President's marks as manager take hit in new CNN/ORC poll
November 25th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 months ago

President's marks as manager take hit in new CNN/ORC poll

Washington (CNN) - Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.

According to the survey, conducted last Monday through Wednesday, 40% say the President can manage the government effectively. That 40% figure is down 12 percentage points from June and is the worst score Obama received among the nine personal characteristics tested in the new poll.

"A lot of attention has focused on the President's numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama's approval rating this fall," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Does being an effective manager count more than honesty?

"Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest," Holland added.

Obama's woes are not limited to honesty and his managerial skills. Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don't view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

There is a silver lining in the poll for the President: He's still seen as someone who cares about ordinary Americans, six in 10 say he has a vision for the country's future, and seven in 10 say he is likable–his best attribute of the nine items tested in this poll. But the numbers are down for both admiration and likeability.

"It's clear that views of Obama as a person - once his strong suit - have taken a hit in October and throughout 2013," said Holland.

The poll was conducted November 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.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (676 Responses)
  1. Ldm49

    Arrogance and over reach equals gross incompetence. Still look for a tax payer bail out for the health insurance companies. Obama still wants to disprove math.

    November 25, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Jan

    Obama cares about the ordinary Americans? I don't see it. Why on earth would he upend the insurance coverage of 85% of the country to see that the 15% without can find coverage? Other reforms would have provided coverage for those without...destroying everyone else's coverage wasn't necessary. Now that we've found out whats in this bill, the majority like it even less. What might have worked to Clinton's benefit isn't going to work too well for Obama....he's proven he is incapable of telling the simple truth on any subject.

    November 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. stainpouch

    The Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, NSA, Gitmo–questions?

    November 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. Republican Joke

    You people seem to think any politician is trustworthy.

    November 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. lex

    Why did it take five years for the media to end the cover up?

    And yes, he wil do everything he can (at taxpayer expense) to engage in damage control and smoke and mirrors. So don't be fooled again.

    November 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. Farrok

    Why would they with one lie after another, spying on Americans, tapping their phones, constructing FEMA camps for dissidents, his administration purchasing Billion of rounds of small arms ammunition for use in subjugating Americans under a jackboot, militarization of local police forces to quell any one who would speak up or sass, a phony healthcare system that will break Americans' backs financially.......... on and on........

    His Presidency is not only a failure but a dangerous one to American Liberties and Freedoms.

    November 25, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. on streetwise

    People are saying 60% believe that the president isn't "Trustworthy"... 100% believe that our congress is "Un-trustworthy"... Bottom line; Congress ZERO... Obama 4 in 10 support, don't look too shabby.

    November 25, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Webjak

    His vision has always been some sort of socialist utopia where the middle class disappears and he and his cronies share a little wealth with the less fortunate while controlling the country. A smart no class guy.

    November 25, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Angelo Garcia

    LOL The people don't know anything anyways. They just just the bandwagon like console fans or brand fans. Sure, he hasn't been doing a great job, but at least he "sorta" knows what he is talking about. Not like the typical American civilian who only knows about the fake truth. :) Oh well, can't fix the imprudent.

    November 25, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Joe Chicago

    I only wonder what took the rest of you so long? He is from Chicago. Have none of you heard about how things are done in Chicago? What happens in Chicago is now being done to the rest of the country. What a great job you did in looking into the qualifications of the person you vote to be president.

    November 25, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Steve Feldman

    The real fault lies with the owners/shareholders/public faces of
    NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington
    Post, etc., who either kept their mouths shut or lied....you
    can't succeed in the lie without help.

    November 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Felix

    As one who gives Obama horrible marks in pretty much every category, I only wish the other guys weren't an even worse option. It's depressing.

    November 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. citizenUSA

    No way! He still owes me twenty bucks.

    November 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. jim

    Popularity contests are the very least of this guys problems. Any web-site fixes don't matter. What matters August-November 2014. If what I'm reading is true that 30-45 million people lose their insurance then the guy is toast. You thought 5 million angry cancel notice people mad some noise? I'm a registered democrat. I won't even go to the polls in November of 2014 if this actually happens. Why bother?

    November 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Tom

    PM- that is the problem, the ACA is not a great idea. I used to believe as you do that it was the right that was messing up the implementation, but now I see that it was deeply flawed from the beginning. I will vote Repub. the next time

    November 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Joi Gibson

    It is too bad he is getting a bad rap. Trying to make health insurance affordable – oh the horror. What are Republicans offering? Nothing but negativity. They have proven only that they can complain, whine, and just say no, and to hell with compromising. It amazes me how people think the so-called liberal media is in the tank for the President, but they sure have been on the Republicans' bandwagon for quite some time. If all people hear about is what is wrong it will eventually take its toll. That is unfortunate because people are being helped, but why report that.

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Giuseppe

    He's in way over his head. Thank you media for getting him elected twice. Where was honest reporting 6-7 years ago?

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. JC

    I'm not a big fan of Obama, but I don't think its a matter of trust. The far right would say it is, but that's because they hate everything liberal. I think it's more a lack of control. He lets people go about their jobs with very little oversight. The ACA website is a perfect example. I believe him that he didn't know about the failures because he doesn't manage his teams the way he should. The justice department is another area that gets free reign without oversight. The decisions Holder makes without consulting the administration are incredibly stupid. There needs to be more control and management. Although this late in the hand I'm not so sure that's gonna happen.

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Otis B. Driftwood

    How do you know when Obama is lying?
    His lips are moving. Remember: "You can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor".

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Polar Bear

    Just figuring that out? Many of us knew that in 2008.

    November 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Y

    It seems that (finally) some of the president's blind followers may be taking a little more critical view of him. For sure, there are pluses and minuses with him. Too many see only the pluses or only the minuses. The cumulative effect of all that has happened leans more toward the minus at this snapshot.

    November 25, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Sergeant

    Dropping the ball on the ACA is by far better than sending our boys and girls to die over "WMDs".

    November 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. jenn, philadelphia

    A man who has never managed anything in his life, nor trained to be one, turns out to be a bad manager. Why is everyone so surprised?

    November 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Moxie Man

    I don't trust *ANY* politician regardless of the letter after his/her name.

    How can you tell a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.

    November 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. my10cents

    What an utterly stupid article and the comparison to Clinton's Lewinsky scandal was ludicrous. What national program was Clinton trying to get up and running when he got caught playing "hide the cigar" with Lewinsky? President Obama numbers are always challenging just because there is always a measurable percentage of the electorate that will never approve of him or his policies. Couple that with the uncertainty caused by the miserable rollout of the ACA and now even some Obama supporters are having doubts. However, the American public are a fickle lot with a zero attention span and a terrible addiction to immediate gratification. Once the ACA is "smoothed" out and the systems are running with anywhere near average government efficiency (not perfect but workable) then go out a measure the polls again.

    November 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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