October 21st, 2010
08:37 AM ET
3 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. Larson

    He was billed and elected as post-partisan and post-racial and he has proven to be the opposite. The question is how much more of the job killing policies can we take with Obama as President.

    October 21, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. boom

    Obama for 12 more years!

    October 21, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Thanks to the bashing he gets in the corporate owned "media" on a daily basis, its no wonder. CNN, do you realize how many people think "Obama raised my taxes" last year? This is pathetic when we our "media" has the capability to do just about anything that they consistently chose to do the wrong thing. Maybe a list of his accomplishments in less than 2 years that actually benefit real people, not just corporations like the last administration, would be a good place to start. You have to go over to Rolling Stone for that kind of information, sadly. You won't get it in the "news." It's not good for business.

    October 21, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Bill from GA

    In France the country is up in arms because the government wants to repair the economy on the backs of the working people.

    In America, we want more abuse for the working people. Re-elect the people who got us into this mess. It takes about six months of lies from the repugs to convince the average voter that all of our problems are caused by Obama, Reid, and Polosi.

    We probably deserve what we get.

    October 21, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. mark rogan

    He should only serve one term, he has done very little so far. (Change) was his campain slogan and change is all i have left in my pocket.

    October 21, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    Comment editor, I'm re-submitting my recent comment with Pelosi's name spelled correctly.

    In France the country is up in arms because the government wants to repair the economy on the backs of the working people.

    In America, we want more abuse for the working people. Re-elect the people who got us into this mess. It takes about six months of lies from the repugs to convince the average voter that all of our problems are caused by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

    We probably deserve what we get.

    October 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. SAY WHAT!!!

    Seriously...we are not even done with the 2010 midterm elections and we already have a poll for 2012...if you have no news CNN then at least don't print news of far off predictions...and on another poll taken several thousand years ago the world will end in December 26, 2012...

    October 21, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Kevin

    President Obama will be elected again, the GOP doesn't have one candidate who can stand against him. They embraced the Tea Party too much. What people fail to see is the tea party is nothing more than a bunch of angry far extreme republicans. With their candidates they have shown their true intentions for the country. That's why their only hope is to destruct this president, they have no intention of working with him and I'll say this too their biggest problem with the president is he doesn't look like them.

    October 21, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Name

    Surprise! A crappy socialist spend spend spend spend weasel won't get reelected by the populace that's been taxed in to poverty.

    October 21, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    Anyone who says Obama doesn't own the unemployment and poor economy has not been paying attention. He bought it. He paid $3 trillion for it with our tax dollars just when they were as scarece as ever. He made huge promises on huge ill-advised bets. He pulled it off with political trickery and bribery. He owns it. Our kids and grandkids get to pay for it because our US Treasury is running on credit.

    Great Britain is 2 steps ahead of America on this one. Good for them.

    October 21, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. jeff, alabama

    Hey, Obama is a good guy.
    He's just a good bit naive thinking
    that ideology works in real life.
    Good father good husband good
    man. None of these things make him
    a good leader. One termer is accurate.

    October 21, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. ramtruck2500

    Well if you repeat it enough they will beleive any lie. Considering the right was hammering him down before he was even innagurated I think he has been fine. I think one hjas to look at the political climate and out right liers and manipulators out there like Johnson in Wisconsin. I also believe it is a color issue as well. That aspect never did die.

    October 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Daniel

    It's not like it matters anyway what popular opinion is concerning the president's election; the electoral college decides that. The popular vote has never meant anything except as a source of ratings for the media at election time.

    October 21, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Blaum

    If he can leave office before his two years is up...... all the better for this country....

    October 21, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    The 39% who think Obama deserves a second term include those on the dole, many of whom could work but have NEVER worked one day. They contribute nothing to society except feces and urine.
    Obama has already bought their votes.

    October 21, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. barry

    He will be a one term President. He is far more like Jimmy Carter than President Clinton. Obama is arrogant and he doesn't feel he needs to listen to the little people he knows so much better what they need. Yeah right Obama everybody has your number except the brainless little sheep who hang on your every word.

    October 21, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    ERRATUM
    I forgot: the shiftless who have never worked also contribute babies to society, many of whom also will never work.

    October 21, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. diridi

    I still vote for Obama, I do not care too much for polls...they are biased in 21st century...he is the one who worked for Health Care Reform, and Fin. Reg. Reform, etc, show me single white president...?????????

    October 21, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Keith in NJ

    Obama mad the mistake that many politicians make. He let the polls tell him what he is supposed to think. It is a very timid way to be a leader. He need to be like Reagan and take his case directly to the american people on TV. the problem is that i don'e think he know swhat he stands for anymore. Reagan and FDR knw who they were what they stood for and how to communicate that the the American people. It is a shame that a speaker as talented as Obama can;t do that. Opportunity lost.

    October 21, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. Mike in CA

    Its way too early to be parsing the 2012 election results. But as someone who voted for Obama, I can certainly relate to the ambivalence of voting for him again. To say I've been sorely disappointed with his performance so far would be an understatement.

    October 21, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Ali

    Everytime I hear about a gallup poll they say it is bad news for Democratics. I have not received one phone call and I have asked several people who vote, they have not received a call. So who are these people who are getting these calls? More media lies just to discourage people not to vote. President Obama is playing with the cards that were handed to him. If it took Bush 8 years why can't we give President Obama the 8 years to clean it up. There is only one Master that is God so keep the hate coming because God conquers all.

    October 21, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Blutarski

    At this point in time, Barrack Obama is unelectable. I hopt the Democrat Party has another candidate to offer up in 2012. Perhaps a Clinton/Powell ticket?

    October 21, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. The reality is...

    As more people realize the truth about Obama's dangerous Socialist agenda, they will abandon his trail. Look what's happening in France: this is the kind of chaos Socialism leads to. When will Obama and the "Progressives" learn from history and smarten up. I'll take capitalism any day; at least we all get a shot at making it to the top instead of relying on the Socialists to dole out our money back to us while they live high on the hog. Less government and more personal responsibility is what we need.

    October 21, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. jpmichigan

    Promises made during Obama's first Presidential campaign were not kept. Sure Bush left the country in a mess, but let us not forget that the Democrats have held Congress hostage as well as the purse strings of the nation. Obama alowed billions in ear markets pass with his signature, to pacify the Democratic congress. The Stimulus helped the Federal government and Unions. Mainstreet Americans are still losing homes and jobs. Obama promised CHANGE and the change given is not good.

    October 21, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Tye Bowe

    Obama has done more in 2 years than busch has done in two years. Its the good old boys who won't let change happen the way it should be. I PRAY THAT HE GET THE TIME HE NEEDS TO REWRITE BUSCH WRONG.

    October 21, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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