CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats' support for Obama drops
November 23rd, 2011
11:56 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats' support for Obama drops

Washington (CNN) - Although President Barack Obama's overall approval rating remains steady, his standing among Democrats, and in particular among blue-collar Democrats, appears to have dropped, according to a new national survey.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday, 44% of Americans say they approve of the job the president's doing in the White House, with 54% saying they disapprove of how Obama is handling his duties. The president's approval rating has hovered in the same mid-40's range since June in CNN surveys.

Full results (pdf)

But the poll indicates that there has been some change when Democrats are asked whether they want to see their party renominate Obama, with 26% of Democrats saying that they would prefer the party to nominate another Democrat for president next year, up from 18% in October.

Nonetheless, a robust 72% of Democrats are still in the president's corner - and in any case, the changes are strictly hypothetical, since there is no indication that Obama will face a serious challenger in any primary next year.

"The biggest change comes among white Democrats with no college education, a group typically considered the core of the party's blue-collar constituency," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Half of all white Democrats with no college education say they don't want President Obama heading their party's ticket next year."

Then-Sen. Obama's appeal to blue collar whites was limited in the 2008 cycle. In the Democratic primaries they tended to back his main rival, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. And in the general election they went for the Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee, by 18 points, according to CNN exit polls.

The CNN survey indicates that the president's signature piece of domestic legislation - last year's health care reform bill - remains unpopular, although some of the opposition comes from people who think the bill should have gone farther. Thirty-eight percent favor the new health care law; 37% oppose it because they think it is too liberal and another 14% oppose it because they believe it is not liberal enough.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from November 18-20, with 1,019 adult Americans, including 504 Democrats and independents who lean Democratic 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: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Socialist for a Socialist America

    > 26% of Democrats saying that they would prefer the party to nominate another Democrat for president next year, up from 18% in October.

    >"Half of all white Democrats with no college education say they don't want President Obama heading their party's ticket next year."

    How can Obama win in 2012 with high level of non-support, even from Democrats?

    November 23, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    What I could not discern from the article was whether the blue collar voters thought him to be too liberal or too moderate. I know that Obama has disillusioned much of his base because of his failure to move certain pieces of legislature and honor some of his campaign pledges. These are mostly due to his willingness to move to the right (center). It may play well with independents – if they're paying attention – but it does not play well with his base.

    November 23, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. gt

    blue dogs are nearly gone after the last election... people like sen. mankin or rep. heath shuler.. have no ear in the nancy

    November 23, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I disapprove of my favorite football team when they throw the ball too much or my liking. Disapproval means you do not agree with what is being or getting done. Disapprobal doesn't always mean that you disagree with who is doing it.

    November 23, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Don

    Maybe so, but too bad there is no one better to vote for. President Obama is more wholeheartedly supporting of middle-class/working-class Americans then all the GOP candidates put together. Just go ahead and say it.

    November 23, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. doug

    Blue-collar democrats are the ones who are educated, obama is not & the only reason why his pupularity among them is slipping is becuase his policies he passed into law along with those he is proposing is to communistic 4 them !

    November 23, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    well why don't they just go and support a Republican. The GOP seems to LOVE blue collar workers and union members, just ask the folks in Ohio and Wisconsin.

    November 23, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. tee66

    I work for a big company and we have a CEO and president i have talk to the two of them and they are no big fan of the GOP and never will be. And what struck me the most is when they said the reason this country is in bad shape and many have no job is because of the independent voters and the Blue Democrats sellouts. This is not coming from me this is coming from President & CEO of a large company i work for. WOW

    November 23, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Linda Alexander

    cnn polls dont count they are republicans this station is full of lies. and wolf is a republican as well, cnn must be polling the light polls that you see going down the highway ya think???

    November 23, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    "How can Obama win in 2012 with high level of non-support, even from Democrats?"
    ------------

    when they see the theological Taliban nominee the GOP throws out there,
    Obama will not only get this support but a lot more independents

    November 23, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    Obama has chosen to spend his time playing political games rather than helping Main Street Americans who have been having a tough time. They are not impressed.

    November 23, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    They are finally beginning to see the light.

    Obama is not the messiah they thought he was. He is just a man, and one not good at his job.

