CNN Poll: Obama vs. GOP in Congress
January 19th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama vs. GOP in Congress

Washington (CNN) – Although the public thinks that GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives will be good for the country, a new national poll indicates most Americans appear to prefer President Barack Obama's approach to the issues.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also suggests that new House Speaker John Boehner's star is on the rise.

Full results (pdf)

According to the poll, Americans say by a 50 to 41 percent margin that Republican control of the House is good for the country, and 56 percent predict that congressional Republicans will have more influence than the president over the direction the nation takes in the next two years.

"But that's not what they want," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By a 50 to 44 percent margin, the public wants Obama to have more influence than the GOP."

The poll indicates president and the GOP are essentially tied when it comes to their budget policies, with 46 percent saying they prefer Obama's proposals and 43 percent saying they favor the congressional Republicans approach to dealing with the tough choices involved both in cutting programs to reduce the budget deficit and still maintaining needed federal programs.

"Obama's numbers on those questions are far better than the figures Bill Clinton posted in 1995, when Newt Gingrich led the GOP to a takeover on Capitol Hill," adds Holland. "When Clinton defended himself in a press conference as still 'relevant' to the process, only 13 percent thought he would have more influence than the GOP and only 40 percent wanted him to do so."

According to the survey, another big difference between 1995 and today is the top Republican on the Hill. In 1995, Gingrich's favorable rating was stuck in the mid to high 20's. By contrast, Boehner's popularity has been on the rise since the election. The number who have a favorable opinion of Boehner has doubled since September and is up nine points since December. Forty-five percent now say they have a positive view of Boehner, compared to only 23 percent who have an unfavorable view of him. About a third of the public is still unfamiliar with the new Speaker.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Poll Archive • Extra • Hillary Clinton • John Boehner • John McCain • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Haha...as if using polls to create "news" where none exists isn't lazy enough...now we have the new and improved version: "here, you look at the raw data and interpret it for yourselves...we can't be bothered to write an article."

    January 19, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. GOP Taliban Victim

    Moot point because the Dem's were divided even in there own party. That's one reason why they lost because of spineless turncoats like Bayh, Nelson, Lincoln and Lieberman.

    January 19, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. diridi

    Obama is having brain, GOP does not have brain, nor thinking....o.k, They want to repeal the health care...you can think of...no brain....o.k, then they repeal fin. reg. reform, etc,,,

    January 19, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. betterdays

    That a majority of Americans prefer to receive the benefits of others' labor comes as no surprise in 2011.

    January 19, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Mikey

    Now we can hear all the "I make up my own reality" right wingers completely discount the polls. Of course, that's right after they claim that "most" Americans agree with them. That's because most of their friends and media idiots they limit themselves to all agree with them. It's life in the echo chamber. Hello – there's a real world out there that is based on real truth, real facts, real logic, and real science. Earth to wingnuts – are you receiving.....

    Let the denial begin.

    January 19, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. michael

    I find it amazing Boehner's popularity is rising....he hasn't done anything yet lol. Once again americans show how stupid they really are.

    January 19, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. w.buchanan

    This is why l cannot support the Republican Party or its sub-class of the Tea Party. They use scare tatics on the general population then allow the rich and corporate conglomerates to run their own agenda. Just like they want to repeal health care, they will not even give it a chance yet they offer no alternative. I have YET to see one republican representative, or even a tea party representative come up with an alternative.

    January 19, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. pwn3d

    Its not a fox news poll it cant be accurate...

    January 19, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Seriously?

    Let's see how people feel about Boehner in two years. Right now, he and the other Republicans are wasting time they could be using to help create jobs and deal with the business of the country. Instead, they are posturing on an empty vote to repeal something that the people of this country have been waiting a long time for – better health care. What a bunch of crap the Republicans sold the American people . . . See, no different that the last two years. It is all about trying to make Obama fail, not about trying to help fix the country. I hope all you that voted for these thugs remember this in two years.

