November 21st, 2013
05:00 PM ET
8 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. Amie

    Hmmmm.....no one asked me or anyone I know to take this poll! 41% of who, what, where?! Polls are ridiculous!!

    November 22, 2013 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  2. Jacob

    Watch "Shadow Government" and understand that ALL Presidents are merely there to distract the public from the people who have the REAL POWER. End the Federal Reserve and those who profit from immoral wars. Alex Jones has been telling the truth for 18 years ... just listen to him with an open mind.

    November 22, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  3. Too Scruffy

    Just wait until employers start cancelling their group health plans. So far the ACA has been highlighted by insurance rates & cancellations. Doctors, clinics, hospitals, and other care providers will be impacted by 'BamaCare. "If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor. Period." Barry will look back to the good old days when 40% actually liked him. What a bad joke of a leader.

    November 22, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  4. G. T. Simpson

    I do not believe CNN's polls are accurate – no way in Hell Obama still has 41% approval unless you were taking the poll in downtown Detroit! Other than an 85% favorable rating in the Black community – majority support for Obama is non-existent! Obama will be lucky to finish out his term – he is an abomination – a total disgrace!

    November 22, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  5. james

    Seems a little high, at least in my city and we always vote democrat. I'm really surprised he hasn't tired to blame Bush for obamacare failing

    November 22, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. Mario Risk

    I'd guess 0 new would be 19% because there 20% American liberals, the 1% are thinking!

    November 22, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  7. Pete Brown

    I wonder what middle class working minorities think of Obama when they see their insurance bill under Obamacare. Bet it makes more than a few rethink supporting the left.

    November 22, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  8. Tuan Nguyen

    It is sad to see that 41% of American are still that desparated to believe in this President after all these lies have been exposed. Are we that ignorant or stupid??

    November 22, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  9. Anonymous

    This so-called President must be IMPEACHED! He is the dumbest person in Washington DC, as he knows nothing of what is going on.

    November 22, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  10. metoo59

    funny how CNN says 41 % but all other polls say 37%.. biased news???

    November 22, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  11. Sylvanus Joseph Ify

    The fate of the American lies on Obama and its deeds to sustain it lies on the Americans

    November 22, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  12. Namevguest

    Of the ones who approve 95 percent believe in the easter bunny.

    November 22, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  13. Hank Rearden

    When this clown hits zero, it'll be low enough.

    November 22, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  14. Overrated01

    I used to be an avid Obama supporter, but I don't even know where to start. We're too busy meddling in other countries, totally ignoring the problems that start in this nation. Maybe if we stop trying to rudely intervene in other countries, we would have a better focus and therefore, a better idea of how to fix our own problems. Other countries don't even want us! But no, of course not...we must keep meddling. So far, I have not seen any differences between Bush and Obama...I feel as if this is one continous rut, with Obama making false promises of "CHANGE"...

    November 22, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  15. profmoriarty

    @Hillary2016 – you do know don't you that Congress is made up of two chambers, the House, controlled by the GOP, and the Senate controlled by your DIMocrats? Therefore the Congress as a whole is not, as you seem to think, controlled by the GOP. In fact, since your DIMS hold both the Senate and the White House, DIMS really control 2/3 of the government. In fact the Congressional member with the lowest rating of all, negative 20, is Dusty Harry Reid the Senate majority leader. You might want to brush up on your Government 101 so you don't look so foolish next time you post. But I know liberals hate for facts to get in the way of a nonsensical diatribe.

    November 22, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  16. BDR

    The REAL Truth's post reminds me of the Presidents accomplishments through the white noise of Republican smoke and mirrors...thanks Real Truth.

    November 22, 2013 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  17. jr

    I am not part of the poll, but disapprove of him, I say we use all these sites, to make our own polls, to just add to the disapproval ratings, what a loser president, when its all over his hand in our insurance is going to break us all, don't go out and spend a bunch of money this holiday I think our biggest hits are coming soon. Im scared!!!!!! The democrats are making a big mess they cant clean up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  18. Mr. Derp

    Glad to see people are finally waking up, but it should be much lower.

    November 22, 2013 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  19. NBBigD

    Wake up America, we are on the verge of becoming a second or third class nation. With leadership, or should I say, Lack of leadership and womb to the tomb support by the government it's just a matter of time before we slip down the ladder. Our president, The Great and Powerful OzzBama is behind the curtain just as the Wizard was in the movie.

    November 22, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  20. Stanleytanglewood

    It's very showing in these comment boards how very little obama defenders know about government when they state "the republican controlled congress approval rating is blah blah blah". Congress is made of the House of Representatives AND the Senate! So it is not a republican controlled congress. They only control half. Pay attention in your 7th grade civics class.

    November 22, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  21. owlsharpton

    I guarantee you, it's lower than 41 percent. Where was the poll taken, Hollywood?

    November 22, 2013 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  22. W.G.

    This poll just proves CNN is asking the wrong people they should conduct their polls when Actual working
    people come home not during the day when the rich are mad because you woke them up .

    November 22, 2013 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  23. rewster

    This is what you get when you elect an unskilled speechmaker instead of a leader.

    November 22, 2013 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  24. america 1

    notice how the liberals always have to have a scape goat to cover their guy! Fox News,etc.are not the Leader of this country. And just imagine 5 years down the road and the only supporting argument for some is 'got Bin Laden'! I think you people are just embarrassed you ever bought his BS, and now feel obligated to defend him for your creditability.

    November 22, 2013 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  25. james

    The true believers will never turn from Obama because he has moved us closer to socialism than ever before. So give him credit for that. Once redistribution of wealth is the norm then we will all be happy according to our needs.

    November 22, 2013 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
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