November 19th, 2010
10:57 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: Public split over Obama's job performance

(CNN) – As Obama prepares to work with the new Republican majority in the U.S. House this January, a new CNN Poll of Polls indicates that the public is split over his handling of duties in the White House.

Overall, 47 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his job and 48 percent disapprove, according to the Poll of Polls which was compiled and released on Friday.

Obama's standing with the public is likely to affect his ability to win the coming battles with the GOP leaders on Capitol Hill once they take control of the U.S. House next January. Even before then, the president is facing a crop of issues to settle with the lame duck Congress including the START treaty with Russia, a potential measure to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy which prevents gays from openly serving in the military, and the contentious question of whether to extend Bush tax cuts.

The presidential approval question asks respondents how they feel about how Barack Obama is handling his job. It is used to measure the country's opinion on the president's performance as head of the nation.

The newest CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the four national polls that include interviews conducted this week: Gallup tracking (November 11-16), NBC/Wall Street Journal (November 11-15), Quinnipiac (November 8-15) and CNN/Opinion Research (November 11-14). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

Three of those surveys also released results on Obama just before the midterm election, and in all three, the president's approval rating is now higher. Obama's approval rating is up four points in the Gallup tracking poll and two points in the NBC/Wall Street Journal and CNN/Opinion Research polls. The Quinnipiac poll has not released national results since early September. Nonetheless, Obama's disapproval rating remains higher in all three polls, and in the CNN Poll of Polls as well.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data of any news organization in the political landscape.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland contributed to this report.


Filed under: Poll of polls • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. jules sand-perkins

    I disapprove totally of Obama's job performance.
    Only two times in my 71-year life have I voted for a Democrat for president: Obama was the 2nd time, and I voted against Goldwater in the foolishness of my youth.
    Obama is the greatest disappointment imaginable.
    Fire him.

    November 19, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. beevee

    The president is doing a fine job in tackling many issues (war , economy, jobs etc.), confronting the US, that he had to deal with when he took office. May be he should have given more attention to the growing unemployment problem paguing the country. He should have also been tough in dealing with the GOP scoundrels whose only aim seems to be to make Obama a one-term president even if it came at the expense of prosperity to the country. I hope people who supported them realize it.

    November 19, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    47 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his job
    ======================================================

    So this group of donkeys think his job is to create new government entitlement programs we can't afford, spend us into bankruptcy, takeover and destroy our healthcare system, run around the globe and apologize to the world, campaign full time, demonoize and takeover every business in sight???

    Scary there are so many clueless fools out there. This is what happens when a lot of people don't pay attention and don't educate themselves on the issues.

    November 19, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    Okay – 47% AFTER a "SCHALACKING" is not bad. And the POLLS tend to lead towards the RIGHT because AGAIN, I've NEVER been polled!!!

    We need to keep MOVING AMERICA FORWARD with our current leader, President Barack Obama.

    November 19, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Peace

    The country is divided, either right or left. So does the poll!

    November 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Orlando Patriot

    Let me guess – - – The 47% that think Obama is doing a good job is the 47% of the population that doesn't pay income tax and continues to want government to simply "give" them the money they need. I have an idea – why don't you find a way to create your own success? Don't you feel morally bankrupt not contributing to this country and supporting such a corrupt government that simply wants to control you and your life? I suggest you open your eyes.

    Thomas Jefferson was quoted saying "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.". In order to make this country greater we MUST do that ourselves and we MUST keep government out of the markets. Ronald Reagan also said "Government cannot fix the problem – government IS the problem". Wake up America!! Obama and the Democrats are ruining this country!! One final quote from Ben Franklin: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    November 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Expat American

    2+ years in...I still and will approve; when I consider the alternative (i.e. McCain’s ‘sound’ economic policies and a Christ Nazi VP who can’t even read). In 2 years, I will vote for President again; because I knew when I voted for him the first time that he couldn’t repair the damage done by Bush in 2+ years….in all honesty, the 8 year Republican Bush Administration should take the better part of a generation to repair; so drastic and seemingly unbelievable was its failure.

    November 19, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Dave

    President Uno is in net negative territory after 2 years....nice!

    November 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Remember America: if you don't know your own mind, you stand to lose it.
    You're well on your way.

    November 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. George

    I guess that's why they voted against their own interests?

    November 19, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Oregon Calling

    When all that you have is 1/2 of the congress saying NO to everything, publicly bashing you AND declining an invitation from the President of the United States, tell me, how would your performance be viewed?
    I support our President and believe that he has been put in an very difficult position.

    Peace :-)

    November 19, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "The newest CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the four national polls that include interviews conducted this week: Gallup tracking (November 11-16), NBC/Wall Street Journal (November 11-15), Quinnipiac (November 8-15) and CNN/Opinion Research (November 11-14)."

    Gallup, CNN, NBC, and Quinnipiac????

    With these 4 left-leaning samples averaging out to a 47% approval for Obama, indicating a realistic approval somewhere in the mid to upper 30's, combined with the adminstration's main financier, George Soros, "looking elsewhere", I'd say that Obama is going to be one and done. Thank the good Lord.

    November 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Bill from GA

    When the media thinks it has to give equal credence to lying repugs who claim the stimulus failed and we are worse off than when Obama came into office, and the Fox Propaganda Network only tells how bad things are, it is no surprise that the public opinion is split.

