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. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    WOW!! Only 65% give Obama a thumbs down on his handling of the economy? Makes me wonder what planet the other 35% are on. Or maybe they have become so accustomed to a dismal economy over the last 3 years that they think this is now the new norm. It is downright scary that 35% of the people in this country would vote for 4 more years of record unemployment, non-existent growth and constant demands to spend money we do not have on projects we do not need and cannot afford.

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Barbara Goodsen

    He's ever such a nice man. It just isn't the right job for him.

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Sean

    For all who say it is the house's fault...what exactly did O get done in his first couple of years when he had Congress behind him completely? Oh he bailed out irresponsible millionaires and left the middle class out. Sorry...the party of no that you refer to is better than the party of O

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Eric

    So, what are the poll numbers on the Republican leadership?

    Oh, yea, they're worse.

    Eight quarters of economic growth yet you'all still cry at everything, keep anything from happening legislatively, and push an view that Obama is some how 'on the hook' to make it all better with anything but help from the GOP.

    Most of the middle don't pay much attention to politics until just before the election. Mid-term poll number have had no bearing on election results. Besides, even with all of the government layoffs the GOP has been pushing, overall we're still positive. That's a real sign of a healthy private sector. If I were a Republican candidate, I wouldn't count on the economy to be the big issue a year from this November.

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Reggie from LA

    That percentage is probably base on a considerable amount of ignorance. Folks need to understand the charts that tell the real story and also understand the political roadblocks being thrown up that influence derailment of positive economic growth. Quit whining and be glad that McCain ("pillars of our economy are stable") and that lady who needs to shut up, didn't win office. Then we'd see some scores. Amazing how many people buy that Obama has been detrimental to our economy. From those numbers, the Dems are starting to be dumbed down too. That's just great.

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Joe from Ohio

    The GOP's and Fox's (GOP headquarters) plan has been brilliant. Do nothing at all but say NO and hang the entire mess on Obama. Brilliant! Too bad about the economy tho....oh well

    September 1, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. NYDem

    Not surprising numbers since he has continued the failed conservative economic policy of supply side. All we've seen are tax cuts and more tax cuts with nothing to show for it. We need a serious attempt at more stimulus or this economy is going nowhere.

    September 1, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Linda

    Yea, cause those idiots in Congress won't let him do anything positive for the people of this nation! They are trying to take away every good thing that protects American people – and are insane for focusing on the deficit and the need to cut govenrment when we the peopel need it most! They are the culprits and their party put us in this mess- two wars that were not even on the books! Now Obama does the honest thing and puts the cost of Bush's wars on the books and the Tea Party blames him – it is sickening ! I can only pray that most Americans see and know the truth! Heaven help us if Perry or Romney would eve win- that would be the end of America and the beginning of the nutwing regime caring only for the wealthy and powerful!

    September 1, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Sy2502

    Fact: Obama and the Democrat Congress inherited an economic disaster.
    Fact: they had 2 years to work on the economy.
    Fact: their solutions didn't improve anything and they dug us into a bottomless pit of debt.
    Fact: Democrats will happily blame everything on Bush while ignoring the fact Obama and the Democrats have had 2 years to work on the problems. Nobody was expecting them to magically make the problems disappear, but make SOME positive difference!

    September 1, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. JohnP

    Hmm, let's see, how can I put this, ....oh yeah, Obama had both houses for two years, couldn't, and can't, get anything done, except to blame Bush. Anyone but Obama 2012.

    September 1, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Rickster

    Obama, along with Pelosi and Reid, have caused enormous damage to the democrat party. Not only will Obama get unceremoniously booted from office next year but the democrat party will be damaged for years.

    September 1, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. a person of interest

    We all forgot what got us in this mess is..... Interest only loans!!!!...We re-financed our homes like they were piggy banks...We were told that our houses were worth 3X or 4x than originally purchased....So then we bought H2's Hummers to drive our kids to school a mile from home, Mom's quit there jobs because there was extra money. We moved to the suburbs to bigger houses.... put pools in the houses...Bought trailers....Bought Harley's & dirt bikes....During that time people quit their usual jobto become lendesr, brokers, and a real estate agent....but didn't save any money.....Gas shot up on speculation from wall street....So then we couldn't drive
    from the suburbs in our suburbans & H2's because gas was too high.....So then we fell behind on the mortgages payments....Then eventually walked away from our homes....So there were no taxes being paid for schools, police & fire.....But to this day Americans blame Bush, Obama & even Clinton & Reagan, but never ourselves....Under Bush like him or not I took advantage of cutting my 30yr mortgage down to a 15yr...Under Obama like him or not I cut my mortgage, from a 15yr to a 10yr and in the process of buying a new home. It's not left or right it's about making good strong decisions between want & need!!!!!

