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. BurnTom

    Isn't 42% the percentage of Americans on food stamps plus the number of useless government employees?

    November 22, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. shimmy

    yeah the republican minorities are the ones abusing their power , not Obama and his cronies.... NSA,IRS,bengazi,fast and furious etc, the only thing that's outrages is the horrific scandals caused by the current administration.

    November 22, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  3. No saint here

    These are individual perceptions, driven by emotional influences. Glad none of you are in the White House, guess who you will be relying on and giving in to the GOP. There has never been a balance of power in that House and we, the people cannot react as if we really know what is going on. President Obama has grown in the last 4 years not to cave in and to be the peoples President. He is doing his best esp for our troops and keeping America safe. How quickly we forget once we listen to overly reacted dramatics talk show hosts. They fire us up and we forget everything! Aren't we all emotionally reactive trying to be louder than the other guy?

    November 22, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. jinx9to88

    Pretty hard to get anything done when the Congress says "no" to everything and carries a 10% approval rating themselves.

    November 22, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. RIchard Long

    "most transparent Administration in history"?

    “Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties,” according to a letter the organizations sent to the White House. “As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government.”

    November 22, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  6. Silly is as silly does

    "41% of Americans approve of the job the President's doing in the White House" There's the tragedy.

    November 22, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Kelly

    Spin it CNN, try your best...lol

    November 22, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  8. Marie MD

    @ Bert, you realize that you have described most, If not all of your teaklans? The useless screecher from AK, the Canadian terrorist whose own father thinks he is the second coming, the flake from MN, the weeper, paulie from KY, crackhead radio boy, Queen Anne of la Jolla, insanity, colter, O'Reilly and others at faux news.
    Definition
    By Mayo Clinic staff
    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

    November 22, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Greenspam

    Republicans are quoted multiple times that "website problems cannot be fixed"! Wow... do these guys know anything about technology? scary!

    November 22, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  10. Tiffins

    The approval rating finally matches his IQ.

    November 22, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Robert

    I'm no Bush fan, but I remember how they would shout from the rooftops every time his poll numbers went down. Is Anderson Cooper doing promos for upcoming shocking poll results? I think if more of the public knew and understood the NSA spying story, we'd be talking about poll numbers in the 20s.

    November 22, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Joi Gibson

    More poll dancing. To quote some on the right, this is partly the media's fault. When they constantly report negativity, then it begins to take its toll. Yes, the website roll out was a cluster, but that can and is being fixed. Having said that, President Obama still has my support and I'd vote for him again. And thank you very much I am not what some would like to call a "taker." BTW, that term is really offensive. Elderly, disabled, children, veterans are on government assistance programs – shame on you for calling them offensive names. At least the president is trying to help. What have the Republicans offered in the way of solutions. NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH!!!!

    November 22, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. Jerry

    You can spin the results of this administration's work anyway you, but the president and his administration are doing a terrible job in almost all facets. The slide down hill start in Libya and then continued at home. The democrat party is going to suffer in the elections because of the fiasco of Obama care. The liberal policies just aren't taking hold and giving the results the liberals had hoped for.

    November 22, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Jerry

    Benghazi, Syria, Egypt and the Muslim brotherhood; NSA spying against all American citizens, secret Fisa courts, Snowden, failed immigration policy, national debt now over 17 trillion, expansion of poverty, over 47 million people on food stamps, failed Obama care program....need I say more about the administrations ability to actually function as a leadership group for the country?

    November 22, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Data Driven

    I'd be worried more about this if there was a corresponding RISE in the GOP's numbers. It's worth noting that Obama isn't running for a third term, either.

    November 22, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. hkdakota

    This will be a daily story because it's going to sink every day now that people are finding out just what they are dealing with, we will not be directly lied to for your legacy Mr. President.

    November 22, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. hkdakota

    American are known as rugged individualist that don't want cradle to grave care from the government. The government that governs least governs best.

    November 22, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. Freedom Storm

    When we think of “tea”, let’s think of it as it appears on the side of a crate being thrown overboard to sink into the sea.

    Now let’s equate that crated item to liberal-Marxist-socialist-progressive/communists.

    Our task is done.

    November 22, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. BADGUY

    I guess it comes down to this. 45% of Americans think the bottom 20% (the 60 Million on welfare and food stamps) should be left to die, with NO medical care, so the welfare and food stamp rolls will go down "naturally", and THEIR health care costs will remain as is. Does that pretty much sum it up?

    November 22, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    41% approve. The Koolaide is strong with these...

    November 22, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Stuart C.Desso

    Incompetence breeds incompetence. We have a totaly do nothing know nothing president. May God bless the United States of America and cause us to take our heads out of the sand.

    November 22, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. dnokc

    If he still has 41% who would follow him...Mitt gave him 5% to much credit! Still quite amazing...no actually quite pathetic!

    November 22, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Abbey

    This current president was never ready for this office. We can thank those low intelligent voters for that.

    November 22, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. ghostwriter

    Conservatives will use this poll until or unless it shows that Obama's approval rating rises. Then they will go back to saying that the poll is a media, socialist, communist muslim plot to take over the world a la Pinky and the Brain.

    November 22, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Tom1940

    What is sad and tragic about this descent into oblivion is that it is all "self-inflicted". The "Democrat Intelligencia", think tanks, Main Stream Media, Democrat "spin-doctors", no one, it seems could prevent this from happening. Conversely, the Republicans had many hands on many levers, greasing the "slide" for Pres. Bush in his descent. Pres. Obama had no one to blame but himself, as he is the chief architect of his own demise in these polls. Lincoln said it best: "You can fool most of the people most of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time!"

    November 22, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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