October 31st, 2013
02:55 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama's poll numbers fall, but he's not alone

(CNN) - Take a second-term president who has faced a series of setbacks this year and what do you get: public opinion polls that are nothing to brag about.

But when it comes to dropping numbers, new surveys suggest that President Barack Obama has plenty of company in the nation's capital.

According to Gallup's latest daily tracking poll released Thursday, only 41% of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing, with 51% giving him a thumbs down.

It's the same story in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Wednesday indicating 42% approval - an all-time low in NBC/WSJ polling for the President - with 51% saying they disapprove, tied for his all-time high.

And for the first time in NBC/WSJ polling, the President's personal ratings are underwater, with 41% seeing Obama in a favorable light and 45% holding a negative view.

The NBC/WSJ and Gallup polls are not an aberration.

Obama stood at 41% approval in a Fox News poll last week and at 44% in the most recent CNN/ORC International survey, conducted immediately after the end of the 16-day government shutdown earlier this month.

"I don't think it's all tied to the health care website rollout or the government shutdown. You've also got the NSA surveillance controversy, the Syrian conflict. The President's had a very complicated and tough time of it since he was re-elected. I often wonder why people want a second term in the White House. They end up with so many headaches," said CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Just about all recent polling suggests Americans are angry and frustrated, and it's not just the President who's feeling the heat.

According to the NBC/WSJ survey, only 22% see the Republican party in a positive light, another all-time low those surveys.

The poll also indicates that more than six in 10 want to replace their own member of Congress, the highest percentage ever recorded on that specific question. And only 22% say the nation's headed in the right direction.

"Republicans should not take comfort in the fact that the President's numbers are dropping because their numbers are dropping even more. There is a sense of a pox on all your houses in all of this polling that we've seen recently," added Borger.

The government shutdown gave the President and congressional Democrats a short term boost in public opinion polls. The miserable launch of HealthCare.Gov maybe wiping away those gains.

The big question is which controversy may have a bigger impact with voters by the time the 2014 midterm elections roll around a year from now.

"Probably the biggest factor in the 2014 midterms will be the state of the economy next year," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But neither party seems to be directly addressing that problem right now and that has to be a major source of frustration for many voters."

"If they take that frustration out on the incumbent party in the White House, that's bad for the Democrats. If they take out that frustration on incumbent members of Congress, that's probably bad for the Republicans because there are more GOP incumbents than Democratic incumbents," he said.


Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. L.L.

    I have no regrets voting for the president.

    October 31, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Tom

    Comparing the Senate, the House and the President is like comparing the three stooges and asking who is the biggest stooge. You have to first realize that you're comparing stooges and not more noble and decent groups.

    October 31, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    GOP has an approval rating of 22%, which is mainly made up of the birthers, bigots, and those who think Romney killed bin Laden. 60 million Americans who get their news from Fox.

    October 31, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Michelle

    A "racist" is someone who believes their race to be superior to another person's race. Thus, there is nothing "racist" about saying someone was voted into office due to his race or color. It is also not a bigoted statement as saying someone was voted into office due to his race or color does not mean they hate or dislike that person simply due to his race or color. It might only be a statement of prejudice for per-judging that someone is in office simply due to his race or color. What is it to you? It is just his opinion. Stop looking for any opportunity just to play the "race card," get that chip off your shoulder, and quit showing your ignorance.

    October 31, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Logic n Los Angeles

    Conservatives crack me up. Worst President ever? Based on what? There is absolutely NOTHING pointing to that. Every indicator is up since he took office and we have ended one war and a second next year. Spending is down by percentage ( not done without Republican help) And all this done with the second lowest tax base in history.
    Not taking responsibility? He has repeatedly every mishap mentioned on here stops at his desk.
    His biggest failing? Thinking he could get anything accomplished with the House controlled by Republicans.
    Is it time to vote for the 100th time to cancel Obamacare?

    October 31, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Hey Cedar Rapids...... I am a registered Independent but did you ever notice that the states that are Republican controlled are doing much better than those states under Democratic control????? Two cases in point, New York and California.... The two most financially troubled states are both Democratic....... NEED I SAY MORE?

    October 31, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ cedar rapids:

    Meanwhile the GOP rating is 22%.
    Need I say more?
    --------------

    Well, I wasn't going to comment but since you have, that number certainly has been buried in the "paperwork" (so to speak).

    I've never seen so many fools celebrating in self confident amusement the President's numbers while pushing aside their own abysmal party numbers.

    Oh, I know. Distraction.

    Here's to more distraction come 2014.

    October 31, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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