November 21st, 2013
05:00 PM ET
1 year 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. RightStuff

    Can you believe that two out of five people still think Barack is OK. Mind boggling!

    November 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Joe Herzog

    41% still puts him 32% higher than Congress. The American people are fickle, just like the stock market and they will approve or disapprove of the President on the whim of the day. As the ACA gets improvement, as relations with Iran improve you will see his poll numbers on the rise.

    November 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. Sally

    How can there be 41% of Americans that APPROVE of this guy?? That's impossible...oh, wait, no it's not, that's about the percentage of voters who voted for him that are clueless...you know, the ones who got the free phones?!! Never mind.

    November 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Name Average American

    It has not stopped. I think within the next week or so, we will find out BO knew two years ago that you couldn't "keep your plan". Also, how can any of these folks be surprised? They knew what was in the bill. The insurance industry will be left holding the bag as BO tries to sidestep his way out of his blatant lie.

    November 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I have heard his approval rating were closer to 36-37%...And for me I think even that is too high...How can 36 or 37% of American citizens really believe this guy is doing a great job after all the continuous lies he has told us??

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. Normal In NH

    Of course, that leads to the obvious question of what's wrong with 41% of the poll respondents?

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. tess

    you can take the polls and subtract about another 5 – 10 % because the media wouldn't DARE report the facts! that puts the idiot at about 32% or exactly the percentage of blacks who will support him even if he commits murder on national TV. the only caveat is when they put their hands out and there's nothing to fill them with – THEN they might get really mad!!!

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Angry American

    is this a real poll or another result cooked up by the state run media?

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Logictox

    I simply cannot believe there are still 41% of the people that put any faith in this horrible excuse of a president.

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Pato

    CCN with it's obnoxious polling again

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. DC

    LOL, This is breaking news? CNN.

    November 21, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Peter

    Let's have some perspective, please.

    Lowest ratings?

    Truman: 22%
    George W. Bush 28%
    LBJ: 35%
    Ronald Reagan: 35%

    Worst president? While it is common for people to always say that the current President is the worst in history, Obama (as crappy as he might be) is NO MATCH for Grant, Hoover, Nixon, Warren Harding and a host of others.

    Let's all read up on some history, OK?

    November 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. footballislife1962

    Hey Anonymous, when your IQ hits 50, sell.

    November 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. John Smith

    "Obama approval rating sinks to new low in CNN poll" that should been the Headline on the main page. But cnnn is in bed with O.. how can they!

    November 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Have you right wingnuts signed up for Cruz Care yet? Boehner Care is too costly, the website at Koch Care is not working, and Fox Care only insures those with an IQ in single digits. And to 'libs . . .' You seem pretty quick at admitting what many were thinking.

    November 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Sally

    Just because you won an election doesn't mean that everything you say or do should be okay or approved. What arrogant ignorance this guy has!!!!!

    November 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. LibsRLiars

    Libs are just following their dear president's lead. Lie, lie, lie. Obama is a typical liberal. Lie often and lie big.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Earl

    Wow, cannot believe that CNN admitted that their poll said this. Maybe there is still some integrity there.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Misty1CA

    News media conducts polls all the time. The MSM doesn't want to repeat them if they are bad. That is probably why you didn't see it on CNN. Anyway, We have a true communist in the WH. He and his minions will try to destroy our freedoms so they can control our lives. Please wake up CNN and start reporting the truth.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Mr. Drysdale

    I do not understand why his poll numbers should be lower. He gave all of you people who voted for him extactly what he said he would give you!

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Joe Slump

    You need to give Obama credit for his accomplishments. He has highhandedly made Jimmy Carter look good.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. mauren

    Of course the cities approve of the president.....they are the main recipient's of Obama's redistribution of wealth. Appears that the cliff dwellers think more of their "stuff" then their rights.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. AT

    How could Obama be doing a poor job? Seriously .... Look at where the Dow is today. First time ever it crossed 16,000. Obama is surely doing something right.

    November 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. josh

    amazing that since reagan right wing policies have been crushing this country and then Bush W put the last nail in our coffin and the right wing teaparty since then has been our worst enemy and has obstructed any benefical resolutions while trying to double down on every failed philosophy that they peushed before and yet 1/2 of the country want them in charge ...we deserve what we get when we cannot remember what we went thru just before Obama was elected..

    November 21, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Rack

    As if we needed a pole to find out this was a fact.

    November 21, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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