    September 1, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Ferret out the B.S.

    It's unfortunate that we have now a very focused group of citizens that want nothing more than to try to make this president fail at any cost. They are so arrogant that the hopes, needs, and dreams of the rest are completely ignored. Propaganda and lies have more importance than truth and are perpetuated through a mass media that is nothing less than brainwashing the ignorant to their point of view.

    September 1, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Rich F

    President's always take the blame/credit for the economy ... comes with the territory. But, what I want to know is will the people blame the Republicans too? They were all about jobs during the 2010 election cycle, but where are their proposals (other than more tax cuts for corps and the wealthy ... their answer to EVERY issue). I've seen them spend legislative time and effort on light bulbs and abortion, but nothing on a comprehensive strategy to create jobs ... but then again, why should they? A bad economy supports their #1 objective ... making Obama a 1 term President. To hell with the country in the mean time!

    September 1, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. cnn

    Nice biasing CNN. How about posting all opinions. Not just the ones that further your agenda of supporting the person who is set on taking this country down. Or protecting CNN/ORC.

    September 1, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Russ from Md

    Hmm, let's see, how can I put this....oh yeah:
    Obamas' out in 2012

    September 1, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. David

    How pathetic you liberals look trying to make excuses for this President. For two years he had the majority in the House and Senate. Prior to that, Democrats owned the House and Senate, which helped to start the downward spiral leading to our current economic death roll. Sure, the Bush wars didn’t help, but neither did the irresponsible domestic spending and the Fed mortgage policy making affordable housing to people who had no business owning a home. Now you have the Executive branch and the Senate and you are still making excuses?! Face facts, he made promises that he couldn’t live up to because he lacks leadership. What did you expect from someone who has never worked in the private sector? I run a small business and I would NEVER hire anyone without business experience to run my company for the very reason we find ourselves in. Just saying...

    September 1, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. cn

    How can 1/3 of people be so dumb????

    All of you idiots blaming the House are idiots.. They have had the house for 10 months and are trying to stop the liberal bleeding. The Pelosi led Congress made this mess and the worst decision ever (Obamacare) happened on a Democratic Congress and presidential watch.

    September 1, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Humble American

    My fellow Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, we will get no where as long as we continue to put politics above people. Our Congress and even you are quick to take sides instead of doing what's best for our economy and nation to put people back to work. We have denegraded ourselves to taking sides and not compromising, in which everyone loses. If we lose as a nation, whether to blame the POTUS or Congress, we lose as Americans. If Congress won't set the example, then will you? It's past time Americans take the high road and fix the economy or we are going to be in serious economic peril.

    September 1, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Can someone explain exactly what the President can "do about the economy"?

    Congress controls the budget.

    The President spends only what Congress allows him to spend.

    We have a President, not a King.

    September 1, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. New Age Independent

    @ 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."

    Your theory is terribly flawed and invalid. Obama had both the house and senate in his pocket for years. Even now, the control in the house is minor at best. There are always ways to pull members "across the isle". Democrats have simply been unwilling to do this in many cases in Obama's administration.

    September 1, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. A True Centrist

    Wow...again with the excuse makers for President Obama. He had a FILIBUSTER PROOF majority for an extended period of time during his Presidency. The Republicans certainly started this mess under the Bush years but please, enough with the excuses. President Obama and the Dem lead Senate and House at the time made the situation MUCH, MUCH worse through awful policy. Plain and simple.

    September 1, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. ZeroZero

    Obama is president of the USA, not king of the USA. He, and every president before him, had BARELY any power on controlling the economy. The economy is effected by how the corporations are running, the mindset of the public, THE FED, and regulations set by CONGRESS. The ONLY thing the president can do is tell Congress to push for a regulation. In the end of the day, CONGRESS has the power. CONGRESS controls the USA. NOT THE PRESIDENT! WE ARE NOT THE USSR. THIS IS NOT A COMMAND ECONOMY. WHY DONT WE TEACH CIVICS ANYMORE???

    September 1, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. EatRunDive

    As I recall, Congress controls the pursestrings.

    September 1, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. bill

    Anyone but obama, 2012.

    September 1, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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