New CNN Poll: 65% give Obama thumbs down on economy
September 1st, 2011
05:00 AM ET
3 years ago

New CNN Poll: 65% give Obama thumbs down on economy

Washington (CNN) - Only a third of all Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy, according to a new national survey.

And with a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicating that more than three-quarters of the public say the country is in bad shape right now, there's little wonder why the president is getting such low marks.

According to the poll, released Wednesday morning, 28 percent of people questioned say things are going well in the country today.

"That may be a slight uptick from early August but it still represents a double-digit drop from earlier this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And it's clear that economic jitters are a drag on President Obama's standing with the voting public."

Obama gets good marks for his handling of international issues. Six in ten approve of his handling of terrorism and roughly half like his track record on foreign affairs in general and Libya in particular.
And 53 percent say they trust Obama as the nation's commander-in-chief.

But only 34 percent approve of how the president is handling economic issues, with 65 percent saying they disapprove of how he’s handling the economy. Thirty-three percent give him a thumbs up on the budget deficit and 37 percent approving of how he's dealing with unemployment.

"Two-thirds of Democrats continue to approve of Obama's economic record, but seven out of ten independents disapprove. Not surprisingly, more than nine out of ten Republicans also disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy,” adds Holland.

According to CNN poll numbers released last week, the president's overall approval rating stands at 45 percent.

The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted August 24-25, with 1,017 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 report.


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Obama can only do so much without Congress. If the GOP controlled House is unwililng to do something to help the country, then Obama and the Senate can't get anything done.

    September 1, 2011 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  2. Obama Voter

    How can the president get anything done when the "party of NO" obstructs everything in the presidents agenda to help move the country forward? GOP/Teaparty will stop at nothing to obstruct this great President's ideals. My question to the house of Rep's. Where are the jobs you promise since 2010? The house of GOP/TP never intended to create a jobs bill. I sent $100 to the Obama campaign but after this artlice, I have sent another $100 just because he is going against the harsh and careless Boehner/McConnell Obstructionist. Obama/Biden 2012

    September 1, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  3. Indy

    The real question is do the 65% know why the WORLDWIDE economy is in the tank ? Have these 65% looked outside of their windows to see what is happening in all the other countries ? What percentage of these 65% overspent on their homes,boats,campers, and cars and then demanded cheaper price for their household goods and forced business owners to get goods manufactured in China ? Every single person has some blame in the economic situation around the world, there is not one party or one President of any country that is fully responsible for the mess.

    September 1, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  4. John, PA

    In what nation did you take this poll ????
    8 out of 10 or 80% where I work don't agree with this president, don’t trust this president, won’t support president Obama in 2012. No surprise; the teleprompter president with bad poll numbers. It’s 2011 and we have 20+ percent unemployment, 0 percent on earnings, the teleprompter president and Democratic Party in Congress have no clue how to manage the American economy.

    September 1, 2011 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  5. Steve-Illinois

    The 34% must either be in line for government handouts, working for the government, or just plain stupid!

    September 1, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  6. Ed

    The only thing Obama is up is spending more than any other President, ramming more bills down our throats (Health Care), no leadership skills, blaming everybody else but himself, and the list goes on.

    How long can we take this kind of change before we are sold out to other countries.

    Vote for change in 2012 vote Obama out we can't afford him and his out of control party spending.

    September 1, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  7. Barry

    This is the worst US president in recent history. All these promises in 2008 and no show. Next year it is over.

    September 1, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. Dakota

    He started his presidency with misplaced priorities. Although health care reform was important, the timing was horrendous. It contributed to uncertainty and to the malaise with regard to unemployment. Furthermore, he knew that this was a serious economic disaster, yet he treated it like Bush treated Katrina – just throw money at it and hope it goes away. I hope by now he has realized his mistakes and will take serious corrective action. His next speech should tell us whether he is still blaming his predecessor, or if he is really ready to take the bull by the horns. The problem is that the GOP can only offer dim whits and political pimps for alternatives. As a political party, the GOP and their ideology is completely out of step with main street. I am looking forward to their demise.

    September 1, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  9. TomInRochNY

    As bad as these numbers are they are still much better than the Rs, Ds and R candidates' numbers. What was that Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times. Yeah real interesting.

    September 1, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  10. Thingumbobesquire

    And the remaining 35% are rumored to be clinically insane...

    September 1, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  11. laucher

    Shame about the economy. It has taken 40 years to get to the state your economy has become and everybody seems to expect President Obama to turn the ship around in 2-1/2 years. In my country we had the same problem and it took us 20 years to turn the ship around. Rather unrealistic of the American public. It does not help when he has to fight his own party and the GOP plus all the vested interests as well. I wonder if Americans really know what is going on behind the scenes besides the headline sensationalism that seems to be prevailing in your media.

