CNN Poll: Obama presidency a success or failure?
January 20th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama presidency a success or failure?

Washington (CNN) – As President Barack Obama marks two years in office, a new national poll indicates that Americans are divided over whether his presidency has so far been a success or failure.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, 45 percent say the first two years of the Obama administration have been a success, with 48 percent describing it as a failure. The poll's Thursday release comes on the second anniversary of the inauguration of Obama as president.

Full results (pdf)


"The generation gap that surfaced in the 2008 election persists two years later," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Most people who are 50 or older say that Obama has been a failure in office; a plurality of younger Americans think his administration has been a success."

Last year, on Obama's first anniversary in the White House, CNN polling indicated the public was also split, with 47 percent saying the Obama presidency was a success and 48 percent terming it a failure.

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.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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


Filed under: CNN poll • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Padraig

    I am not sure how you can call his time in the office a success. Items that he pledged to get rid of are still here (ex. GITMO, Patriot Act), unemployment that would never be higher than 7% if he was elected is hovering at 16 to 17%, and this list can go on. Our defecit has doubled in two years.

    No, he has not been successful to the people of this country but has been to certain large corporations and unions.

    January 20, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Tao

    Unwaivering, irrefutable success!

    January 20, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. seriously?

    how can a 4 year term be a failure after just 2 years?

    January 20, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Kris

    It's been two.years. We cannot decide if a Presiden't term has been a success or a failure after two years. At two years, most people probably would've considered Clinton to be a failure, yet ended up being successful and re-elected. Bush had a majority (in polls) saying his first term was a failure, and still was re-elected. The only thing that has failed in the last two years has been people who refuse to understand that compromise, despite not being great for everyone, is the best option and the one that will be the most successful.

    January 20, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Sal Lim

    Obama's critisisms are obviously drawn by the slow pace of the economic recovery of the nation but overall considering the enormity of the problems created by the various factors that are none of his making, still his performance is way above par. The direct measures and policies he initiated to bring back the country to its feet really save this nation from the brink of disaster.

    January 20, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Bill

    Barack Obama's first two years in office have been an unqualified success:

    Stocks way up, one war ending, no new wars, economic calamity averted, health insurance reformed, patients bill of rights, blocking deceptive banking practices, tax breaks for the middle class, more student loans, credit card corporate scams blocked, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, New START treaty signed, etc., etc.

    Thank you, Mr. President

    January 20, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Suzanne

    President Obama's presidency is absolutely a success – I say this because he has been able to get things done IN SPITE of the stonewalling, obstruction of the GOP. Not only have they behaved unethically and unfairly, they have promoted out and out lies about the president and have let fringe elements do their bidding – calling the president a socialist or Hitler, things of that nature – or yelling out during his address to congress that he was a liar. Absurd behavior like this will not endear their party to me one bit. I stopped voting for Republicans and it is the best decision I ever made. Good for President Obama, he has stayed the course and has done it with eloquence and grace. How the man can keep is temper in the face of those bozos is beyond me.

    January 20, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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