CNN Poll: 52 percent give Obama thumbs up
November 26th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: 52 percent give Obama thumbs up

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans give President Barack Obama a thumbs up on the job he's doing in office, but according to a new national poll they are less optimistic about the country's future than they were four years ago when Obama won the White House for the first time.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Monday indicates that 56% of the public thinks the country will be better off four years from now, with four in ten saying it will be worse than they are now.

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"The 56% figure's not bad, but it's way down from the 76% who felt that way in late 2008 after Barack Obama had won his first presidential bid," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Four years ago, as Obama took office, the nation’s economy was in a free-fall. Economic conditions have obviously improved from those days, with the country currently in a slow recovery.

Forty-three percent say things are going well in the country right now, virtually unchanged from just before the election, with 57% saying things are going badly.

The survey also indicates that 54% say they are enthusiastic or optimistic about the president's second term, with 44% pessimistic or afraid. The 54% figure is a bit less than the 58% who felt that way about President George W. Bush's second tour of duty in November of 2004.

Fifty-two percent approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, with 43% saying they disapprove. Obama's approval rating is virtually unchanged from his pre-election approval rating of 51%. And it's changed little this year: Since February the president's approval rating ranged between 49% and 52% in CNN polling.

"The generation gap that was evident in presidential vote still remains, but the gender gap has vanished, at least temporarily," Holland said. "President Obama's approval rating is 58% among younger Americans, but a majority of older Americans disapprove of Obama. But Obama's approval rating among men and women is exactly the same - 52% among men, 52% among women."

Will a first term under his belt make Obama a better president?

Fifty-three percent say the president's experience from his first four years in the White House will make him a better president over the next four years, with 13% saying it will make him a worse president and one in three saying it will make no difference.

According to the poll, 58% have confidence that Obama will make good choices to replace Cabinet members who leave his administration, although two possible replacements for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, are not nearly as popular or well known as Clinton.

The election returns did not appear to change public opinion of Obama, with his favorable rating now at 56%, but Mitt Romney's favorable rating has tumbled to 43%, possibly a response to the Republican presidential nominee's remarks last week that he lost the election because Obama offered "gifts" to African-Americans, Hispanics, and young voters. Romney's favorable rating dropped six points to 43%, with his unfavorable rating edging up to 50%.

One other finding from the survey: Fifty-one percent oppose the new national health care law, with 42% saying they favor the measure, known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and nicknamed by many as "Obamacare." But only 37% oppose the 2010 law, passed by a Democratic controlled Congress and signed into law by Obama, because it is too liberal, with 9% opposing the law because it's not liberal enough.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from November 16-18, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    What a faux poll. The President was re-elected with 50.79% of the vote. Your phony polls prior to the election are just as phony now. When will you learn the voting public does NOT trust MSM. We proved this November 6th.

    November 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Turp Griswald

    It's difficult to be very optimistic with a divided Congress and the Roberts Court. Unfortunately, those on the conservative side of the isle are committed to making Obama a one-term President no matter what the impact on the nation. Oh wait! Barack won re-election. Think that will change the mindset? Yeah, right.

    November 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. abdulthebutcher

    Unles the GOP can get their act together thus guy is going to take America down the drain.

    November 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Fluffy Bunny

    Those who do not support Obama are racist .

    November 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. chuck peters

    always remember CNN Polls has 2/3 republicans,so that the president look bad.this a fact they said it on Debate polling

    November 26, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. MMeans

    Uh, couldn't tell it by the weekend spending spree...GO AMERICA

    November 26, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Rob

    Understandable since the GOP has been hell bent on clogging things up as much as possible since they took control of Congress.

    November 26, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Tina

    OMG STFU already!! I have had enough of polls..they are and were all wrong anyway as far as our presidential election is concerned so just stop. People are out spending like crazy, Thursday and Black Friday did amazing for retailers so i have no idea who you are interviewing. My family is doing better than we were and my neighborhood is selling houses as fast as they go up. I am sick of all of this negativity..... It must be a slow news week.

