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. laeinstein

    If the Yankees can pay 100 Million for a ball player that cant play and Iran can build a nuclear bomb with an elected imbecile as a president, then we should start to feel good about ourselves: everybody had the capacity to go out a winner

    November 26, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. bertha59

    CNN, please stop these types of news stories. They only feed into pessimism.

    November 26, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Barry Obama, community organizer

    These Republican pollsters are almost funny!

    Of course, Americans are doing better.

    November 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. goingsearching

    Neither Obama nor Bush is to blame for our ridiculous deficit.The american people who are against any tax hikes are the ones to blame.Americans want a free ride, and expect the government to provide new roads,new infra structure,new jobs,abd think we don't have to pay for it.We vote down any new tax proposals,and think social security and medicare is not charity,when they will never pay in as much as they will take out.Our mind sets and thinking has to change or we are headed downhill like a snowball headed for hell!

    November 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. debunkitgood

    ENOUGH POLLS!!!! America has spoken, we know what has been said and what people think. Now it's time for Washington to DELIVER on all those promises. AND NO MORE WHINING AND FINGER POINTING FROM EITHER SIDE ABOUT "WE WANT TO BUT THEY WON'T LET US"!!! G-E-T I-T D-O-N-E or we'll fire the lot of you!!! I don't know about anyone else, but I'm fed up.

    November 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Free the Dumb Kwans

    The Obamaunists will now succeed in destroying what little was left of America and turn it into the USSA. A pitiful multicultural turd world banana Republic.

    November 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. AnnKimble

    I think there are too many evil spirited people in this world. If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray...change from your wicked ways....seek God's face.... then will we hear from heaven and He (God) will change things. So I say remain optimistic – stay prayed up – and watch God change things. Amen!!!!!

    November 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. sf

    to ObjectiveGuy

    really? Obama doesn't understand the economy? amazing how ignorant republicans can still be! YOUR PARTY DRIVES UP THE DEFICIT, DRIVES UP TAXES, DIMINISHES SURPLUSES, DIVIDES PEOPLE WITH YOUR HATRED...and you think Romney is STILL your best bet? give me a break!

    Americans have absolutely no patience or long term memories...even though this message has been driven down your little pea brains for the past 4 years...let's sum it up again

    Under bush:
    750,000+ in JOB LOSSES PER MONTH
    9 POINT DECREASE IN GDP
    DIMINISHED THE SURPLUS LEFT BY BILL CLINTON
    THE DOW WAS HALF WHAT IT IS TODAY WHEN HE LEFT OFFICE
    WE WERE ATTACKED ON 911
    HE STARTED AN UNNECESSARY WAR AND LIED ABOUT IT!

    shall i go on?!

    November 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Taylor

    Doe's anyone believe this poll? Let's take a poll abut who believes this poll.

    November 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Charlie

    We are quickly approaching $16.5 trillion in debt. The Obama administration, instead of enforcing immigration laws is advertising "free stuff" for newly arrived illegals which will put us further in debt. If you are a rich person (earns enough to pay income taxes), what should you be optimistic about? Taxpayers are going to bear the brunt of the unbridled spending of the liberals. Taxes are going up, prices of goods and services are going up yet pay will be reduced because of the increased taxes. Social Security is going insolvent in just a few short years.

    November 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. disgustedvet

    Perhaps another man in the Whitehouse would have been cause for optimism. But we know what we will get from the current leader ? and it's not optimistic at best.

    November 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. JustAO

    Is this the same poll that polled Romney and Obama were in virtual tie the day before election? Polls are for suckers. Polling the Presidency is a waste when it's our non-compromising congress we are sick of.

    November 26, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. yellowhead

    Lets take a poll on who really gives a poo about polls. They are useless.

    November 26, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Paul

    huh go tell that to the 2 hour line I stood in at the mall CNN.

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Sarah Pain

    Bah! We need to go back to good old Republican times, when the Dow at 8000 and 700,000 jobs a month were being lost.

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. layla

    Really, this is breaking news?

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Ken

    How is this breaking news??? We TRIED to get rid of him. Too many 'sheeple' simply voted him back in again!

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Has to get better......

    .........can't get much worse. Seems like there is only one direction from here. The question is how long we stay in this same depressed spot.

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Jim

    This is a cultural war. If it was based on economics there would be a new President.

    November 26, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Saboth

    People should be feeling more optimistic. Unemployment is down, housing is up, and by all measures the economy is recovering. There will be many more jobs available in the future.

    November 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Sixdayde

    I see many are confused about Mr Obama being reelected and the pessimism shown in the sampling. Could it be that the Presidency is just a popularity contest rather than a vote for the individual? i am not saying that Mr Romney should have won. I note how, prior to the election, so many were concerned about being on the "right side". That seemed to mean against the wealthy, which I feel many feel many took as a cause. This could be a case of buyers remorse. we have it in the driveway now and realize we can't afford any insurance or gas.

    November 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Nelson

    One wonders how things would be if the press of every stripe did not tell people how miserable they were all the time. How much junk do people really need to be happy? Is the economy really that bad for you personally? (I am NOT talking about you, poor people or unemployed....I get it that there is lots of genuine misery and joblessness and horrendously underpaid people). In my middle class neighborhood, I see nothing but avarice and people wanting more crap.

    November 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. the_dude

    What is the point of this article?

    November 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Demosthenes

    I believe that we shouldn't be angry at each other because of who won. Romney would focus more on domestic policy as a whole and on energy independence, but Obama would focus more on International issues. At the moment we need a president with experience in International Affairs so that we can subdue any further threats of violence from other countries or their population, and from terrorist organizations. After this has been taken care of, we need to begin to rebuild our economy and our country's finance power. So in four years, if we feel safe from international threats, then perhaps the people should elect Mitt Romney or someone similar, someone who has the willingness to get our economy and education departments back on top of things.

    November 26, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. JS

    Hmmm. the COMMUNIST News Network is surprised people are less optimistic. What a bunch of morons. Truth is- more and more and more want REVOLUTION against this socialist Kenyan and his corrupt authoritarian regime.

    November 26, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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