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. Doug Salter

    There are over 20,000 gun-laws on the books across the nation and in Sandy Hook 43 laws were violated. Throwing more laws at it is simply idiotic. Restricting law abiding citizens is idiotic. Actually increasing security by allowing citizens to elect to carry and eliminating gun free zones works. No other measure is supported by crime statistics or data.

    January 16, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. DEMO

    I am a life-long democrat. I totally disagree with the president. I don't see how you can graduate from Harvard law and not understand "....shall not be infringed". I will give up my guns when he gives up the "beast" and requires all secret service agents to carry only 7 bullets.

    January 16, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Newguy

    People say, forefathers had 2nd amendment for a reason.
    My question is, what reason forefathers did not mention Slavery, women rights, segregation of race.

    It took 80 years to ban on Slavary, it took 180 years to ban on segregation, we eveolve over period of time, we modify our laws to suit to our current needs, we are not any different than other developed countries ( UK, Germany, France, Canada so on), why we need somany (militory style) guns, when other developed countries dont have.

    January 16, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Jim Poindexter

    What scare me, how many other laws will be used to change. Renember what they said about taking prayer out of school, how many time has that been used to change laws. This is just the start of loosing rights. FACE THE REAL PROBLEM liberal thinking, riding on emotion.

    January 16, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. chaz

    For the record, I think that a dog (I own two bull mastiffs and one boston terrier) are the best home self defense that there is. They are substantially more intelligent, proactive and alert than a firearm could ever possibly hope to be. I myself was a victim of a residential burglarly and it was through my having dogs that alerted me, however, it was dogs in conjunction with owning firearms that assuredly kept me safe.

    January 16, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. J Russ

    the constitution is a list of what the federal government cannot do.....therefore "shall not be infringed" means that the federal government cannot make these laws but there's nothing to stop the states from acting. A least then we the people may have a say.

    January 16, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Namerjjbowtechusa

    This poll is a joke. Of course a CNN poll will show the majority approve. The presidents actions on this issue will further divide this great country. Weapons bans have been in place and even the Clinton administration said it did nothing. How about new legislation putting people like Holmes and Laughner on the firing squad.

    January 16, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. James

    Any know anybody 'polled'? What was your sample size? 200 in downtown NYC? Why not run the same poll on foxnews CNN, you'll get the exact opposite result.

    Honestly journalism at its finest.

    January 16, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. miriam matranga

    I just want to congratulate President Obama and Joe Biden for their brave stance on gun control. They are so right and I hope and pray that they get the gun controls passed. Yes, do take executive privilege. There is absolutely no reason that anyone needs an assault rifle unless they are in battle in the armed services. Please, Please tell me what I can do to help get the gun control laws in effect. Love you for this President Obama. Hats off to you and Joe. Miriam Matranga

    January 16, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. David Fitzwater

    Wake Up! This media is driven by the government. The public IS NOT in favor of gun control. Leave 2nd amendment alone.

    January 16, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Patrish

    It's not the criminals that are doing the mass killings. It's your unstable neighbor who gets upset, shoots his wife, or the neighbors barking dog, flies into road rage, get's fired and goes back and shoots up the place. He loves guns, brags about them, teaches his kid how to shoot and then is shocked when the unhappy kid shoots up a place. Wake up people. We know and expect criminals to have guns, but your neighbor is even more dangerous, because you trust him. The fact that we even talk about armed guards at a school, show how bad the gun problem is. Your car is registered, and you have a driver license, it should be the same for a gun. You get issues a gun license after you've had a background check, and a hands-on gun course. Gun owners need to stop licking the NRA boots, and try and work for responsible gun control laws. We are not trying to take away your right to bear arms so stop being paranoid.

    January 16, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. empresstrudy

    The sound you hear is Obama tearing up the 4th and 5th amendments to the Bill of Rights. Now anyone can denounce you to the police who will now have the power to drag you in and suspect you for whatever they like and to bolster your case they can use confidential information from your doctor or psychologist that even you don't know about.

