October 31st, 2013
02:55 PM ET
1 year 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. Realred

    How interesting that most GOP call the president clueless, empty minded and a black opportunist. And if asked why they come out with talking points from Rush Limbaugh and Fox news. They criticize everything the president does and have no solutions to the country's problems. And continue to make plans that are detrimental to the growth of the country, and when afforded the opportunity to change the course of the country, they could only come out with a Mitt Romney who couldn't win a debate and election against a "clueless black opportunist". Keep up with the name calling, GOP! we will see how sustainable that turns out for you. The whole country is watching.

    October 31, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Mike

    Hahaha! What's this, the PRIVATE SECTOR has to bail out the government- AGAIN? Oh, the HORROR! Just goes to show you that 75% of Obama's appointees would be digging DITCHES if they didn't have their fat gov't jobs!!!

    October 31, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Frank

    I always wonder... How come I have never been polled and don't know a single soul who has. Ever.

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

    Good grief. where are they doing these polls getting 41% for Obama, the UC Berkeley campus!?

    Also, you would think that even this liberal organization might think its readers would catch on to the fact that, strangely, they don't mention the polls of the Democrats!

    Liberal organizations can't seem to let the declining Obama ravings stand alone without hitting the Republicans as much in the story! But, I'd like to know where these 41% live, as that it terribly distressing that supposedly that many STILL blindly follow this petty, vindictive politician from Chicago!

    October 31, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. George T

    G O P-tparty approval is lowest in recorded history. GOP-tparty almost destroyed the USA and cost taxpayer 24 billion during shutdown. We are better off without GOP-t-party.

    My family and friends are much better off than we were 5 years ago thanks to President Obama.

    October 31, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Lynn

    The GOP would self immolate to bring obamas poll numbers down a couple points.

    October 31, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. jenn, philadelphia

    Saboth, wouldn't you consider Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS scandal "blunders"? The recession and the deficit, by the way, are a bipartisan legacy from our former Republican President and the Democratically-controlled (for 6 of his 8 years) Congress.

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Phil - Wolcott, CT.

    I just don't get it. How many lies and/or twisted stories are we going to accept?
    It's time to IMPEACH this clown AND clean house, via recall, in the HOUSE AND SENATE.

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Osvaldo

    Obama is a great president!

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. citizenUSA

    So much hoopla when he was running for his first term. The whole world thought the whole world was going to change for the better because a black man was voted president. Well, I guess black people can be just as messed up as white people.

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Ric

    The record for longest stand-up comedy act continues. Five years and counting...

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Malcolm in St Louis

    The NSA has really helped the Pres. into the toilet. They are a rogue agency destroying the US from within by removing our liberties to satisfy their lust for control and power.
    All that spying on us and they still did not know about the Boston bombers.

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Jason

    Bush had 23% approval...No president after Hoover can beat that

    October 31, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Kelly

    Sue, What does that have to do with this article? You should be happy.... You got a non-religious president for your 'secular' society. No he is NOT a Muslim, NO NO NO he is not a follower of Christ ( none of what he supports is in line, well 90% of it). Your comment should be on another article!! Obama has no experience and should NOT have been elected during the global financial crisis-– that is evident now for ALL nonKool-Aid drinkers..……

    October 31, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Jack 2

    Sniffit
    another 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...97 % of blacks voted for a black candidate, that's racist in itself. Many blacks admit they voted for Obama because he 's black. if you don't believe me look at you tube and listen to them.
    All we want is an honest president with a brain. Rice or Powell had honesty and brains... I would've voted for them. You are a racist for throwing up the race card.

    October 31, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. mark shiro

    i'm glad that the mainstream media is finally starting to tell the truth about our dear "leader". unfortunately, they are the ones responsible for the election and reelection of this imperial, disconnected, corrupt, inept, liar of a president. CNN and NBC are really the truly guilty parties here. especially andrea mitchell greenspan on NBC. she should have worn obama pompoms during the elections. what ever happened to real journalism? if a network is going to promote an agenda, they should be honest and say that that is their opinion. do not report these things as NEWS.

    October 31, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. PharmGrl

    We've just witnessed The Mother of All Public Relations Disasters on the Biggest Bait and Switch in the history of the planet.The Obama administration truly should be nominated for a Darwin Award.

    At long last, we are finally finding out what's in Nancy's bill. This time next year we'll be watching 24/7 clips of Obama's Oh So Earnest "promises" on Obamacare, as we open yet another massive premium jacking.
    Democrats' attempt to sneak single payer in the back door is going to back fire in a big way.
    They have misjudged the nature of the US electorate, and they are going to fry next year.
    Take this piece of garbage law back to the OR for major bipartisan surgery. That's it's ONLY chance for survival.

    October 31, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    @Saboth

    The major "blunders" of Obama's presidency:

    You left off that he had to fight an uphill battle against a nasty opposition party who led record filibusters, lied continuously, tried to scare our elderly, and who have used every decietful trick at their disposal to keep him from governing.

    October 31, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Scott

    5 states have 8 insurance enrollees between them in a month. Is that enough to pay for America's poor and pre-existing conditions? Probably a little short.

    October 31, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    His shenanigans with national parks and monuments were a disgrace and a disservice to the American people
    -------------------------------------------------
    The GOPeeing Teatards short-sighted temper tantrum shut down national parks and monuments in their own states.
    The Teatards are a disgrace and a costly disservice to the American people.

    FIXED IT FOR YOU ( I don't think you'd understand FIFY).

    October 31, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Those of you in south Florida, District 19, check out the website for April Freeman who is running against tea bagger Trey Radel.

    October 31, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Papa

    Congratulations to everyone who voted for this adminsitration. Next time, be more careful with your vote.

    October 31, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Bert974

    They should have kept the government shut down for longer. Waste of money.

    October 31, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Kelly

    @Peach...... Can't argue with that......! Nice list!

    Yes Obama had a mess (and NO experience)
    BUT Bush had 9/11 within his first year that was plotted under Clinton and lead to all this War crap! A lot of blame to go around and we will be STUPID if we let another Bush or Clinton or someone with ZIP for experience into the White House!!!!

    October 31, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Peach – as a casual observer, I would go with Bush, then Hoover, then Nixon . . ., as the worst to occupy the White House.

    October 31, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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