    September 1, 2011 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  12. sunRise

    For some reasons, I just couldn't blame a person who never has a fair chance to do his job. The economy is bad, no doubt. What I blame is congress.

    September 1, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. boogietime

    So how is that change working out for everyone then? Did you not realize when you voted that not all change was good and that this guy did not have a clue how to do anything but give a good speech?

    September 1, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. WiscBadger

    Don't blame congress for Obama's lack of leadership skills.

    September 1, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. LIP

    Everyone needs to stop blaming Obama and Bush and Clinton and all the other past presidents and Congress and get on with trying to bring this disaster to a halt. This is world wide and has nothing to do with anyones past spending eccentricities. We need a President that can stop politicing for ten minutes and a Congress, both Democtratic and Republican that will work together to begin the process of solving these problems or at least move in the right direction together. The people also need to forget about their petty political views and write their congressmen and maybe even their President to encourage them to do what is right qnd best for our country.

    September 1, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. jjp

    Obama promised change but we thought he was going to make positive changes. He has done little to make anything better.

    September 1, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Anon

    Our budget problems are from several years of Republican leadership. President Obama is faced daily with the child-like behavior of congress. So quick to say how bad he is, but He cannot even schedule a speech, because it interfered with their agenda to roadblock everything our President wants to accomplish. OBAMA 2012 !!!!

    September 1, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. RobertFTL

    These polls are ridiculous...who is CNN polling? We have three branches of government to pass laws to stimulate the economy. One branch "Congress" would rather the country fail to make President Obama a one term president. The poll should have included Congress's approval rating on the economy too. CNN loves playing god with politics trying to sway/alter public opinion. My prediction is CNN will claim victory for Perry before all the votes are counted in 2012.

    September 1, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. A Soldier

    I can say that most military member dont trust the President as Commander in Chief. What outsiders think of him as Commander in Chief is meaningless.

    September 1, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. DannyCali

    Obama already changed many many times but Republican said no and the Party of Republican still big "NO" and "NO" their don't want to change and he still do better than the other Republican candidate.

    September 1, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Larry love

    How can anybody say that this is the worst president in recent memory? Last I recall GWB inherited one of the best state of the unions in recent history and in 8 long years left us with the worst state of the union in recent memory. So what your saying is its much more important to spend a trillion dollars on a false and illegal Irag war but not ok to spend a trillion here at home trying to fix a completely broken health care system. Pull your Head out people you are being manipulated!!!!

    September 1, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. no end in sight

    Those claiming to be Obama/Biden in 2012 are simply saying that they dont work for a living, don't care about rising taxes
    and don't care about their children or grandchildre. Why do I say that ? Simple, this year, the US will spend $250 billion dollars just to finance the existing debt. Think of that – $250 Billion, thats a lot of money to be spending on interest payment for past spending sprees. And this President ? He just adds to the bill that future generations will have to pay. So I don't think of the Obama/Biden ticket in 2012 is going to do so well. And even though the media lies about the Tea Party, please remember they were voted into office to stop the out-of-control spending by the present Administration.

    September 1, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. QS

    This idea that the president should get the blame for everything whether it's his fault or not is childish to me. It's essentially taking the easy way out for many people who simply don't know, or don't care to know, just whose fault the economy really is.

    I for one look deeper than that and give credit where due, but also place blame where it should be placed...and in this case the majority of the blame should go to the right wing.

    I've said it many times since the '08 election – many people apparently expected Obama to come in and fix everything in less than one term and now because so many Americans are trapped in their instant gratification worlds they actually think he has failed the country because he couldn't fix everything in that short a time.

    Now add to that what we more than likely would have ended up with for an economy had McCain/Palin won....think about it!

    Mr. President, the only thing I wish you would try to do more of is pushing harder against the right wing and doing what you can to put them in their place! Thank you for your hard work in what is a thankless job much of the time!

    September 1, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. CNNTom

    Clinton, Bush, and Obama have really dug into a whole. Obama really believes government solves our problems when he's actually making it much worse. The only way we're going to turn this around is to go belly up and rebuild unless we get some real leadership in Washington.

    September 1, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Liberal Elite = Anyone with an education...

    ...and in related news – the same 65% have no clue how our system of government works. They are laboring under the delusion that congress does not authorize and appropriate every single dime the President spends. Unless you want a dictator, you need to accept that the President cannot unilaterally solve the world's problems when the other two branches of government are merrily running the country into the ground in an ill-advised strategy to attempt to win back the presidency. Corporations are NOT people too, and the President cannot solve all your problems when he is blocked at every turn!

    September 1, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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