CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement
January 16th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
1 year 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. mysimru

    Polls can be made to support either opinion as long as you ask the right people. I don't put any faith in polls.

    January 16, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Brady

    The only thing worse than statistics is someone who thinks they know statistics.

    January 16, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Debits-n-Credits

    How much money are arms manufacturers and the NRA making, each year?

    I wonder whether this has anything to do with their insistence that no one change the laws on guns!

    January 16, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. josebear5

    Who dose the polls no one in tx was contacted. You must get your poll from new york

    January 16, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. ubdumb

    Want my guns? Come and get them. End of debate. I am sure 40% of liberals are also in favor of laws which would limit the first amendment. Let's not call NRA members idiots, morons, rednecks, Why not fine them or throw them in jail for their beliefs. Can I get 40% on that! Liberal used to stand up to "the man" much like republicans do now. Why the swith? Not enough breast feeding? Did they god forbid drink a soda over 20 ounces? We may never know. Welcome to the united states of kenya

    January 16, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Debits-n-Credits

    Judas received thirty pieces of silver for selling his soul.

    I wonder how much US arms manufacturers and the NRA are receiving for selling theirs.

    January 16, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. leigh

    Just another example of the media taking a tragedy and trying to push an agenda forward on its back. New gun control laws will not decrease the frequency or number of tragedies such as Columbine and Newtown. Amazing how the media refuses to discuss Timothy Mcveigh, who murdered 168 people with a homemade bomb. The point is that a insane person determined to kill will do so with or without an infringement on our rights. Start focusing on the cause of these killing, such as mental illness, a breakdown of family, etc.

    January 16, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. mysimru

    Why can we not have an intelligent discussion without resorting to name calling and blaming either the republicans or democrates. This is what Obama has brought us to. We have a government with checks and balances and a two party system. Under this president anyone who disagrees with him and his party are called names and villified. I thank god we have two parties and want to see the checks and balances working. Republicans stand firm, you may be the only defense this country has against this man who thinks he is king.

    January 16, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Westy

    I agree with a ban on assault rifles. But this weekend there will be another 7 dead in South Chicago due to gun violence- which will have nothing to do with high powered firearms. Who will you blame then. The NRA? Who?

    January 16, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. ocsurfer

    Thanks for being specific in that poll. What does "Stricter Gun Laws" even mean? Tighter background checks? Ammunition purchase registration? Restriction of stupid arbitrary weapon characteristics like pistol grips, flash suppressors and bayonet mounts?

    This poll is about as useless as asking voters if they'd like more money in their wallets? Duh. We all want to be safer, but we don't agree on how to make it safer. Thanks for yet another useless poll. #CNNFAIL.

    January 16, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Bill

    The ARA is in Bed with the Gun Manufacturers and they also have most of congress under their control as well. A good leader has the courage and initiative to take on the tough problems head on. People like that are considered pushy, too direct, arogant, hitler, king of the mountain by those who want to stop progression and solving real problems. I call those that take action and involved as winners and those that tare em down as losers. It is a shame this congress is supposed to be an example of what Americans are, not the sniviling whiners we have that make us an embarrassment to our country.

    January 16, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "The point is that a insane person determined to kill will do so"

    And so, clearly, we should make it as easy as we possibly can for them to obtain the means to do so efficiently and on as large a scale as possible.

    January 16, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. SouthRed

    This is nothing but propaganda to make Americans think there is no chance of overturning this gun control because most of their fellow Americans want gun control. Look at the source of the poll CNN/ORCInternational. International people – there are a lot of countries who don't think WE should have guns because THEY can't. Poll is nothing but trash.

    January 16, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Roger

    Ronald Reagan Banned Real Assault weapon Machine guns or automatic rifles not the new media definition of Semi Automatic rifles that look scary. I was alive then I know. I find it interesting that the media keep shifting its definition to push an agenda. I cant wait until they ban my "assault" knife. This is insanity. Gun control wont end until there are no guns to control then guess what The first amendment hangs by a thread.

