November 21st, 2013
05:00 PM ET
10 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 (712 Responses)
  1. lb309

    Now he's thrown his support behind Harry Reid's decision to use the Nuclear Option to change the voting rules for the Senate. This is a huge deal and extremely bad for the country, but you wouldn't know it from the few stories on this site. It's not called the nuclear option for nothing.

    "...no Senate right is more fundamental than the right to debate. Should the majority choose to break the rules that give us that right, the majority should not expect to receive cooperation from the minority in the conduct of Senate business. . . . [W]e will be reluctant to enter into any consent agreement that facilitates Senate activities, even on routine matters. . . . We would decline to provide such cooperation in the future if you implement the Nuclear Option.” – Harry Reid, 2005

    November 21, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. oharris30

    as if the president cares about this polling of whites.

    November 21, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. mike

    47% want Obama in charge. There's that 47% number again!

    November 21, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. USER-301

    Approval ratings mean nothing when a president is in his second term. He already has the job so those that don't like what he does will just have to ride it out until Hillary takes over in 2016. No president will ever make the masses happy and they need not really try. The average human has no idea of what a President really goes through during his day. Sit back and enjoy.

    November 21, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. Mike Harmon

    Who are those 41%? DC Dem staffers?

    November 21, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Maximus

    Is it any wonder that our government is so partisan and has become completely dysfunctional? Listen to all these immature replies from people either bashing Obama or bashing Republicans. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and grow up. Republicans: Obama is not perfect and has made some mistakes, but he is not THAT bad. You are just pouting because you lost two elections....grow up. Democrats: Obama is not the savior of black people or the country or any other group. You also can't continue to spend money we don't have. Everyone please take you political party sunglasses off and try to approach national issues objectively.

    November 21, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. mike

    Roughly 4 out of 10 people are now uneducated, lazy, government dependent leeches. Hmmm roughly 4 out 10 people still support Obama.

    November 21, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. ButtaBoom

    Tiredofthisnonsense

    "I am so sick of hearing about how bad the President is doing when it is clearly the GOPs fault for all of this. The GOP were the ones that put thousands of people out of work with the Gov shutdown, The GOP are the ones always blocking the President at every turn, Wake up and smell the coffee! I am sure the GOPs rating is much lower than the Presidents. Repubs are nothing but hateful people that will sacrifice American workers for their selfish gain and to undermine Barack Obama just for the sake of it".

    Easily summed up. The reason I because HE IS A LIAR, simple as that. By the way how is life on Obama's plantation?

    November 21, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Kwai

    I wonder if previous Presidents received these kinds of comments when their approval ratings were at their lowest. Just for reference, these are the ratings of the previous Presidents as compared to Obama: (as surveyed by Gallop)

    Lowest Approval Rating Highest Disapproval Rating

    Obama 38% 55%
    Bush (GW) 25 75
    Clinton 37 54
    Bush(GHW) 29 60
    Reagan 35 56
    Carter 28 59

    In other words, Obama has the highest Lowest Approval rating and the second to the lowest Highest Disapproval rating when compared to the five previous Presidents! If anything, the author's article is at best misleading and poorly researched.

    November 21, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. John

    41%? LOL! Yeah, and choosy mothers choose Jif, too!

    November 21, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  11. One nation

    CNN's 41% is high, gallop is lower, so I believe gallop.
    What? Gallop said mitt wound won landslide? Can't be that's not true.
    41% is bad. 9% is the new good.

    November 21, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. BGko

    Does this mean a portion of the country suddenly turned racist?

    November 21, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. onetermandout

    It's official; 41% of the population of the US are uninformed morons.

    November 21, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. Jen

    A faulty website vulnerable to get taken down from outside forces is a serious issue for the government if it has potential put peoples personal information at risk. Also some Americans have been out of work for years. People losing a couple weeks of work during the shutdown is nothing compared to what others have been dealing with in the current job market.

    November 21, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. Jeff

    It's amazing Obama's approval numbers seem to reapear at 41%, even when they hit 39%. When Gallop was called into the White House before the election last year, and admonished for not giving more favorable poll numbers to Obama, I've always read them with a grain of salt since then. All of them except Rasmussen. If they say Obama's aprroval rating is 39, 41%, I just take it for granted that they're actually ten points lower. But that's just me, you can believe anything you want. Everything's so skewered in the MSM media today, doctored audio tapes, etc., except for Fox, it's hard to believe anything they say.

    November 21, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. madashell

    He will go down as the worst president in US history.

    Hard to believe so many people actually fell for his empty promises that are now proving to be a huge pack of lies.

    November 21, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  17. bearclaw69

    Obama is the most unqualified President to ever sit in the Oval Office. He will ultimately be judged a failure, but his minions of worshipers who voted for a half-breed so they could feel good won't admit they were misled and delusional.

    November 21, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. Phlip

    I think what I find most comical is that lapdog wolf blitzed spent an entire afternoon presenting bush poll numbers as awful news, yet says nothing about the garbage that is this administration's numbers. It's no wonder their trust is lower than congresses poll numbers. Hypocrisy and awfulness afoot in the lapdog media. We all know Nixon was forced to resign over less of a lie. Obama is a joke.

    November 21, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. bearclaw69

    Obama is the most unqualified President to ever sit in the Oval Office, and that's saying something considering some of the losers to have held that esteemed role. He's also largely a liar. He may have had some good intentions on some issues, but his inexperience as a politician caused him to resort to his dope-smoking days and to lie his way into getting what he wants. He is determined to effect wholesale re-distribution of income in this country, and I hope he is stopped before permanent damage is done.

    November 21, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. Anthony Talbert

    Isn't it interesting that CNN has turned off comments for the article on the Democrats use of the "nuclear option". Particularly in light of the number of comments against that use!

    Is CNN afraid that even some of their viewers are against this blatant power grab?

    November 21, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. leroy hornsby

    What in the hell is there to approve of ... for crying out loud?

    November 21, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  22. Mike Jefferson

    The federal government has become little more than a crime syndicate led by a criminal-in-chief. Lying, thieving, and gangsta'ism are the operative mandates. It's time to shut down these mobsters and show them some long prison terms. Freedom for America.

    November 21, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  23. buck

    All I can say is what a joke..

    November 21, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. Sonny

    What many dont realize isthe 5 million cancellations we've seen thus far is just the tip of the iceberg. Next fall there is expected to be between 50-100 million more cancellations at small employment companies

    November 21, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. buck

    This guy couldn't run a closed down car wash

    November 21, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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