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. leenie

    [remember 1994] this time i voted for 1 republican the rest democrats. in two years i will vote all republican.

    January 16, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Jerubbaal

    I see that Billy Joe Jim Bob and his friends are out in force and ready for the revolution. How dare this uppity BLACK MAN, don't this boy know his place!!! Don't these coloreds and mexicans know that the good ole US of A is for the WASP. They are here just to serve us.

    January 16, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Nobody N. Particular

    The point to the 2nd Amendment is to allow the citizenry the ownership of the same basic type used by the military as standard issue. In 1934, with the support of the NRA, the Congress passed the National Firearms Act (NFA) which regulated the ownership of certain firearms, included but not limited to fully automatic (machine gun / assault rifles). If you own an AR15, or a semi-auto AK47, then you own a tactical rifle, not an assault rifle; an assault rifle requires some full auto (or burst fire) capacity. Quit getting hung up on high capacity magazines, because when someone is shooting at you, you're not counting the number of rounds being shot, you're running like heck to get out. Fear will prevent 99% of the people out there from taking advantage of a pause in shooting to attack the shooter, so it doesn't matter if the shooter has to reload twice, or four times, the same number of shots will be fired. Also, there is a simple adage to remember, there is no law that will prevent a criminal from committing a crime; hence the reason we call them criminals.

    January 16, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Ken

    I want to see every single home in America have a loaded pistol, a shotgun and an assault rifle with ammo for all of it. That is my vote. Deal with it.

    January 16, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. DEMO

    Thanks for the commercial NRA.

    January 16, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Jesse

    Do not ban sale possession importation of assault type weapons

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Erik Noll

    I agree with both sides on this issue. There are people in the country that should not be allowed to obtain weapons (mentally ill, unstable) Repeat offenders of violent crimes, etc. What I can't stand as a veteran, is watching those that I have fought for, and those that sent me to war, blame the weapons. Make those that commit the crime pay the penalty. What I mean is hold the individual responsible, not the masses. I didn't go on a shooting rampage, so why should my rights be trampled on? Why am I constantly paying the price for others' actions?!

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Thank you President Obama. Everybody I talked too agrees we need more regulations on gun control. If someone purchasing a gun has nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Victoria Johnson

    Our President is "pro" active and not "re-active". No more killings before that R from Texas wants to do.I aprove and stand behind our president. Great job on the interview with the R from Texas Wolf.

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. shotsalot

    I support the President on a Nationwide background check regardless of where you buy a firearm in the USA. Although I don't support any gun bans, gun magazine bans. While the Nationwide background check and bolstering Mental Health in relation to potential gun violence, any gun related ban makes no sense to me and violates my Constitutional right to bear arms. I am relieved that the President didn't enact any gun related bans by executive order, I don't want to see civil unrest. Congress shouldn't legislate any gun bans as well because they took the oath to protect my 2nd amendment and any action changing my rights will be considered treasonous. CNN always plays the "POLL" game where they twist the wording such as "stricter gun control laws" and their polls are unbalanced due to the source of the polls taken. I'm not for stricter gun control laws but I support a nationwide background check regardless where a gun is purchased. Felons and the mentally ill shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun period. I do fear any intention of the Federal Government having the power to classify a US citizen as mentally ill, this determination should be at the hand of the the professional in the medical field and any individual labeled as mentally ill should have a history of such illness. The failed defenses of you don't need to shoot a deer with a military style firearm or you don't need 30 rounds to kill an animal are just plain lame. I retort you don't need all of those golf clubs to hit a ball. Less government is what we need.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Independent thinker

    Okay...so what did he say? He said "background checks" and if you want a gun, then you have no problem since you want a gun to protect your family or for hunting, right? Oh wait, the NRA knows why they want you to not have a background check....lets see...less sales, less guns manufactured and less crimes so the jails would not get as much money (cottage industry) so in essence, if you look at the cycle, its less money for the "big wigs" and more crime and destruction for us "the people" BUT today, our President, took a stand. I want to see an honest GOP supporter say, well I didn't vote for this President nor like him but I do support this stand. If we cannot get that, we are doomed! We have to have commonsense and getting background checks across the board is and by all means fair! Let us protect our children and get those dumb conspiracy theroist out of the picture as it is an insult the the children who are lost. Be thankful the NRA is not running the country or else we'd be fighting each other for bread...no SS, no medicare, No drug prescription protection, no street laws, no government spending on roads, bridges and infrastructure, no public schools, no community college, no laws...just guns and lawlessness....wait...didn't we pass that phase a very, very long time ago? Please think independently and not from a party stance....just think if you want your neighborhood, your mall, your movie theater, you kids school or your church exposed to this....just think....