    January 16, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. FormerMarine

    For the first time in a very long time, I feel that a president has FINALLY acted on an issue that has been looong over due! The NRA and their lobby friends are going down, as are those Senators and Congressmen and woman who are supported by the NRA. Good Bye NRA!!! The great, smart and common sense American people are going to continue to speak loudly on this topic!!! Good for you Joe Biden and President Obama! Thank you!!!!!!

    January 16, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Wondering..

    Good work Obama. So nice of you to take time off from bombing and killing children in other countries to pretend to care about children here. Good job.

    January 16, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. dialogos68

    Another rigged CNN poll. As someone who works in marketing and has a degree and Poly Sci. I know that ANY poll can be rigged to show virtually any result. What is so telling is how a supposed news agency like CNN in no way hides their agenda given to them by their advertisers. This would include the big banks, big pharma and the World largest multi-national corporations. 150 privately owned entities now control almost half the World wealth. The only thing standing in between them and complete world domination are armed Americans Once they get our guns, we will become subjects.

    January 16, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. ladyofthelake

    The NRA needs to face facts. First, the life of some elderly black person killed by gunshots in the projects is just as important and the life of a white child in an expensive suburb. That being said, these mass shootings are going to continue. The next Sandyhook is just around the corner. Right now families are sitting down to dinner with loved ones including grandparents and small children who will soon be dead due to random gun violence. If the NRA does not want gun control, they will have to find a way to end so many of these killings. Did you see Piers Morgan last night? When the implacable defenders of NRA policies had to look into the eyes of people who had lost loved ones to gun violence, they had nothing to say. If the NRA fails to get on board and support meaningful gun control, within ten years they will be the most hated group in the USA.

    January 16, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Patrick

    First where was that picture taken and how old is it? All the rifles and other guns I see in stores have trigger locks on them. It has been that way for years.

    I really would love to know where the pools were taken place as well. Even people who do not own a gun that I talk to consider this new anti gun movement overkill. Law makers are not leading. They are not thinking rationally. They are acting on emotions.

    January 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. greatgreenon

    america has been bought completely by special interests, multi-nationals, the 1%, call them what ever you want.
    our government neither cares nor will follow our wishes ~ this should be apparent to any person by now.
    you have been sold out. no subterfuge just sold out.
    your government employees, elected or clock watchers, can get perks, rich, treats, call it what you will ~ from the top 1% that the rest of america will never be able to provide them.
    nations do not count any more except to engage in regional slaughters for business cash flow purposes and to make massive purchases of over price, ineffectual, unneeded arms systems.
    a person should have two citizenships ~ minimal ~ to navigate in the upcoming world.
    what is the usa going to do with 20 thousand unstable nuclear weapons? very soon the storage costs will become huge.

    January 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Key

    900 shooting deaths since Newtown, and the NRA says we need more guns.

    January 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. DT

    I am 35 and have never owned a phone. Nor do many of my friends and peers who are my age. I'd guess that they are asking from a select pool of people here, namely those older than 30 years old, who also answer random telephone polls. Hmm.

    January 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. greatgreenon

    anotherone bites the dust

    January 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. jim

    I wish people would quit saying Obama is taking our guns away. Most of these new so called bans are either already in place or were laws in the past. They may tighten them up a bit, but please stop repeating the BS.

    January 16, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

    What average citizen needs high powered automatic rifles? Arming yourself for protections is fine, but you do not need a weapon like that. People are allowing the NRA to get their panties in a knot not realizing that 20 children are dead!!! How can you not want better gun laws after all the shootings that have taken place? There is literally 1-2 mass shootings a year and all idiots are concerned about is "don’t take my gun".

    It is sad when gun sales go through the roof and gun shops capitalizing on this after the shooting in Newtown. People acting stupid paying outrageous amounts for the same high powered weapon that killed children. Everything should be considered when it comes to more gun control. More guns is not the answer. Choices are going to have to be made for the betterment of the country, not some association. Time for people to start thinking and stop reacting recklessly!!

    P.S. I am a veteran of the US Army so I have seen firsthand what weapons of that caliber can do!!!

    January 16, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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