    January 19, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Dave, Central Illinois

    The polls reflect the remaining stench of Pelosi's leadership. Once people see that new management is in charge, polls will rise.

    January 19, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Polls are nice.....and a great way to waste, err, pass the time, but in this instance they are useless.

    Hard to believe that Boo-Hoo's popularity is going up as he he's done NOTHING.
    Equally as hard to believe is that the public would prefer the Republican's approach at dealing with budgetary issues because they have yet to tell us how they would do that.

    Sooo.......support our President the only one doing anything about everything.

    Obama 2012. Period. End of discussion.

    January 19, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    The more Obama works with the Republicans and actually listens to their ideas, the more his popularity will increase because the more effective he will be.

    January 19, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Remmi

    If they wanted Obama to have more say they would have kept Pelosie and friends in charge.

    January 19, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. a6102658

    I am not worried about Boehner's rise in the polls, he is caustic enough that he will be in the basement soon, that is just his personality.
    Remember Congress has not done anything yet, wait, when they start pushing some real work, he will make your head
    turn twice.

    January 19, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Chipster

    How many of the people who responded in support of the President bothered to get out and vote. The American people will get what they deserve. They voted for gridlock and gridlock is what they will get.

    January 19, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. concerned liberal

    @ GOP victim "...Dem's were divided even in there own party. That's one reason why they lost because of spineless turncoats..."

    You forgot to list our turncoat-in-chief, rollover king Obama.
    Waiting to see broken promise of the day........

    January 19, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Phil in KC

    Gee, you mean the Republicans DON'T have a clear mandate from the American public? How shocking – particularly to the GOP.

    January 19, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. How about reporting some news for a change?

    Geeeeeeeeeez, can we stop with the polling for one flipping day? Here's a wild idea, how about reporting what is actually going on? Some background pieces to give context to the GOPs' proposals would be great. No wonder CNN is constantly trailing in the ratings.

    January 19, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. The Dude

    It's good to see the contrarion "independents" back in force. Those who have no real platform except hating those in power and consistently vote against their own best interests out of spite alone. "Throw the bums out!" They cried in midterm elections. Now it's "wait, the republicans haven't lived up to all their promises within the first 3 weeks of their term? Save us Obama!"

    Never doubt the predictability of stupidity

    January 19, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. doug

    The takers love Obama, the makers love the Republicans.

    January 19, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Liz the First

    I will never understand why people think divided government is s good thing, unless they just don't want anything accomplished. it's no longer two parties who want the same good things for the country, it's now one party that wants good things for the American people and the other party that wants good things only for the rich and powerful and the country be damned. one party's progress is the other party's crime against the country. the repubs offer no constructive solutions for the American people. they do everything for the benefit of their rich cronies while suckering poor and middle-class folks to vote for them based on hot-button social issues. when will the Fox zombies smarten up and see them for what they are???

    January 19, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. vic nashville tn

    GOP will be in big trouble by April 2011

    Many Americans want some changes in health care bill they don’t want to repel the whole bill
    Still companies are cutting jobs its affecting middle class and the cities income.

    Independents already tired of this congress

    January 19, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    So the Repubs cry (literally Boner does) about Dems working on health care instead of jobs, and the Dems actually do something about our screwed up healthcare system. Then Repubs gain a majority (only in the House, they were losers in the Senate) and focus on health care knowing what they do is all theater as Senate and White House will stop them.
    And the worst of this is there a segment of middle and working class people (tea-baggers & ditto-heads) too stupid to understand how the Repubs with Fox media are screwing the middle and working class.

    January 19, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    No fair, CNN...you changed the article after I posted that comment above. All the article was at the time was a link to the PDF of the results.

    "56 percent predict that congressional Republicans will have more influence than the president over the direction the nation takes in the next two years."

    Yep, backwards.

    January 19, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Rickster

    Remember the newly elected Hawaii democrat governor's vow to finally put to rest the Obama birth certificate issue so that the crazy people would stop saying that Obama was not a legal citizen?
    Well,......................"Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health."

    Nothing to see here....move along.

    January 19, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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