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

    I would like to see the questions of the poll to see which way they influence the respondent. If you are against Obama and you are asked is he honest, the most likely answer is no. In which way is he not honest? When he said that if you liked your policy, you could keep it, he didn't know that there were so many junk policies which had to be scrapped because they didn't give the minimum coverage. Now this makes him a liar. This man has liberated people from the rapacious hands of the insurance companies: no previous condition exclusion, no limits to the coverage, no cancellation if you paid your insurance, 80% of insurance profits must go to cover patients, coverage for prescriptions, etc. Once the snafu of the website (something that he personally could not control) is over, every citizen will be better off because of Obamacare.

    November 25, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Gerry

    CNN I think YOU are the biggest trouble maker and hate monger the President has. YOU CNN are ALWAYS negative about anything he does.. IF he takes one side on a situation you take the other. It wouldn't matter how good a manager of ANYTHING, you ALWAYS come up with a negative opinion of him. I personally think he has done a fine job of managing most things so get off his back and say something nice. Some one who is always being put down soon will start messing up.

    November 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Gerry

    This just shows what the lack of experience produces. It's to bad the CEO needs to know what he is doing and the president shows that he doesn't know what to do.

    November 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Ken Hoag

    It must pain CNN executives to release this poll...

    November 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Sandy Beach

    Hes a first class con man and should be in jail next to Kevin Trudeau

    November 25, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. manor mess

    It's shocking the number is so high! 4:10 believe he is capable – are you kidding!!? Where do they finds these people! Let's just say I am in the "majority"

    November 25, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Anon

    Unfortunately, it looks like the Republican's "Burn the house down to make him look bad" strategy has worked. My problem with Obama is that he hasn't gone on the offensive against them as much as they have against him. Still can't believe all these idiots that hate Obama but probably think Bush was a decent guy. The one president that brought this country to the brink of total ruin, and people still want to forget about it. Sad to see how stupid the majority of americans really are.

    November 25, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. mike

    Oh no...he'll certainly lose the next election! Oh, wait...

    November 25, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. M

    War mongering in Syria. Wiretapping our citizens and allies. Didn't close Gitmo. Unclear reasons for Libya. Arming terrorists and drug cartels abroad, while trying to grab guns at home. Voter approved marijuana law reforms completely ignored. Signed more free trade agreements to offshore US jobs. Affordable healthcare is not affordable to the people who actually need it. In 2008 I couldn't imagine anyone being worse than W, but Barry pulled it off.

    November 25, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Dan

    He is either dishonest or completely clueless.

    November 25, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. PeterD

    The Liberal US Media had Played a Major Roll in 2008 Democratic Primary Defeating Hillary Clinton against Dishonest Barack Obama.

    November 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. pbcalif

    Baloney!! Anytime anyone thinks of distrust of this President should remember the previous one and his administration.

    November 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. morrie

    The question is do you trust republicans who lie at every turn. What happened to the jobs bill and I don't mean the one giving tax breaks to rich people hoping it to trickle down.

    November 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. itzmeman

    @Jim – Yeah, and Bush never blamed the faulty intelligence about WMD's that were never found in Iraq on the British Intelligence agency that caused their Prime Minister to lose the next election. You can't always predict potential problems but addressing them when they happen instead of whining and beatching about them is the important thing.

    November 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Pratt

    Survey's like this are clear evidence of how the opposition (the Republicans) can confuse the minds of Americans by controlling the storyline in Washington. The biggest problem with Obama is that he doesn't fight back in any way. He believes that the best way to lead is to let the opposition to just make up stuff and that the truth will eventually bubble to the top...but in politics and in Washington...it doesn't. Lies are the truth to most Americans and made up stories are reality, and whatever they see on TV must be the truth, especially if it's being said from the floor of Congress. And the GOP knows this, they use it to the max level, and it's working..so they continue to use it. And Obama just doesn't care. I would like to see him come out and call out individual GOP legislators, BY NAME, as liars, and give the evidence as to why, and there is plenty of evidence.,,but he seems happy with leaving that job to MSNBC.

    November 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. roccorenzo

    NO surprise here. Can't wait until 2016.

    November 25, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Richard

    Is there even one Republican that we can trust? NO! If a Republicon/TP thief were in the WH, we 99%ers would be in lines outside of community soup kitchens to get our daily rations.

    November 25, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. duh

    With a laughter 90% of america now sees cnn is just realizing something that the majority of americans ALREADY knew!!

    November 25, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Scissor Hands

    Any trust in Obama would mean having confidence in an incompetent and an agenda that suits his needs - not the average American. We have never seen a president so intent on spending money with corporate bail outs and lifting oversea's interests. He has completely ignored the middle-class during his presidency. What ever happened to leadership and a hands on approach to solving the many problems that haunt America today? He has ignored Social Security reform. He has ignored crumbling infrastructure, a natural gas glut, dramatic climate ruin, the prospects of high speed rail, food labeling problems, correcting the huge sums of healthcare money paid to lazy CEOs and upper staff members of clinics, hospitals, medical supply venders, and other providers - this list goes on in almost all aspects of American well being. Where are men like Jack Kennedy? Truly great men - action men who are loved for what they do - not for their speak?

    November 25, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. floridamom1

    Joi, what you fail to understand is that everyone is beginning to dislike this President, not just because of the ACA, but because he has proven time and time again to no manage his office properly. He is a liar, he doesn't support his oath of office, he refuses to uphold constitutionally enacted laws, his Justice Department refuses to prosecute certain blacks accused of crimes, he whines about the Republicans every day and refuses to accept almost any responsibility for what happens. He has no idea how to run government, he calls the other party disrespectful names and refuses to understand that he is the President of the ENTIRE United States. Plus, he may be book smart, but he has no idea what he is doing. And, he is a wimp when it comes to international affairs. He has no diplomatic skills and neither do any of his cabinet. His record is appalling. He talks a big talk, but them does not know how to carry through. He is by far the worst President in my lifetime and I have seen many. Even worse than Carter. Carter, was stupid, but he at least tried to keep his oath of office. That in my opinion is the most egregious crime Obama is guilty of.

    November 25, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Linda

    Too bad the majority of these posts are negative. I trust and respect this President totally. You all should be so lucky to have this decent man as your leader, I quess the clueless are never satisfied. Whine whine whine go ahead vote against your own best interests, you will be putting the Koch bros in charge. I'll be voting BLUE all the way without a doubt the gop and teabaggers have been destroying this county for all too long.

    November 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Regina

    I don't trust Obama, Congress, the Senate, Democrats, or Rebublicans. They are all in support of this terrible war machine, environmental degradation, and economic exploitation. May the world wake upl

    November 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. steve

    The republicans and the Tea Party have been telling everyone for years that Obama is inept. Looks like some moderate dems and working class whites are starting to wake up. Only the most punch-drunk low information voters are still getting "thrills" from Obama.

    November 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Dennis

    and nobody trusts the GOP at all.

    November 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. woodrow

    I guess the fascist propaganda is working. I wonder how long it is going to take to realize the right wing is poisoning our political system with lies and half truths.

    November 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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