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. Canuck

    President Obama is not perfect and he has disappointed many on the left, as well as on the right. However given the freak show that the Republicans have come up with to try to unseat him I can't see how he can fail to win in 2012.

    November 7, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. steven harnack

    What's always missing is the explanation that some of the disapproval comes from those of us who want him to give up on trying to compromise with Republicans, apply some big stick, and get things accomplished.

    November 7, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. A Repulbican

    Obama will win, I have no doubt, unfortunately for my party. But we don't have a compelling alternative, we have a flip-flop no conviction Romney. Some say just hold your nose it's better tahn obama, I beg to differ, I will not be part of electing such a cn-politician who just wants to say he was once president, never will i vote for Romney, it's just wrong!

    November 7, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Liz the First

    This poll shows how gullible some folks are, and that's what the repugs are counting on. they're counting on us being too lazy or oblivious to realize the party of NO is the reason Obama hasn't been able to do as much as he could have. Obama's biggest mistake was believing the rethugs were sane, rational people who could be reasoned with and worked with for the betterment of the country. HA!!!!!!!! let's hope he doesn't make that mistake again in his second term, and if we've wised up by then, he'll have far fewer of them in congress to deal with. then he can do the things we elected him to do.

    November 7, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    It boggles the mind that 45% still approve of this guy...

    November 7, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. AmericanLady

    The president's poll numbers are very high compared to the GOP's. The GOP apparently has decided to do everything in their power to hold back the middle class in the hope the country will blame President Obama. I am ready to give up on the GOP.

    November 7, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. S.positive

    President Obama will win in 2012

    November 7, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In spite of Obama's successes in foreign policy and turning the Bush republican near depression around, the lower life forms, who watch Fox, will continue to be armed with their misinformation and corporate talking points and will still deny reality.

    November 7, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Despite the GOP saying that Obama should go (and a concerted effort to do that with blocked legislation), there is no clear real alternative since they have no new ideas. All those ideas have either been tried and failed or overly favor the wealthy who haven't been doing much here to help job growth in the past few years anyhow.

    November 7, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Anonymous

    What's the alternative, GOPers? For a group of folks hell bent on screaming that President Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to America, it certainly seems as if your party isn't exactly taking the economy seriously enough to actually put forth candidates equipped to do more than outshine each other in bizarre attitudes and economic plans taking America back to the disastrous results we had with GW Bush.

    November 7, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. roger of northridge ca

    obama will win again .....he is for the people and a hard working president whos aim to make america great .....he got my vote........

    November 7, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. willard

    I said mocked out of omalley that I said warning that untied states are keep out of afrcain amercian cause afrcian amercian are keep crime of check scam but who people got check scam from afrcian amercian so I would like file charge against afrcian amercian. That is true

    November 7, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Patrick samolu

    I agree with Clinton when he blame Obama for not passing the debt ceiling bill when democrats were in control of the congress.

    November 7, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. J. Olver

    And the Republican controlled House ratings are nestled sweetly in single digits. Americans are not happy with the situation we're in but they know full well that it is Republican intransigence that is to blame. From the day after Obama was elected to the Presidency the Republican Party leaders have made it clear in statement after statement that their sole goal was to prevent Obama's reelection – no matter what the cost to the nation.

    Republicans have nothing to offer but the same ideas that go us into this mess. If Americans give them control of the country again we deserve what we'll get.

    November 7, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Mark

    I am disappointed his was tried too hard to along with the GOP. But that doesn't mean I'll vote for any of the freaks running on the GOP side of the aisle. What Obama needs is a Democratic version of Carl Rove. The dirtier the better.

    November 7, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. balansact

    I am also disappointed that Obama hasn't been able to accomplish more, but he has actually made a bit of progress on his list. I am totally appalled by the Congress, in particular the GOP. Although I consider myself more a moderate than a liberal, I hope that all those liberals who are disappointed still go out and support Obama in the 2012 election. I still blame the Nader voters for letting Bush slip into the White House.

    November 7, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Lizzie

    Wire Palladin, keep watching MSNBC, NBC,CBS,ABC and you will never find out the truth about anything. But then you sound so brainwashed, and tingles run up your leg evertime your fearles leader speaks.

    November 7, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. willard

    I'm belived that Gop are strongest than presdient obama that is true

    November 7, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. george of the jungle

    the repo mentality to vote for anyone just to replace Obama is stupid and dangerous. They don't seem to care what happens to the country as long as they win. Then their select few billionars will run this country. Obama is out every day showing support for the American people. and trying to get things done. What things he has accomplished gets pushed back because of the economy. I would rather have our current president than some one like Caine or Rhomney. And the rest of the pack gets even worse.

    November 7, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Frank

    He is doing the best he can in the face of determined GOP obstructionism on anything that will help this nation. He got Bin Laden, Ghaddafi, has had 20 months of private sector job growth, and pulled this country back from the brink of another Great Depression.

    November 7, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Roger

    Well, I disapprove of his job performance, but I will still vote for him over any of the current GOP contenders!

    November 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    2willard- Well put, Mittens.

    November 7, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. texan

    Amazingly high after the brutal, relentless attack from ALL Repuglicans............... However, they are just doing what their "handlers" tell then to do.

    November 7, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. David

    Unfortunately, the GOP has been hijacked by the extreme right & is no longer a viable option.

    November 7, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Rambling Parry

    Patrick said
    I agree with Clinton when he blame Obama for not passing the debt ceiling bill when democrats were in control of the congress.

    I also agree but how could Obama have known he would face a very hostile Congress.

    November 7, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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