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. Squigman

    Apparently, the only people partaking in polls are the people hand picked to answer in a way that pleases the poll takers. It would not be surprising that corporate america, spins the polls in a way that would make the electorate believe it's a waste of time to go to the polls. After all, according to the pollsters the election is in the bag for the right wing. Well, this is complete nonesense, and this will not keep some from doing all thats possible to prove the pollsters wrong. Count me among the latter.

    October 21, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Ed Fl

    From a Family of DEMOCRATS we are going to do our best to assure that After this first Term MR Obama will have to look for a different job. We had lots of hope and faith at first but. Washington DC is where the President should be ,Not all over the country and world while we have so many problems in the country.

    October 21, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. mike

    i would hate to see what havoc he would do if he did get a second term

    October 21, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. scieng

    Obama failed all of the tests of a good president. He would not work outside his party. He would not listen to the people. He put his interests over those of the country. He short-circuited the constitution many times with back-room deals, unfair and possibly illegal practices, and treats the public like idiots. We hoped for a real leader. We got a mean-spirited thug. Democrats can do better than this.

    October 21, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Margaret B

    I have never been polled and no one I know either. But this for sure, I will be voting for Barack Obama should he decide to run. These articles are nothing but propaganda. So what half am I.

    October 21, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. JOhn

    CNN's daily political advertisement for the wingnuts. Factless, pointles, day dreaming jounalism. I thas now been over 200 days in a row where CNN made up one of these "Poll" stories about the end of democracy. What a transparent fraud you people are.

    October 21, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Joe

    I don't think the man would care so much if he is a one term President. He already made history by being the first black President in the US history.

    October 21, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. once upon a horse

    heck if I were President Obama i wouldn't WANT another term. He gets the worst economy in history and tries to get it going right and certain Americans think he can turn it around in two years. Let somebody else have this headache. But Americans seem to have very short term memories. Lookup Ronald Reagan's numbers in the middle of his first term and see how high they were. I can think of no other president in history that had no only right wing talk show host going after him but a news channel that attacks hjim 24/7.

    October 21, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Brian in MD

    Not surprising at all.

    October 21, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Mike in MN

    I think a lot of it will depend upon who the republican candidate is. If it's Palin then he's got nothing to worry about because too many people see her as being a wacko, if they put up someone who is more moderate and able to draw in independents then I don't think he really has a chance.

    October 21, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. The Other Dale

    Eh. We're talking about an election two years off and polls that also said that Obama would never get elected back in 2008. Not much of a story here really.

    October 21, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. bjnj

    It only took two years for the "change" voters to see that this guys is nothing more then a rock star with no idea how to be a commander-in-chief. He's like a hollywood set. Pretty on the outside but has no depth. mI recall him being described as the pretty guest sitting at the main table with two beutuful woman at his side. Obama's a phoney. He sold you a bill of goods like a snake oil salesman. All show, no go. All sizzle, no steak. SOMEONE is behind him pulling the strings. BJNJ

    October 21, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Disbelief

    Republican "corrupticons" are destined to become overthrown by violent revolution!!

    October 21, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. ConstitutionalPatriot

    Yeah it's gonna be four and the door for Obummer. We got nothing but a narcissist version of George W. Bush and a continuation of his failed and unsustainable policies. Real change will happen either when this system collapses or when we as a people put away the childish partisan bickering and fix this mess. Partisanship is idiocy, the Democrats and Republicans are two heads of the establishment beast playing us against each other with divisive issues. Just look at Obummer and his neocon corporatist agenda. You can see we got a third Bush term. Real change in 2012 only happens if we elect someone who's allegiance is to the people and our Constitution. Whether it's Ron Paul or Jesse Ventura we need to kick the corporations, bankers, and military industrial complex out of the White House!

    October 21, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Abiding Lib

    Frankly, I cannot imagine a Repub they could put up against him who could win. It's easy to say "I'd vote for the unnamed other," but when the "other" becomes Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum, well, you know what happens then...

    October 21, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. JOhn

    60% of Repuclicans ignore the prrof they have been shown and insist the president of the United States is from Africa. There is NOTHING they can't get thesepolls to say. If you can get them to beleive things as rediculous as that, they can get them to think anything. These polls only reflect back the message that is put out there by these deceptive, pointless articles. Why CNN has to run one of these everyday is telling in itself. Does the GOP pay you for these poltical advertisments or are you just skirting campaign laws by pretending to be jounalists?

    October 21, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Eric

    Obama is Carter re-incarnated.

    October 21, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. AJ

    Obama is no Bill Clinton. While Clinton had his problems and flaws he was a great president for the times. Obama on the other hand...

    October 21, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. sue

    A lot can happen in 2 years. As it stands right now, I will be voting him in a 2nd term and I wasn't polled...wondering about the accuracy of polls.

    October 21, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. methius

    At this point, I would say he is doing a poor job, but he still has 2 years to pull it together.

    October 21, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. SSS

    I guess we'll see...

    October 21, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    I hope the American voters will make every elected office in washington a one term until the representatives begin to represent the people again.
    Not the Special interests, lobbyists, PACs, Wall Street, banking and Global Corporations.

    October 21, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. CTinDC

    These telephone surveys are soooo outdated.. Who uses a telephone now-a-days???

    October 21, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. inthebreeze

    I didn't get polled and I fully support Obama still, as does my sister so add 2 more to the 39% poll. He had a huge problem to deal with coming into office and if people expect everything to be peachy keen in one, two or even three years are nuts. Look at the good things he's gotten done. People have memory loss as to what got us in this mess to begin with. It starts with Bush and ends with Republicans!

    October 21, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. obama victim

    perhaps Barry can build houses with Jimmy....great thing to do....no wait, housing starts are down...oh my

    October 21, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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