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. Rudy NYC

    dseeburg wrote:

    I have nothing to hide.. If you want to make stricter regulations for background checks go for it. .... I don't see why those who follow the rules need to be punished. Stricter control for buying is a better answer than taking it away completely.
    ----------------
    Unfortunately, the Klingons don't even want to think about doing common sense background checks, much less registering their weapons. If they were law abiding citizens, then why are they opposed to common sense regulations, especially those that hold the gun owner accountable for reckless behaviors?

    January 16, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Bib Boogg

    Fine! Let's put it to a national vote!

    January 16, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Jeff--Former Republican

    The things the president can impose via executive order are fairly limited and seem perfectly reasonable to me.

    Nothing will get through the House. Those folks can't order a pizza without screwing it up.

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. pogojo

    can we see a non CNN poll?

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. golds

    The thing that irks me about this whole issue is the way that the President strong-arms such major policy through instead of the way our democracy is designed. His inability to lead and bring people together is discouraging (and you don't need to start wailing about the guilt of Congress–many presidents have had make that bridge in extraordinarily difficult situations. Lincoln, for example). Clinton was much, much better at it. While 50% of Americans may like Obama, the other half of our country feels abandoned by him. He is no true leader.

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. I will wait

    When the NRA comes out in support of Gay marriage I will respect them. Many conservatives point to the fact that a "majority" of people are against gay marriage so therefore it should be outlawed. Using the same logic, I guess we will just have to go with the majority rules. What, 2nd amendment.. is that more important than the right to the pursuit of happiness? Having a gun is more important than civil rights? Come on conservatives, you have to decide.. do you want to follow all the constitution or just the 2nd amendment?

    January 16, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. CBP

    The comments made by some Republicans emphasize the fact that people are totally out of touch with the majority of people. Ed Meese's statement was ridiculous and as a former attorney general he should know better. He just never rose to the occasion and still does not do so.

    People who made statements before the President made his announcement were trying to get public opinion on their side. Unfortunately for them their remarks were neither timely nor helpful. Why does the media feel the need to quote these people and not to quote those who are thoughtful and considerate.

    January 16, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Eli

    Love when people criticize the sample size of polls they don't agree with. Apparently Karl Rove isn't the only one who hasn't taken statistics 101.

    January 16, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Matt

    So where are these "Majority want more gun control" folks at? Since Aurora and Sandy Hook, I will bet I have not heard one person out of twenty that wants more gun control. Why? Because they are smart enough to realize that more gun control only benefits the criminal. Why? Because a criminal does not give a damn about gun laws. Why? Because guns are too easy to get regardless of what laws are in place. The only end result will be that the law abiding citizen that will lose out because more gun control will only make them more defenseless than they already are . That or it will make the law abiding citizen a criminal themselves for only wanting to protect themselves or their family.

    January 16, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Trevor

    We also need to reevaluate the 1st Amendment because freedom of speech is dividing our country and making it difficult for Congress to pass laws like stricter gun control. We should also reevaluate the 4th and 14th Amendments because they're making law enforcement's job difficult to fight gun related crime. While we're at it we should probably toss the 5th Amendment because it makes it difficult for prosecutors to convict criminals who use guns.

    January 16, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Don

    The second amendment clearly states that every person in the US has right to bear arms. I am sick and tired of this judicial and political activism to define the constitution narrowly in a way that the definition of "arms" and "free speech" keeps changing with the supreme court bench every couple of decades. Arms means any kind of arms, period at least as per the 2nd amendment. Now, if the law makers do not agree to this, they are free to change the constitution and get it ratified by the states. Until then, its a no go. No short cuts please. Also, its BS to say that more laws deter crime. No they do not. Laws only provide an avenue to persecute a crime. Making murders illegal havent reduced murders at all. Most sane people will never do it even if the laws were hypothetically removed.

