CNN Poll of Polls: President's approval rating remains in the mid-forties
November 7th, 2011
10:20 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: President's approval rating remains in the mid-forties

Washington (CNN) – Sunday began the one-year countdown to the 2012 presidential election when President Obama and a yet-to-be-determined GOP candidate will face off for the White House. A CNN Poll of Polls released Monday reveals the president's approval rating is still under 50%.

According to the CNN Poll of Polls, which is an average of the most recent national surveys, 45 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling his job and 51% disapprove.

"Approval ratings are a useful measure of an incumbent's chances of re-election, but they are not meant to be a prediction of the vote in the next election," notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In Obama's case, for example, polls indicate that roughly one in three Americans who disapprove of him feel that way because he has not been liberal enough. Those people may not vote for Obama by staying at home on election day or voting for a third-party candidate, but they are probably not going to vote Republican."

The CNN Poll of Polls of the presidential approval rating one year out from the election is an average of three national polls released in November: Gallup daily tracking poll (November 3-5); ABC/Washington Post (October 31-November 3); and Reuters/Ipsos (October 31-Nov 3). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

The president's approval rating appears to be a reflection of the slow-to-recover economy and repeated standoffs with Congress, including the Republican-led House of Representatives, have hurt the Obama presidency.

Unemployment numbers have remained above the 8% figure projected by the White House during the push for a first economic stimulus, though the October 2011 jobs report reflected that unemployment has ticked down to 9%.

Although Obama can add the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, strikes on significant al Qaeda leaders, and troop withdrawals from Iraq to his national security resume, a stymied economy and threats of a double-dip recession remain on voters' minds.

The president hit the road over the past two months to sell his American Jobs Act to the public, a measure designed to boost infrastructure and promote job growth. The bill failed to pass in the U.S. Senate has since been broken into pieces in an attempt to revive measures of the president's proposal. Obama has railed against a do-nothing Congress while his opponents balk at the bill they describe as a second stimulus.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN Poll of polls • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Bobbi

    Wow! All the above must be receiving food stamps, government assistant, mosque, poor education, support illegals taking our money, etc. This is our future. We are doomed.

    November 7, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Keeping it Real

    Liz the First "This poll shows how gullible some folks are,"

    The liberal delusion:
    1) If the polls supports your position, then it must be true
    2) If the polls say you are wrong, then people are gullible

    Sorry, you can't have it both ways. Obama and the Democrats had complete control of the government for 2 years and failed to make any progress. The whole "Party of No" bit is a fallacy. Obama hasn't been able to convince his own party of his policies either. To say that his policies couldn't bring over two or three Republicans is an example of how poor his efforts have been. If anything, Democrats have been more of a roadblock here; Reid has consistently issued his "dead on arrival" statement to anything Republicans have offered, but yet you ignore this fact. Democrats have shut out Republicans from critical meetings, yet you ignore this too. So much for your sane and rational. The facts speak for themselves; Obama's policies have failed miserably in pretty much all areas. To want a continuation of those policies of waste and corruption would be insane.

    November 7, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. DumbasRocks [R]s

    "It boggles the mind that 45% still approve of this guy..." Son, it boggles YOUR mind, not mine. Obama has done a fine job. One need look no further than that he saved the country from the Great [R] Depression, something that you apparently wanted to happen with your vote for McCain in 2008. ....talk about boggling the mind....who could hate America that much?

    Wrap you boggled mind around this: compare Obama's approval rating with that of the Congressional [R]s. That sticky feeling you are experiencing is marmelade, which has been applied to you becasue you are toast.

    November 7, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Granger

    lamest president the USA has ever had. What an embarrassment this all turned out to be.

    November 7, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Mack

    All repubs want is more corporate welfare for the 1%. We can't afford to give more bailouts, special treatment and corporate welfare to the top 1% anymore.

    November 7, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. tee66

    I have talk to 47 voters in the office building that i work in and they are 20 different company in the building. And most are Republican voters and note they all said this Republican field is Unelectable and they will vote for Obama. And most say they blame mitch mcconnell for the economy problems. Remember he said his number one gold was to make Obama a one term at any cost even if it ment taking down the economy. Now these are Mcconnell`s words.