    January 16, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. K from AZ

    'Majority' as defined by liberal fascist propaganda machines?

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. ironman59

    It's time to pull a page from the gop's own playbook on abortion. Do like they have in states like Mississippi where they have enacted medical & legal requirements that in essence make it illegal to have an abortion. We need to do the same on gun control. Pass so many laws that it would in the end, be illegal to own a gun and yet not violate the Constitution. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. Give the right wing nuts a taste of their own medicine.

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. mobadthangood

    AGAIN?
    How is taking gun rights from good people going to stop criminals from using any kind of weapon?
    Good people don't use guns for any type of crime but these people are the ones the gun control laws will effect!!!

    And 95% of the people out there have already shown they don't even know what an assault weapon is.

    January 16, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Jerubbaal

    Yeah, all the polls are skewed, just like during the election, Romney was actually going to win the presidency. These delusional right wing extremists need to liberate themselves from the self promoting, self enriching echo chamber. I have no more tolerance for their mindless drivel.

    January 16, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Suz5

    I am for the gun control for a couple reasons. It WORKS in other countries. It is Proven. Look at Japan for example. And also if we really had to defend ourselves from the government we would have military assistance and we would also have numbers. I have alot of friends and family that are enlisted that if right now we needed to defend from the government they would not back them. We could still defend ourselves from the government without military grade weapons. Simple as that

    January 16, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. CanisLupus

    Clearly 55% of 815 adults represent over 300 million Americans

    January 16, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Steve Giles

    The accuracy of this poll is dependent upon where and who was polled.

    Always remember there are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

    Anyone familiar with statistics can take any data set and have it match their agenda.

    January 16, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. JB7659

    All you need to read in this article is "CNN/ Time magazine Poll" that tells you all you need to know. How about getting an objective independenty polling company to do the survey? I'm sure this poll was taken in NYC, with the majority of people questioned either Metrosexuals, or part of the LGT crowd, or else they went to a college campus and handed out free joints in exchange for participating in the poll. Avg age of people polled: 23 Avg IQ of people polled: 23

    January 16, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Max Power

    Readers, please remember. Anyone can make charts and graphs to reflect their opinions and views. Just because it is said, doesn't make it so.

    January 16, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Fet up with politics

    I am curious how 814 people represent a true cross section of the entire population? I'm sure that these pollsters can find 55% that would favor gun control out of 814 people, especially if the sampling is democratically biased!

    January 16, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. frank thomas

    President Obama is doing exactly what we elected him to do, Taking on the soon to be unpowerful, N Republican Association, What will it take to wake people up to the archaic poicies of gun advocates, someone burstiing into a nursinig home and killing bedriden patients, or attacking hospital nursieries where innocent babies are sleeping. It is true the smaller the penis the bigger the gun they need.

    January 16, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. dseeburg

    Oh whats that you say.. a CNN poll came out with a Liberal result? Color me surprised! Hur Dur look at the audience here... why even bother making an article like this... If CNN doesn't realize the bias of these poll results than I really am without words..

    January 16, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    who took this poll? I do not approve of either of Obama or Biden' s performance. Take Obama are... I am not rich. I am retired and have worked all my life for my 4 children as has my retired Air Force husband. I am not a member of the NRA but I definitely believe in the 2nd Amendment. We do not believe that a president does NOT have authority to over ride congress. I loved the statement Wolf Blitzer made this morning that children should not have been USED to bring about sympathies towards any president' s agenda. I have many misgivings towards this president.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. KJH

    As a nation, we need to re-evaluate the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. It doesn’t take a firearm capable of dispelling 100's bullets per minute to defend one’s home, nor does it take an assault rifle to bring down an animal when hunting. Assault weapons are used in war only, for the purpose of killing mass amounts of people at once, not for defending a home from a single intruder, or bringing down a solitary animal. No foreign country has invaded our country since we declared Independence in 1776 and there has been no internal war since our Civil War ended in 1865. Hence the need for average citizens to arms themselves with military weapons is no longer an adequate defense of the 2nd Amendment. When the Second Amendment was written stating that citizens have a right to keep and bear arms, rifles took over a minute to load one bullet at a time. The most crazed 18th century American could not possibly commit mass murder because no WMM’s existed at the time. Just saying.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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