    January 16, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. buck

    I remember a few weeks ago poles showing a totally different perspective. Perhaps the president should wait to see how American's really feel in a few months when they have thought some more. As opposed to using a tragedy to further a political agenda due to this"perfect storm"

    January 16, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Steve

    Gun owners need to keep their guns LOCKED UP so kids can't take them to school, or anywhere else. It's not the gun owners doing the shooting ! The last few shootings it was a mothers gun, a brothers gun and a friends gun. These shooters don't even own a gun. Start charging the gun owner if their gun is used to kill someone if it wasn't locked in a metal gun cabinet. I thought gun owners were responsible, how are these shooters getting their guns? You go to any police station and their guns are under lock and key, it's required.Start requiring all people to do the same.
    You say, oh but my child would never do that. Yea right, they said that about the last shooters too. If a gun isn't laying around easy to pick up, someone would have to think twice about what they're doing. Like calling out for help instead of killing a bunch of others before killing themselves. They sure aren't going to go down and apply for a gun permit. It's not the ill people buying guns, it;s the parents of ill people. It should be manditory, if you have children at home, to have guns securly locked up.
    If someone gets to buy a gun, they must buy a cabinet to lock it in also. and yes, I might start building gun cabinets, help spark the economy too.

    January 16, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    CNN polls are a joke. They only account for people that supports the question. Others are counted as unresponsive or no opinion. They always get the results they want.

    January 16, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Dude

    glades2: You can't solve crime with fewer guns either.

    January 16, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. seeme

    OK I believe that some of what is being talked about is good (universal background checks, school security, etc.). However I am concerned with the people who say the United States government has not impinged on the rights of its citizens in recent history. It was not long ago (70 years and there are still survivors alive) that over 100,000 thousand Japanese were rounded up and put into internment camps in the US. Also during “McCarthyism” (also about 70 years ago) people were questioned, detained, and killed for the belief they MAY BE a communist. Please do some research to see if I am making this up. Now I am not saying that a single individual with a gun (“assault weapon” or not) is going to stop the government from rounding up people. However if the 100,000 Japanese rounded up and the millions of people in this country that thought it was wrong, all stood together WITH their weapons at hand I bet the government would not have such an easy time displacing 100,000 people because of a perceived threat they might pose. Ultimately the government can and has impinged on the rights of American citizens (and illegal immigrants) in “recent” history.

    January 16, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Jefferson

    Let's see a poll specifically concerning opinion on an "assault weapons" ban. Just because most people are open to more strict gun laws, doesn't mean the majority wants to ban semi-auto rifles.

    January 16, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    My rights under the 2nd ammendment are not to be decided by referrendum. Just like the so-called "right" to an abortion is not up to public sentiment. Leave such interpretation to the Supreme Court where it belongs.
    ------------------
    The SCOTUS has already ruled on the issue of gun restrictions. Justice Scalia wrote that the right to bear arms is clearly defined but that the government DOES have the right and moral responsibility to regulate dangerous weapons like assault rifles. Please try to keep up.

    January 16, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Thomas Ridley

    I always wonder who did they poll and how where those [polled selected?

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. thomase

    "The thing that irks me about this whole issue is the way that the President strong-arms such major policy through instead of the way our democracy is designed. "

    Can you point out one thing that was unconstitutional? What he used for executive order are no brainers that would have been held up in congress after being amended with spending cuts until the end of time.

    The meat and potatoes which actually impacts anything constitutionally has been left up to congress. It will likely be held up and amended with spending cuts until the end of time.

    January 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. thomase

    The thing that irks me about this whole issue is the way that the President strong-arms such major policy through instead of the way our democracy is designed.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The only thing signed by executive order are no-brainers that would have been tied up in congress, amended to include spending cuts and ignored until the end of time. The actual laws that will have a larger impact are being put up for congress to decided which will be amended to include spending cuts and ignored until the end of time.

    January 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. MaryM

    The NRA is becoming more and more desperate and more and more irrelevant. Just like the GOP

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Ray Brown

    The picture says it all. Not only the "assault riffles" The garden variety too... All guns for that matter.... If it saves just one person right?

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. It's a Conundrum!!

    Another misleading headline. It should read, "A Majority of the 814 People Surveyed approve....." 814 is hardly representative of the 300 Million.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. J. J. Barker

    I don't beleive it, anyone can sway poll numbers to make it look like whatever they want. They must think middle Americans are all morons.

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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