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. TN

    I wasn't for most gun regulation until this debate started. The more of these people commenting about needing the ability to fight the government, and some of these outlandish proposals the NRA is making have changed my views. These people that are spewing this garbage are those very same people who have been standing up saying they are taking 'their country back', for the past few years. These people are fueled by extremists and garbage conspiracy news networks that fuel this idiocy. So yes, now something needs to be done. New regulations need to be put in place, but we also need to start fining news outlets that fuel this toxic environment.

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    "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.
    ---------------
    Exactly. Let's do everything possible to make as easy as it can be for the next nut to go on a rampage. Let's make it as easy as we can make it so that we can have a "valid" excuse to act like the good guys and kill real people.

    If we were talking about "knives" instead of "guns", would we seriously be talking about giving teachers knives and training on how to use them? Some people are starting sound like Klingons.

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Bob_lawbla

    Criminals do not care about laws, do you really think an executive order is going to stop them?

    I especially like the moronic commentary coming from the less tolerant on these forums.

    Remember, Just because it's your opinion, doesn't mean it is correct.

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Hop

    Since this is the administration of compromise and negotiation....

    I'll let you carve away at my second amendment rights thru a background check and a mental health evaluation if....

    You require voting, free speech, and abortions to have background checks and a mental health evaluation before they can be done.

    Deal?

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. penguin

    When you look at all the numbers, it is clear that the number killed by a deranged shooter with an assault weapon is very miniscule compared to the number killed by drunk drivers, air pollution, and even over eating. While we all should be outraged with the ease by which people can obtain assault weapons, where is the outrage over things that kill more people that we can do more to prevent?
    This doesn't mean I'm opposed to gun control. I detest the gun rights proponent's mantra that the government is trying to take away their guns. Under any proposal, the gun control advocates are only trying to take away a very small number of certain guns. No right under the Constitution are unlimited. My free speech right doesn't permit me to slander some one. My religious freedom right doesn't allow me to sacrifice people or even animals nor doesn't allow me to have multiple wives (nor, in most states, marry someone of the same sex). I have a right to travel and to own arms. This doesn't give me the right to drive on our roads with a tank

    January 16, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. jroot

    Nothing like a reliable CNN/Time pole to skew their view... God Bless America

    January 16, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. jbazingo

    Here is something that can put a dent in the problem. In exchange for valuable consideration, i.e. money or direct aid, the Federal Gov coerce federal employees as a condition of their employment to waive their right to bear arms, and for welfare reciepinets, ditto, the latter I am sure will reduce gun crime tremendously.

    January 16, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Rickperryisanut

    Not everyone in Texas is a gun nut. I fully support more strickter gun laws. It is sad that 20 children and six adults had to be slaughtered in order for something to be done about our out of control gun laws. Accross the border in Mexico 60,000 people have been killed by guns and most of those guns came from the U.S. It is no coincidence that violence in Mexico skyrocketed in 2006, the same year that the assault weapons' ban was lifted in the U.S. I really hope that tighter, strickter gun laws go into effect this time.

    January 16, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Sametestsameresults

    The thing is I am a gun owner, I dont ever want to lose my guns or my right to use them. When I grew up the NRA taught me an other kids how to safely handle guns, they supported hunters rights, they supported going to the range and learning to operate my weapon better, they infused communication and good debate. Since I want to say the 80's they have now gone from safety, hunters rights and gun community organizers to a political lobby for gun mfg's. The NRA have become a terrorist organization and have dragged 3.1 million innocent members along for the ride.

    January 16, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Tutuvabene

    It's unfortunate there is no talk at all of a demonstrated need requirement, as is the case in Germany.

    January 16, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Aerin

    teachers should TEACH. maybe if there were more teachers so that class sizes were smaller, troubled kids could be identified and helped before these situations got completely out of hand. AND kids would get better grades. all without any guns.

    January 16, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Scott

    814 People being polled represents what the majority of a country with a population over 300 million?? Let me guess as soon as the poll started looking the way they wanted to they quit making those calls....

    January 16, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. lookdiff

    I wonder why there's NEVER been anyone I know that has ever been polled on any of these issues. Maybe because they don't really want to know the true feelings of americans.

    January 16, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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