November 21st, 2013
05:00 PM ET
5 months ago

Obama approval rating sinks to new low in CNN poll

Washington (CNN) – As President Barack Obama's approval rating hits another all-time low, a new national survey also indicates that Americans say the President has less power than congressional Republicans when it comes to shaping events over the next year.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, 41% of Americans approve of the job the President's doing in the White House, the lowest level for that crucial indicator in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent questioned say they disapprove of Obama's performance, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

The President's approval rating has now reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in polls released over the past three weeks from CNN/ORC, CBS News, ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal. And the CNN survey is the fourth non-partisan live operator national poll released this week to put Obama's approval rating between 40% and 42%. A CBS News survey released Wednesday showed the President's approval rating at 37%.

Geography appears to play a role in the President's falling numbers.

"The drop in Obama's approval rating comes entirely among suburbanites," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Compared to the October CNN poll, positive views of Obama held steady among people who live in big cities and rural areas. But in the suburbs, his approval rating was 45% a month ago but has dropped to just 37% now."

The President's overall job approval rating is down three points since mid-October after being stuck in the mid-40s for several months in CNN polling. But it's worth noting that Obama's woes did not begin with the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website in October, Holland pointed out.

"The real damage came in June, when reports about NSA spying and IRS treatment of conservative groups caused an eight-point drop in his approval rating - a far more significant change than what the numbers from October suggest," he said.

Who should shape Washington?

Fifty percent believe that congressional Republicans will have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year while only 42% saying the President will have more influence, according to the poll. That's a change from November 2012, when more six in ten said Obama would have more influence in the year to come.

Who should have more influence is a different story.

The poll shows 47% want Obama to be in charge while 45% say the GOP should have more influence over the country.

"There is a hint of good news for the President - but only a hint - in those numbers, since that means that the number of Americans who support Obama in his struggles with the GOP is a bit higher than the 41% approval rating would suggest. But that number is also a step down in Obama's support, representing a four-point decline since the last time the question was asked just after Obama won re-election last year," Holland said.

The poll was conducted Nov. 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (713 Responses)
  1. sickofgop

    @ankenyman So you are against equal pay for women, ending the war in iraq (which was a waste from the beginning), internet access, gitmo closing etc., Seems to me like you have a problem with people's rights.

    November 21, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. DW

    either completely inept or dishonest, you chose

    November 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Get over it!

    Yeah see, here's the thing: HE WON!!! All you Mitt Romney loving, sore loser, right wingers, need to get over your self righteous selves and realize that in 2016 you'll have another chance to put another "Dub Shrub", or similar dweeb, in office. I, for one, am proud to say that I voted for PRESIDENT OBAMA both times and , given the chance , would vote for him a third time. My approval rating is 100%!!!!!!!

    November 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. sno

    I wonder if CNN had the survey in Congress? I dont know a soul who approves Obama especially with new Obamacare law

    November 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. really

    obama is a FRAUD

    November 21, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Brainy SMurf

    Love the people blaming the Rethugs for this. I also suppose it's the Rethugs fault Obamacare is doing so badly? Kindly remind me how many of them voted for it? Common Liberal problem... it's always someone else's fault. Never any personal responsibility...

    November 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Iceman

    ->the "real" truth. Perspective is truly important. Let's start with your #1. The ACA is not even fully in effect and is already an absolute disaster. In fact, a bundle of obfuscation and lies wrapped in a blanket of willingly ignorant partisanship. Hard to claim something as an accomplishment when it isn't even a reality. But that sounds remarkably similar to winning the Nobel Peace Prize, eh?

    November 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. Anna

    CNN is a little behind – he's Mr. 37%.

    November 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. slalom5

    I expect, by January of 2014, his approval ratings will be in the low 20's. Scandal after scandal, and lie after lie. Only the blind and those who think that they – just – couldn't – have – voted – for – this, or believe that they -just – couldn't – have – been – so – wrong, or insist they – just – didn't- see – this – coming are still hanging on.

    November 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    He could care less about his ratings, all he wants to do is get his socialist agenda through and with the gutless congress we have I guess he will 3 more years of him and his lies.

    November 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Mick

    Well, the world as a whole breathed a sigh of relief when Obama became President and from what I can gather most of us still feel relieved (particularly outside the U.S.).
    Name one other that would have done a better job with the way things were in 2008 and now, in the present.

    November 21, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Joan

    This is exactly what pollsters do. When it's controversial to focus on someone's vulnerabilities they all do this kind of polling. It gives pundits something to talk about and pollsters something to do? How can 893 adults represent the feelings of hundreds of millions of Americans? Could you tell us what parts of the country were polled, what the questions were and what percentage were young people vs. older white folks. Oh and don't forget to tell everyone how many calls were to landlines and to cells and what time of day the calls were made. That all makes a huge difference on the results. Remember most people use cell phones now. Everyone with half a brain takes all polls with a grain of salt. Remember how Romney was predicted to crush the President in the last election. This will all pass too and the President will rebound and more diverse polls would show that. Then the pollsters will have egg on their face again.

    November 21, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Socalc

    Obama's approval rating has not dropped in the least for me. It has always been at zero.

    November 21, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. John

    Bottom line is that my net worth in the stock market/401 K has gone up more than 1 million, out of the 11 trillion increase.....I lost about a half million during GW's term.........I haven't been this happy, about my returement since Clinton was in......so question begs to be asked.....
    Why would anyone in their right mind ever again vote for a GOP president?

    November 21, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. HomeBoy

    Empty suit. Liar. I wish for $10 gallon gas just so the fools that voted this guy into office suffer.

    November 21, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Bill Francis

    Barry is like the candy man, promising every thing to every one.

    Now the dumb masses and uninformed are learning the truth.

    The man has been and is a plague upon America and must be eradicated.

    November 21, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. captcaps

    Big O still has a higher approval rating than CNN, The Rabid Republican House , The Mindless Republican Party, and the Teabagger Terrorists.....So Where is the problem he has never been as LOW as BUSH ,Boehner or Cruz....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    November 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. StuckWithHim

    Unless he really slips up and lands himself into the categories of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors (the bar to be impeached), I guess he may look forward to serving out his second term, polls not withstanding.

    November 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. VJ

    I dont worry about this anymore... he will bounce back his ratings in next few years....

    November 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. curious

    And who are these people? I was not included in CNN bias poll.Those people speak for the divided America.not the America I live in.

    November 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. BudW

    @ the real truth Limited lobbyist’s access to the White House? are you kidding better sharpen your pencil

    November 21, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. troof

    how long untill they start saying this is due to his race as well? Headline: 59% of Americans disapproves of President.... because they are racist.

    November 21, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. TruthInSpending

    Imagine how low it would be if the press beat up on him the way they beat up on W.

    November 21, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Dave

    Make that a plus or minus margin of error of about 20 per cent. (Allowing for CNN asking only Democrats)

    November 21, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Karl

    How in the world do 41% approve? Guess America has been dumbed down.

    November 21, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29