October 31st, 2013
02:55 PM ET
9 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. Peach

    @Tampa Tim – No you have that wrong--Obama the worst president ever, 2nd Carter, 3rd Bush..........

    October 31, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Lu

    GeorgeBush, military industrial war complex, Dick Cheney, Jesus Christ! Washington REDSKINS!!! boogie boogie boo ! Happy Halloween to Obama supporters!

    October 31, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. cedar rapids

    'JoJo – Right-o Doug. You'd never pick a former Gov/CEO/Olympic Chair over a Community Organizer empty suit. And people wonder why this country is doomed.'

    Actually when people keep trashing the idea of a 'community organizer' as a negative thing, or claim that is the only job Obama has ever done, is a sign the country is doomed.

    October 31, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. howard

    He's had is Chan e, all of them have. Time to get some people in their we can trust and not want to lie and take every dollar American people earn. He needs impeached and fast.

    October 31, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. PB

    Does anyone think Obama cares? He is not up for reelection anyway. The TPrs need to look out though.

    October 31, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    We accepted Bush's lies because we all knew he wasn't very bright.

    October 31, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Well Matt, yours is about the best comment out there in my opinion........ I was actually surprised Sebelius took responsibility yesterday but then again, what choice did she have? It is as always, every time there is a questionable major incident, be it Fast and Furious, Libya, the IRS, the NSA, you name it, when is anyone ever held accountable as Obama always promises?????

    Our foreign relations are in the toilet, our country is a laughing stock abroad for the first time in history. No one takes us serious anywhere in the world. Obama had no business experience, he has lousy advisers or he just doesn't listen to them.

    Both parties are guilty of driving the US down. They are only worried about their own political ambitions and not worried about the people they were elected to serve. If we continue on the path we are on, it won't be long before we no longer have a middle class. Don't be fooled by the fact that Obama is a smooth talker, he is all talk...............that is the problem....

    October 31, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Saboth

    The major "blunders" of Obama's presidency:
    1. Had to clean up the financial disaster of the Republican Recession which lead to a massive decrease in tax income and unemployment.
    2. Was saddled with a 1 trillion per year deficit left to him by GW Bush.
    3. An American embassy in an unstable part of the world was attacked, and his PR team flubbed the immediate response.
    4. A massive website that links insurance companies, medical information, state agencies and hundreds of millions of Americans did not work right out of the gate.
    5. The only real issue (but a major one): the continuation and expansion of illegal government spying on American citizens and the monitoring of millions of Americans that are not suspected of crimes.

    October 31, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. cedar rapids

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

    October 31, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. howard

    Between him and his money spending wife and family, this man has destroyed this country single handedly

    October 31, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. In Shock

    Never thought I'd see the day when CNN starting to grow a pair.

    October 31, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    guess the only "savior" for this country is going to be 'ol Hill.......she should have been the one, in the first place.... BUT, everybody was all bent out of shape because of what her husband done, while he was in office....
    They Judged her on that, and Now, this country is paying the price.....( sorry to be so blunt) and I even Voted for Obama, who else was there ?? LOL – it's always that way...either you vote for worthless vs. more worthless, or Dumb vs. Dumber, or Stupid vs. Stupider......that's the way it is.....none of them are perfect.....

    Guess it's going to take a woman......take a look at Germany / Great Britain / & I can go on & on....They've got Females in their Highest Office, but I guess this country wasn't ready for it, in 2008.....Maybe they will change their mind, come 2016..... I would gamble on a womans point of views, and reaching out, across the Isle, & etc..... maybe she may fix things, our relationship with other countries, & the whole 9 yards.... not to mention the 17 trillion issue....

    October 31, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Jerry

    That sounds about right...
    Obama screws up and it's the republicans fault...
    CNN you never fail to make me laugh...