    November 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. larry banal

    lets do another poll on the job congress is doing...and one on norquist so he fianally will understand his real place in the world (as opposed to the vision in his head)

    November 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. NYYFan1

    How can we be more optimistic when you have a Democratic President, Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-majority House? The division in Congress ALWAYS spells disaster and nothing ever gets accomplished due to the overwhelming partisan political landscape. If we had a Democratic President along with a Democratic majority in both Congressional chambers, then maybe we can get something done as was the case for ObamaCare, which I personally believe will prove very beneficial to millions of uninsured Americans.

    November 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. ObjectiveGuy

    This completely blows my mind. This being the case, why the hell did the voters re-elect him a couple of weeks ago??? We had a chance for a new start under Romney, but were too completely stupid to realize it. Now, we're stuck with an ineffective president who doesn't understand the economy for four more LONG years. Bravo, voters.

    November 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Fluffy Bunny

    Obamaphobia makes America less safe in the world .

    November 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Hema David

    I have to say,I am starting to regret my vote with Obama. I don't think he's doing anything. And looks like he also put on some weight, I guess the fact that he got back in office, means he's become too comfortable. I don't think I feel secure anymore of a minority black president who is looking to help his own. If this country is ruled by blacks and hispanics, all we will see is violence and all American children lacking education and learning to be lazy! I pray to God he helps Obama make right decisions, cause deep down, even black people know they shouldn't be running this country!

    November 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. are122

    Obama's approval rating is 58% among younger Americans, but a majority of older Americans disapprove of Obama. <~~ In other words those that know history and economy better know Obama is a mistake.

    November 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. ObjectiveGuy

    This completely blows my mind. This being the case, why in the world did the voters re-elect him a couple of weeks ago??? We had a chance for a new start under Romney, but were too completely stupid to realize it. Now, we're stuck with an ineffective president who doesn't understand the economy for four more LONG years. Bravo, voters.

    November 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. sf

    it's been 20 DAYS since our Prez has been re-elected, and already we have CNN with their stupid polls!

    i have a poll for CNN! i'd personally shove it up them, but i wouldn't know if I'd like to start with Wolfe, Anderson or the rest of the idiots on this network!

    November 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. DN

    The economy is improving, and has been for a long time. Look at the chart for yourself. President Obama's supporters aren't as exuberant as in 2008, and that is what was probably learned via the poll. The enthusiasm that came with the President's first election has waned, but the belief in him is still there.

    Obama has shown he's ready, willing, and able to work with the other side of the aisle. Nobody appears to remember when the President invited leaders from both parties to the Blair House in DC to discuss answers to the economic woes the country faced in 2009.

    November 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Nate

    At least he can live up to these expectations..his expectations in 2008 were ridiculous

    November 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Fluffy Bunny

    Chicago Jesus will save the economy ! look what successes he has had with green energy investment of American tax payer dollars !

    November 26, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. DNA

    Poll results are not "BREAKING NEWS!"

    November 26, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Both_R_Losers

    Never trust a poll conducted by ORC's. ORC's are bottom feeders.

    November 26, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Just got laid off today. Saw it coming for months. We've decided as a country not to expand economically anymore. Oh well... it's fall... the season of things dying. Maybe that's us.

    November 26, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Sumsanity

    And yet they give the guy in the empty teflon suit another 4 years to continue this road to financial ruin. Are you people schizophrenic? Off your meds? What's up with this? He's a failure but we like him. How do you square that with reason? Or do you bother?

    November 26, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. david

    I think people (ME, for example) are just a little bit afraid to have hope right now. I know I don't want to be disappointed. I do know that I support our President, and I believe our country would be falling apart under Romney. The President has nothing to do with my outlook.

    November 26, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. MashaSobaka

    Funny...I'm more optimistic. I never bought into the "Hope! Love! Puppies!" line of the 2008 campaign. He remained pathetic on critical issues such as war and civil rights. His grandiose promises about uniting the country were doomed to begin with and anyone with a shred of common sense knew it. This time around he's got a more reasonable agenda, has shed the cowardice that characterized some of his positions on social issues, and has shown fantastic progress thus far. Yes, the economy sucks. I'm smart enough to know that the financial state of the entire planet cannot be blamed on Obama, just like I'm smart enough to know that (a) there ARE jobs out there and (b) there will be MORE jobs out there as the economy slowly but steadily improves. I'm certainly better off than I was four years ago, but that's not important to me. What's important to me is that *the nation* is better off than it was four years ago. I'm delighted that we're getting four more years of progress.

    November 26, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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