CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement
January 16th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama announces a package of proposals to limit gun violence, a new national survey indicates that his approval rating may be edging up.

The CNN/Time Magazine/ORC International poll (PDF) also indicates that a majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.

And according to the survey, nearly six in ten approve of the job Vice President Joe Biden is doing, slightly higher than the number who approve of his boss. The vice president led a task force in the wake of the shootings that came up with specific proposals for the president on how to reduce gun violence in the country.

The president's approval rating stands at 55% in the poll, which was released Wednesday, with 43% saying they disapprove of the job Obama is doing in the White House. The president's approval rating is up three points from mid December CNN/ORC poll that was conducted just days after a suicidal gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Of those who disapprove, 34% say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal, with 7% saying they give the president a thumbs down because he's not liberal enough.

More than nine in ten Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing. That number drops to 51% for independent voters, with just 13% of Republicans approving of the president's performance in office. The poll also indicates a gender gap, with women approving of the job Obama's doing by a 59%-39% margin, and men divided (51%-48%).

The Vice President's approval rating stands at 59%, with 38% saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Biden's approval rating is up five points from last month. Besides leading the task force on curbing gun violence, Biden also had a high profile role, along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in striking a deal that temporarily averted the country going over the fiscal cliff.

According to the poll, 55% favor stricter gun control laws, with 37% saying that they strongly support such laws. Forty-four percent oppose such measures, including 27% who say they strongly oppose stricter gun control laws.

"Those numbers suggest that the change in public opinion in the wake of Newtown may come mostly in the intensity of feelings for and against gun control," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Gun control opponents in the past have developed a reputation for holding stronger views on the issue than supporters of gun control. But in the current poll, about two-thirds of those who favor stricter gun control laws feel strongly about that. That's a bit higher than the six in ten gun control opponents who strongly oppose stricter gun control. How strongly Americans feel about gun control may matter more to the success or failure of legislation tan the overall numbers."

The CNN/Time Magazine poll was conducted by ORC International Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 14-15), with 814 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun rights • Polls
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Obama, Just leave the gun debate alone. why take guns away from good people? bad men and woman dont care about laws.

    January 16, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. rs

    Duh! Seeing the NRA's absolutely outrageous ad against the President of the United States convinces me they are not at all serious about the gun problem. The NRA is in fact, THE PROBLEM, with their ultra-radical nonsense on gun rights. They are simply crazy little men with no concept of reality. Their lack of respect for Americans tired of the NRA-inspired violence, for the U.S. Government and the President is just sick and perverted. Worse though is they apparently own the GOP just like Mr. Norquist does, and they will sadly be lead about by thier noses on this issue.

    Memo to the GOP: defending the rights of child killers probably isn't going to get you any votes.

    January 16, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. rs

    J'Cincinnati'Redd-
    Did you see anything in the President's plan to take your guns? Think for yourself man, think!

    January 16, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. sonnie3

    To aprove of something that has not been announced is a childish statement at best.
    I approve of the 2nd Ammendment and it say it shall not be infringed upon. This was announced a long time ago
    Seems like our fore fathers plan was a good and correct one to keep politians in line and
    for politics to try a knee jerk reaction on the heels of a tragedy will only produce controll that
    will never do anything to protect school kids from cowards who would attack them.
    Our politicians are a cowardly bunch because they know we don't approve of what they are doing as
    they claim to represent we the people.

    January 16, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. GuestAgain

    Take your money, your property, your guns.....liberal freedom isnt so free now is it?

    January 16, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Lisa Rhodes

    Funny, most I know never saw this poll. Otherwise it would be different. Yet another skewed piece of false data by controlled media.

    January 16, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. huntinwabbits

    If CNN can only get 55% of their audience to favor gun control then we can be certain that the majority of American's strongly oppose gun control.

    January 16, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. CNN Loud Mouth

    If the "right to bear arms" does not include the right to "carry" and "bear" other types weapons, which have been made illegal by the States to "carry" (i.e. Bowie Knives, switchblades, brass knuckles, Chinese stars, night sticks, dirks, daggers, swords, bayonets, tomahawks, war clubs, spears, ice picks, and other weapons of "the like”, then the "right to bear arms" must also grant the States the authority to ban other weapons determined by the States to be even more lethal than these weapons which are illegal to "carry", including certain firearms determined by the States to be more lethal than these weapons. In fact, granting the States the authority to determine which weapons meet the 2nd Amendment "right to bear arms" standard and which weapons do not, is in itself Unconstitutional. Only the federal government has the Constitutional authority to establish which weapons are Constitutionally protected to "bear" as "arms" and which ones are not. Unfortunately, the NRA with its money and influence over the years has "overachieved" and perverted the way the 2nd Amendment was originally intended to work. It's time for a "do over".