    October 31, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Obstuctionism??? Seriously? The panel is balanced as it should be. The Dems want another member to offset that balance in their favor. There is no need for another member. Dems need to justify why another member is needed before proceeding. As for obstruction, are the Dems allowing anything from the GOP to proceed? How about 5 budgets the GOP has passed since 2007 all obstructed by the Dems? Dems have obstructed nearly anything and everything from the GOP. Only a politically blind person would believe its all one sided.
    ______________
    SHHHHHH, don't tell the dems on here actual facts, I don't think they can handle them right now! They must stay in their own little fairytale world!! LMFAO"
    =====
    Yawn.

    1. The number of and types of positions to be filled by presidential appointment for both the agencies and the courts are mandated by STATUTE. Obama is doing what he has a DUTY, a RESPONSIBILITY and an OBLIGATION to do, which is fill those vacant seats. This has nothing to do with trying to make anything "unbalanced" or "tip in his favor." If the GOP/teatrolls don't like it, they can try to pass legislation that changes these mandates. Until then, Obama has a duty, the power, the authority and every right to nominate and see people confirmed for these positions.

    2. The Senate and House passed budgets in April. They are supposed to go to conference to resolve the differences. The Senate (i.e., Dems) have demanded that conference NINETEEN TIMES and the House (i.e., GOP) has refused NINTETEEN TIMES. The GOP/Teatrolls don't want a long-term budget. They want a kick the can down the road hostage taking manufactured crisis every three months in which they threaten to shut down the gov't or default on the nation's debts unless they get what they want. Anyone who thinks otherwise has not been paying ANY attention.

    October 31, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Dizzy

    The only reason why Obama is in the 40's and not the 20's is all the racist black people & the liberals chock full of white guilt ,who refuse to hold Obama accountable just because he's black

    October 31, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Frank

    Hahahahahahahahahahajaha 22%.... Hahahahaha.. All of the sudden, 41% sounds great.

    October 31, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Benjamin Ghazi

    "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian - for me - for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix." - Barack Obama, April 17, 2008

    "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what." - Barack Obama, June 15, 2008

    Coming up: Barry says Malia and Sasha made him 'evolve' on ObamaCare.

    October 31, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Colo001

    This is funny You guys have been moved off the major political news because the left is imploding so you hide here and complain about the GOP. Your cackling like a bunch of old ladies

    October 31, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Wow, look at all the no-information voters on the Right, all feverishly typing their prepared speeches onto websites all day. These are the sort of people who, when asked about what they believe in, can't answer the question, but they certainly can tell you what they are against. Not exactly a path to wisdom.

    October 31, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Kelly

    Must be Bush's fault..... lol

    October 31, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    One poster writes..."It's ironic that the only reason he was elected is because he's black. "

    Sniffit writes...The only irony here is that you don't realize you just announced yourself a die-hard racist

    I write...When 97% of blacks vote for the same guy and he's black that's racist. Many blacks admit they voted for Obama because he's black. If you don't believe me look at Youtube and listen.

    We aren't racist we're just calling it what it is. If Rice or even Powell ran I wouldn't have cared because they have a brain and are honest. That's all we want is an honest and smart person to rin this country. You are a trouble maker that pulls the race card to get your way. No better than a racist

    October 31, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Tampa Tim

    The only 'truth' baggers accept, are the lies from Hannity, Limbaugh, Fox, and the Koch brothers. What a sorry bunch of misfits the Republican Party has become.

    October 31, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. johnathanness

    Honestly, I'm surprised his approval ratings are even that high.

    October 31, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. srcactus

    Wussy article, it is a whole lot worse than a set back or loss of bragging rights, it's blatant miss management of an ill conceived agenda. The MIA CEO just hasn't got the skills or tools for the job. Circle the wagons and protect the nation until the next elections and hope that we elect competent leadership in place of partisan wonks from either side of the isle.

    October 31, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Right-o Doug. You'd never pick a former Gov/CEO/Olympic Chair over a Community Organizer
    -------------------------------------------------
    No no he wouldn't,and no we wouldn't, and by all evidence most of America would not and DID NOT.
    Your puppet lost. This country is NOT a business and being Olympic chair means a hill of mustard seeds in government.
    Seek counseling.
    It's been over a year that Romney got stomped into the ground by everyone of every color and economic status.
    Get over it already although suicide is still an option.

    October 31, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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