    November 7, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. B

    I will echo balansact's comment in hoping the liberal's who are disappointed in Obama will be smart enough to still go out and vote for him. It's a year away, so things can still improve in that time, but it's simply ignorant to stay home. Likewise, I hope the independents will wise up from 2010 and realize that the Republicans they voted in have been harmful with their obstructionism. Hopefully with a second term for Obama, without re-election to think about and a hopefully Democrat-controlled Congress (although the way they argue among themselves is maddening), this country will begin really moving forward again. That's a lot of hoping, but the alternatives are too awful to consider. There have been a lot of positive results under Obama, but they haven't been splashy (domestically) and they haven't been quick. Doesn't mean they haven't been there. It could have been so, so much worse, and the fact that it wasn't/isn't is a real accomplishment. I wish more people would realize that.

    November 7, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Fred

    "Obama can add the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, strikes on significant al Qaeda leaders, and troop withdrawals from Iraq"

    The troop withdrawals were set up by the Bush administration. Obama did nothing but follow the plan Pres. Bush established. Pres. Obama has done little, even with near supermajorities in the House and Senate for his first two years in office. Mostly what he did was blame Pres. Bush and then do nothing. Now he just blames Pres. Bush or the GOP instead of trying to actually work with Congress.

    November 7, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Scott

    What the polls do seem to indicate is that a majority of the majority who diapprove of the Obama job performance feel that way becuse he has been an inept socialist. Thanks CNN for trying to spin this into a postive look at a negative candidate.

    November 7, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. one voice

    If more people had their heads screwed on right President Obama's rating should be in the 80's. GET REAL

    November 7, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. glyder

    if the polls are accurate,we are screwed as a free country.too many will vote for the current marxist in the white house and say something incredibly stupid such as the gop bunch is just a freak show.with romney being the least of them.and so it will go,romney or obama.either one will be a loss for freedom loving people and a gain for the progressives.rep.or dem.

    November 7, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. epicism

    Not bad. I think it'll only go higher as his accomplishments come to light throughout the campaign. This president's failure has been vastly overstated, mostly to divisive ends. The truth is, only congress can fix what ails us now.

    November 7, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. SaintM

    I say keep President Obama where he is and vote those out of congress and senate who are making our president swim hard upstream to get anything done. I admire President Obama's perseverence. Being president is one hell of a grand scale responsibility–18 – 20 hour days, everyone wanting 5 minutes, and your resolve and judgment being tested at every turn. No way can any of the republican candidates function as well as President Obama has–against almost unsurmountable odds. We need an intellegent thinker. I'm sure he knows which cabinet positions to trade out in his second administration and is thinking about those even now. We can help Obama be an even more effective president the second time around by removing the human road blocks that create such headaches for him.

    President Obama 2.0 – 2012

    November 7, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Michael

    At this same point in their presidencies, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush's approval points were lower than President Obama's.

    November 7, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. ISee

    Congress is willing to keep millions out of work only to prevent Obama from being re-elected.

    November 7, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    "Not bad. I think it'll only go higher as his accomplishments come to light throughout the campaign."
    -------–
    In case you haven't noticed, Obama has nothing to campaign on. Nothing. His handlers are negative campaigning on his potential opponents.

    November 7, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. emma

    If Americans really believe that cutting taxes for the people who buy Congress, it seems they just do not understand how votes for Republican candidates is against their own best interests. We have already experienced deregulation and a tax cut for the wealthy ( 2000 through 2008), yet job loss, instead of job growth occurred and set the stage for continuing job losses. The GOP objective to disempower Obama has gotten in the way of legislation that disempowers all Americans other than the very wealthy. This country needs Obama for another four years and needs more Congress members who are not on the extreme right.

    November 7, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Polls are nice, aren't they?...
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    November 7, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. PHinMiami

    Oh for Heaven's sake, such short memories the voters have. That's the type of ignorance the GOP depends on. The Bu$h failed policies have taken their toll of our economy. It takes a long time to stop a train and longer to reverse direction. The trillions spent on war alone lined the pockets of the Bu$h family with United Defense, not to mention Cheney's $$ interests.

    November 7, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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