    January 16, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. gijames1225

    Polls: a means by which to prove just how stupid and immoral the majority may be.

    January 16, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Rucker61

    Boy, it's a good thing that Eric Harris was limited to 10 round magazines and a shotgun without a pistol grip at Columbine. I'm also surprised how little the lawmakers care for young black males, since they represent the overwhelming majority of homicide victims. 10 round magazines and limits on ARs won't do a thing for them, since they are killed by criminals with illegally purchased or stolen handguns.

    January 16, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    If you want my guns come and get them. End of debate. Let's focus on limiting freedom of speech next.If you don't agree with the president it would be in his best interests to shut you up. Can we get 40% agreement on that? Yep. Welcome to the United States of Kenya.Liberal Fools in past stood up to "the man". Now they want to be told what eat, what to drink and how much. Did they not get breast fed or something? Why the change?

    January 16, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Name

    Government is not allowing big sugary drinks in New York, why would you expect government to control everything!!!!!

    January 16, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    To congress, pass gun-control laws. Period. NRA is very bad.

    January 16, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. David Martin

    The NRA wants you to believe that background checks so violent criminals cant buy guns and a ban on assault rifles is tyranny.

    Its as if they think we cant remember that dark tyrant Ronald Regan and his support for an assault weapons ban ...and that we lived under that dark cloud of apocalyptic tyranny until 2004 when the previous assault weapons ban expired. Or maybe they are liars who fight every reasonable step to mitigate gun violence because selling assault rifles to criminals is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they don't want to give up the money.

    January 16, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. jorge washinsen

    I feel safer already.

    January 16, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Wait a sec.... let me put on my liberal hat...

    There we go. Now..... I wasn't polled. My family wasn't polled. They only call land lines. Polls are meaningless. I don't believe in polls.

    Now, let me get that damn hat off....

    January 16, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Mark

    This poll was run by CNN/Time Magazine, and still could only come up with 55% in support of stricter gun laws? They are polling their own readers, who are mostly liberal. I look at this poll much like I look at a Fox News poll-biased and meaningless. Independent non-partisan polling is the only polling that can be trusted.

    January 16, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. menisino

    Don't count on long time leeches like John McCain;Lindsey Graham:Harry Graham;Newcomers like Rand Paul & others because these leeches are all abourt themselves,about getting reelected by a self-interest group.They are a disgrace to what an elected official should stand for...
    the children of the nation they represent.These politicians simply put are disgusting. and deserve no respect. for their non action to improve safety for the children.Hiding behind the ignorance regarding the 2nd amendment....pitiful.

    January 16, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    The 34% are the republican Taliban.

    January 16, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. SokrMom

    What does it say about our Country that it is so difficult for the reasonable majority of American citizens to be heard on the need to do something about gun violence that is actually effective, like removing from circulation the thousands of assault weapons that have no legitimate purpose? Even if no more such weapons were ever sold, we would still have a major problem. There is no doubt that there will be more public gun rampages with high body counts for as long as we do nothing about this.

    January 16, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "If you want my guns come and get them. End of debate. "

    Cold dead hands are easily arranged: just defend your guns by using your guns. Your Darwin Award awaits.

    January 16, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. billybill

    It's funny, most people are in favor of "stricter gun control". But as soon as you start listing the specifics of what that might entail you start losing support fast. This generic claim may be true, but once they start saying exactly what they will change that support begins to dwindle quickly.

    January 16, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. JoshO

    "Oy vey, the Germans want to take all the guns? Ah well, they say it's for safety. I'm sure they're nice fellows". Probably overheard in the 1930s.

    Democracy, unfortunately, ensures that the people get exactly the government they deserve. I hope I'm still alive to tell some of you gun control idiots "I told you so". Like Ben Franklin said, when you trade freedom for security you deserve neither and will lose both.

    January 16, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    NRA and gun rights supporters should just calm down and breath in and out slowly to avoid hyperventilation and hysteria. No one is taking away Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

    January 16, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. MJ

    The majority of Americans are not for gun control...it is a fallacy...it is being made up by the government and their complicit media who do not want Americans armed against a tyrranical government.

    January 16, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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