that vote republican I got call from one of these companies and could have told them I was an alien from mars and they wouldn't have know the difference who is paying the bills for these companies

    October 21, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. tury soto

    If you ask the true patriots of this country, you would find that we still would vote for oBama. Polls are if anything not indicative of anything. Its just a job for people trying to form their own or sway opinion towards their own agenda. especially the way some questions are formulated and who is asked.

    October 21, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Joe

    Barry is a one-term President. The man can't win for losing. The funny thing about it is that I for one NEVER thought he'd get elected in the first place and after he did – the naysayers came out in full force. No matter what he does he gets bashed. I have never heard so many people blame one person for the current condition of this nation. Seriously, what could he really accomplish in two years after eight Bush years, two wars, wall street, bailouts, foreclosure mania. Healthcare, education. I feel for the man and the haters are screaming loud and clear. I mean Mrs. Palin is getting all this attention and I'm not trying to judge her but she isn't exactly the most articulate or intellingent lady in politics. My point is, there is no real debate about the issues or presentation of solutions. She's talking about what Mrs. O said two years ago – a rallying cry. Oh that's right she is a cheerleader.

    October 21, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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