CNN Poll: Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down
July 22nd, 2011
01:01 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's approval rating is down to 45 percent, driven in part by growing dissatisfaction on the left with the president's track record in office, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International Poll also indicates that the Republican "brand" is taking a beating in the minds of Americans.

Read full results (pdf).

The survey's Friday release comes as the Obama administration and top congressional officials continue talks on a potential deal tying roughly $3 trillion in new savings over the next decade to an increase in the nation's debt ceiling. If Congress and the President fail to raise the country's $14.3 trillion limit by August 2, Americans could face rising interest rates, a declining dollar and increasingly jittery financial markets, among other problems.

According to the poll, the president's 45 percent approval rating is down three points from June. Fifty-four percent of people questioned disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties, up six points from last month. His 54 percent disapproval rating ties the all-time high in CNN polling that the president initially reached just before last year's midterm elections.

"But drill down into that number and you'll see signs of a stirring discontent on the left," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-eight percent say they disapprove because President Obama has been too liberal, but 13 percent say they disapprove of Obama because he has not been liberal enough - nearly double what it was in May, when the question was last asked, and the first time that number has hit double digits in Obama's presidency."

Looking at that figure another way, roughly one in four Americans who disapprove of the president say they feel that way because he's not been liberal enough.

Obama's approval rating among liberals has dropped to 71 percent, the lowest point in his presidency. And the number of Democrats who want the party to renominate Obama next year, now at 77 percent, is relatively robust by historical standards but is also down a bit since June.

"It's likely that this is a reaction to some of Obama's recent actions, including his willingness to discuss major changes in Social Security and Medicare as part of the debt ceiling negotiations," adds Holland.

Some congressional Democrats appeared to be on the verge of open revolt against their own president Thursday night after hearing some of the details in the $3 trillion plan - a package many of them contend does not do nearly enough to ensure wealthier Americans share in the burden of stemming the tide of Washington's red ink.

Those Democrats are desperately trying to protect some of their party's primary legacies - entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, programs forged at the height of the New Deal and Great Society.

On the other side of the negotiating table, the poll indicates that GOP is also not faring all that well. Fifty-five percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party, a seven-point increase since March. The Democratic party's favorable rating is not much better, but it has held steady.

And only 37 percent say the policies of the Republican leaders in Congress would move the country in the right direction - a nine-point drop since the start of the year, when the GOP took over control of the House of Representatives.

"Although most Americans say that Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP, even more say that the Republicans need to cooperate more with the president," says Holland.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on July 18-20, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.


Filed under: CNN poll • Debt • Deficit • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. AZ DEM

    These polls are interesting but I don't take very much stock in them. Liberals are either going to vote for Obama or not show up at all the latter is obviously the concern for 2012 but if we choose to remove our current president for ANY of the current GOP candidates it will be a disappointment that we didnt stand behind our president while he does all he can to better the country. I dont think we have to agree with all he or any future president does but our parties are too concerned about ousting the other and their number reflect the growing frustration. Common sense solutions to these issues are out there they just aren't beng given a fair chance because both parties are entrenched in ideology..Independents are watching.....

    July 22, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. C. Pope

    Who are these people polling? Certainly not the average American. How on earth do you blame Obama for this mess. He is tyring his best to get this country back on track. As for jobs, why don't some of these people who are yelling about Obama creating jobs, demand that jobs be brought back to this country!!! Do you realize how many people would be employed if half the jobs overseas were brought back here! He is trying.

    July 22, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. sf

    lol....those who's approval rating has dropped are the same ones that brought us both bushes and Reagan! that's why this country is dumb and cannot, and probably will not ever move forward in a positive manner!

    My opinion of Obama hasn't changed, it has and will remain positive. it's CONGRESS REPUBLICANS AND SENATORS that need to be replaced with people will work GOVERN AND WORK TOGETHER!

    July 22, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. RobertOKUSA

    The left says President Obama is not liberal enough, while the right says he is too liberal. That's means he is just about right!

    July 22, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. jorge washinsen

    Is that possible?

    July 22, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. jorge washinsen

    I will bet it is.

    July 22, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Truthwillsetyoufree

    The only thing I can say about this is that I hate the GOP jerks far worse and will not ever vote for them ever. Don't let them slip in or we are screwed... I am disappointed with Obama right now too but I am totally disgusted with the other choices... Apples and rocks.. pick one for your health...

    July 22, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Aaron

    If Obama would take a stand against the Repubs and not back down, his approval ratings would be very high. He has repeatedly taken hardline stances against the Repubs and their rich croonies and oil companies, then caved into them. No one likes a weak leader.

    July 22, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Osamabama

    It doesn't take CNN to tell us this – We are living with his poor decisions each and every minute. USSA in the making and she is almost complete.....

    July 22, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. MMARIO

    You need Cojones to deal with Banksters such as Bank Of America, Wells Fargo....this Pillage have to stop...Modification Scam...

    July 22, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. smartlogic

    This just in: nobody is surprised.

    July 22, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. CT

    There are 40% in this Nation that thinks he can do NO wrong no matter what happens. Just blame the other guys and lay down to any government expansion.

    July 22, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. GWEB

    Hmmm, did they ask the same people and they say that their opinion of him has dropped or did they ask a different group and they say this? The former would mean that we have a bunch of flip flops and the latter would mean maybe this polling thing is flawed and misleading.

    July 22, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Mr G

    Bye Bye Obama...........

    July 22, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    if they do nothing, we will have high unemployment and inflation!!!! Wait!!! we already have high unemployment and inflation!!!! WTF?????

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. ProudJew613

    Good hope we see the last of this joke next election. Worst president EVER.

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Aaron Burr

    Obama not liberal enough? Pleaaaaasssse give me a break. "O" makes Eisenhower look like a flaming liberal. Thanks to the road kill media, the center in this country has been moved so far to the right, most people are brain dead as to what constitutes liberal and conservative.

    And would that same road kill media STOP calling SSI (the "I" stands for INSURANCE) an "entitlement? Or is the entire media complex – with all six of their corporate whore owners – suckling from Grover Norquist's (disgusting" teat?

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Vanessa

    Nobody is never happy with a president.. though 2 me, this president is doing an outstanding job, considering what he has against him. Now more than ever I want another 4years for him to continue this difficult path.. he has my vote 100%.. as well as my Hispanic community! We count & we see & remember all the BS that the Republicans have tried to do. We're patient & we know president Obama is looking out for us! Obama/Biden.

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. PJ

    If Liberals stop supporting Obama ......think of the alternatives!!!! All Liberal agendas would be tabled with any of the GOP candidates.

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. dirtystone

    And his ratings will sink even further in a year when people realize the economy is continuing to sink.

    July 22, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Name

    Americans are stupid, alot of liberals are too. I would love to hear peoples reasons on what he should be doing differently. Anything he offers to do is shot down by congress. You cant lead if people arent willing to follow. Wake up america, support the man YOU put in office.

    July 22, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    Principle trumps principal. Obama is failing us in health care, debt ceiling dance, surrendered to the generals, failed in financial reform, did not nominate Elizabeth Warren, and in general has moved toward the right instead of leading from the front. He talks too much and does not walk the talk.

    July 22, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Dave from GA

    Liberals need to give up some of what they need. The same thing with ultra conservatives.

    July 22, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Tony

    Good..Keep his approval ratings falling. I dont see how 45% of people still like this LOUSY President whose experience as a community organizer is finally coming back to hurt him. GOOD RIDDANCE in 2012!!!

    July 22, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Jay Jay

    If Obama restricts social security to seniors he will have effectively abrogated all credibilty as a leader.

    July 22, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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