    If the downward trend Obama inherited had continues, we would know for sure.

    November 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. ChumBucket

    Some liberal pillars of intellect here want to know what makes Øbama a communist? Well a good indicator would be that he taught Saul Alinsky tactics to ACORN for 4 years. Saul Alinsky is a communist and a Marxist. He said he sought out Marxist professors in his book. He had an admitted communist, Van Jones on his staff. He either is a communist, sympathizes with communists, or is the stupidest sumbich in the world. Which is it Liberals?

    November 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. William Jefferson

    about right at this point. He has done some really difficult but not necessarily popular things. He has a television network that spreads lies about him 24/7. He has an entire network of radio personalities doing the same. So those numbers are about right, and as the economy continues to improve, and as his policies turn out to be right- as in in GM – those numbers will go back up and he will do even greater things in his second term, once the republicons are once again shoved back into the minority where they belong. They belong in the minority because they and their policies are designed to only help a tiny minority of the population. In a democracy that means they should be in the minoority.

    November 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. King

    The president is still shellshocked from the pounding his dems received from the people. he is skittish and the repugs know it and they are set to do what the American people voted for them to do, that is to give tax cut to the rich and deregulate them again. The repugs just killed the extentiom of unemployment benefits that could have created 700 thousand jobs. Now we might lose that amount of jobs because 5 million people is going to lose money that they were using to by from our local shops, malls, supermarketsand local businesses. On the other hand the repugs are set to barrow billions of dollars from china to give rich tax break money who have been sitting on these money and not stimulating the economy by creating jobs. Now that the repugs have taken this money from the demanders of our economy where the he'll they suppose big corporations demand is going to come from. So they have no other choice but to find demand over seas and pocket the huge tax cut money the repugs have just given them beacause mainstreet have no money to buy nothing from them. So why the hell should they hire any one if they don't have any customer.

    November 19, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Mr. Lemming

    The president is doing a good job. Most of the American electorate is stupid. Propaganda is easier to follow because people
    are too lazy to think for themselves. Now look at all of the middle class items that are threatened by the Republicans like
    social security, medicare, unemployment benefits etc. Not realizing it will probably affect them also. Voters would rather believe the lie that President Obama is a muslim rather than their benefits will be cut and they no longer can afford to put food on the table. Or that health care is "socialist" when corporate interests and politicians use the same type of coverage.
    That's the way voters in this country have always been duped. Tell them that the boogie man is coming. The republicans
    know this and have used it to perfection for years.
    Oh well, enjoy your tea.

    November 19, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Jim from Va

    There are very few people that I know in my community that think this pressident is doing a good job.There are so many of us that are out of work and don't see the improvement that this administration keeps talking about.People say give him more time but that doesn't help the people living in the real world who don't see their prospects for a job improving and have to listen to the political rhetoric about how things have improved.

    November 19, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Great. It won't be different for any other president. Half the country is red and the other half is blue. Until people understand common sense and compromise, it will be the norm for president's approval running around 50%.

    November 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    It is very hard to get an honest rating on Obama since so many people cannot admit they made a mistake. Honestly, he is the worst president we have ever had and is being propped up by a liberal media.

    November 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has had to make some tough decisions to save this country from the history of South Africa's apartheid policy of political, legal and economic separation where 2% control all the wealth and there is no middle class to share in the wealth who are most important for job creation and small business. Read the history of apartheid and ask yourself what's the difference in the Republicans political policies.

    November 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Polls are meaningless.

    November 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    He's lucky that many still approve. That isn't deserved.

    November 19, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Sorensen

    The White House seems to think, that this is just temporary trouble for Obama. As usual, they are dead wrong. And even
    without the "help" of Rahm Emanuel, the worst and strategically disastrous Chief of Staff ever.
    If Obama does not totally change his attitude, demeanor, toughness, etc. right now, he will have lost so much credibility,
    that not only will he eliminate everything he has halfway created the first two years, but he will never get elected to
    anything ever again. And deservedly so.
    Michelle Obama is probably the only person who truly understands this.
    Good luck with that. (Where is Hillary?)

    November 19, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. pkb

    Sadly, I can believe that only a half of Americans knew the GOP won the House. I listen intently to the political pundits on TV and the amount of BS coming over the airwaves is unbelievable. Most of these so-called "analysts" are uninformed and only repeat what they heard from other analysts or news bylines. CNN's analysts, Borger, Rollins, Martin, Yellin, et al., sound like morons with their giibberish opinions. One has to turn them off. Political opinions are not what we need. We need facts. As an example, on CNN recently, two young "analysts" were talking and one stated emphatically, that several Democratic House candidates won only because they voted against Pres O's healthcare bill. Amazing!! Does this analyst and CNN believe that the average American on Main Street went to the web and researched these politicians' voting record on the healthcare bill? This is the kind of gibberish Americans see and hear. I firmly believe that Americans are so fed up and when innundated with ideology, the politicially uneducated, simply get swept up. A prime example is the hate campaign the GOP launched against Nancy Pelosi. These same uneducated people don't know Pelosi from Palin, yet they feel that she must be a really bad person or there wouldn't be so much hate news about her.

    November 19, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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