    November 23, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Reggie from LA

    I realize that the blue collar sector feels pain and a sense of distrust and lack of confidence in the President. Just a piece of advice and I offer it with care, knowing intimately what we feel. Make sure you are doing your research. President Obama doesn't puff our his chest about a number of things that have been accomplished in his administration. We should be mindful of that. Another thing is, make sure we are doing due diligence to learn more before we disenfranchise ourselves, based upon the whiny opinions of others. He pushes hard for us, but is often pushed back. His help has been diminished by our faillure to be there in 2010. You wanna make things worse, don't be there in 2012.

    November 23, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Polls ar nice, aren't they.
    The election is still 1 year out.
    Let's see how the blue-collar, non-college educated base feels about him when he himself gets to expound on what he has accomplished in spite of virtually complete and absolute obstruction, and on The Other Team's record of lies, asherence to extremist and counter-productive pledges, and clear willingness to throw blue-collars under the bus in their haste to protect blue-bloods at all cost.
    Obama/Biden 2012. Seriously America.

    November 23, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Socialist for a Socialist America

    >when they see the theological Taliban nominee the GOP throws out there,
    >Obama will not only get this support but a lot more independents

    Aren't they more likely to just stay at home and not vote? Or are you saying they'll hold their nose and vote for Obama anyways? If they sit it out, I think Obama would lose. I guess they'll have to scare them to the polls, like you said.

    November 23, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Bill

    Good. Then vote Republican and see how you like the way things turn out.

    November 23, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Hangar13

    CNN ought to exclude comments that are nothing but name-calling. Wait, that wouldn't work, then there would be no comments. I'm beginning to notice an increasing level of disapproval of Democrats among CNN's mostly liberal commenters. Sometimes it's hard not to see what's going on, no matter how hard you try. The Democrats owned the government at every level for two years and did nothing but make a bad situation worse, and all they can do is blame Bush for having been President in the past, and blame the GOP House for blocking Obama's destructive agenda after two years of abject failure. November 2012 is coming, and it may be our last chance to rescue the country from far-left destruction. If the Democrats' theories on the economy were right, then the strongest economy in Europe would be - Greece, right?

    November 23, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. NYC REPUB

    Obama is is by far the best of the bunch....PERIOD

    Obama 2012

    November 23, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Dennis

    It's difficult to believe there could be a repeat of replacing Carter with Reagan, which is implied by the stated support shifting from Hillary to McCain. Most of the defense spending proposed by Reagan that was rejected is not even considered today. No one can predict what Romney would actually do differently in office. The debate skills of him and Gingrich are overstated and even the debate format last night could not reveal that on such a convoluted subject such as foreign affairs. While the media is content to assign responsibility for the economy to Obama now, the significance of prolonged conservative economic policies remains understated.

    November 23, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. diridi

    I do not care all these fictitious numbers, I am voting for Obama2012. Direct Democratic ticket. Yesterday I watched GOP debate, not one candidate is trustworthy, nor ethical, nor maintains standards, nor national integrity....o.k, They all want Obama to be one term president. In fact, Obama is doing excellent. Nation is on right track. o.k, Romney is a joker, Newt is corrupt. In fact, I am among all the GOP, impressed with Ron Paul. o.k, Obama2012.

    November 23, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Katy

    This makes me laugh. Blue collar workers have the very most to lose by abandoning Obama in 2012 and voting for a republican. Today's GOP is all about the 1% and has nothing for the rest of us. Folks need to stop and think.

    November 23, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Tony from Oakland California

    Those Blue Dog Democrats willing to support Newt Gingrich, Hermain Cain, Mitt Romney or anyone else within the GOP field are welcomed to announce their support publicly for the GOP field at their own political peril. The minority of those within this demographic are so small, it comes down to less than 5 individuals of within the populus vote....big deal. There are more than 5 Independant votes within the populus vote to compensate for those Blue Dog Democrats on the Coporate payroll...........

    November 23, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. S.positive

    President Obam will STILL win in 2012. Next topic please...

    November 23, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. diridi

    I am going to vote for Obama, and direct democratic ticket. period. polls are immaterial to me...

    November 23, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. S.positive

    President Obama will win in 2012

    November 23, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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