Obama approval higher than Bush, but lower than Clinton, Reagan
November 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama approval higher than Bush, but lower than Clinton, Reagan

Washington (CNN) - Forty-one percent.

That's where President Barack Obama's approval rating stands this Thanksgiving, according to a new CNN Poll of Polls that averages the latest national surveys asking Americans to assess the job he is doing.

Fifty-five percent say they disapprove of his performance, according to the average.

The latest CNN Poll of Polls was released Thursday and is an average of five non-partisan, live operator, national surveys of the President's approval rating conducted over the past two weeks.

They include Gallup's daily tracking poll (Nov. 24-26); CNN/ORC International (Nov. 18-20); American Research Group (Nov. 17-20); CBS News (Nov. 15-18) and ABC News/Washington Post (Nov. 14-17). Since it is an average of multiple surveys, the CNN Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

The President's approval rating reached new lows or tied his all-time low in national surveys released over the past month from CNN/ORC (41%), CBS News (37%), ABC News/Washington Post (42%), Quinnipiac University (39%), National Journal Heartland Monitor (38%), and NBC News/Wall Street Journal (42%).

So how does his approval ratings compare to his most immediate two-term predecessors?

"Obama gets significant worse numbers than Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan did at this time in their second terms," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Clinton's approval rating was 59% in November 1997, and Reagan's figure was 65% in November 1985. But Obama is slightly outpacing George W. Bush, whose rating had fallen to 37% in November of 2005."

The approval rating is generally considered the best polling gauge of a President's standing among the public and of his political clout in the nation's capital.

soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Rbram

    I cannot understand how 41% of our country can still believe in this administration.

    November 28, 2013 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  2. Anonymous

    He's still got plenty of time to drag his numbers down. I'm sure he can do it.

    November 28, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  3. SixDegrees

    The Administration has put out the word that families should spend time during Thanksgiving dinner discussing Obamacare – with the emphasis, of course, on signing up as soon as possible.

    I imagine that a lot of families will be discussing Obamacare around the dinner table tonight. But I doubt they'll be following the President's script very closely at all.

    November 28, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  4. Kwai

    Thanks to everyone who voted for him. You screwed the rest of us.

    November 28, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  5. rob

    41%, that's high in my book –

    to the "41%-er's", what is your approval based on?

    If your approval is based on.

    1. landing the worst legislation on the American people in the history of histories (obama-scare)
    2. Lying, time and time again
    3. dividing a nation as a function of policy
    4. not holding members of government accountable for blatant disregard for the American people – in end-over-end violations of trust and pure dissipation of American freedoms
    5. deterioration of foreign relations
    6. inability to act like an American – no ability to accept the fact that the American people a) don't want what he's dishing out, b) ignoring representation (house)
    7. openly bashing anyone who opposes him – he just does not know how to keep his mouth shut
    8. completely minimizes issues and calling them phony scandals
    9. re-defines the word transparency – at one time it meant "we the people" would have complete knowledge into government affairs; but simply denies, lies, diverts truth "like it never happened" in a smoke and mirrors routine –

    then he is doing a great job – looking forward to more...

    but what is it going to take for you to jump to the non-approval side? Oh, I know, admit the truth...

    November 28, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  6. Bill church

    Imagine that. Hard to believe its that high. Most dishonest least transparent president ever

    November 28, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  7. bilbfit

    41%. 21% welfare recipients, and 20% idiots.

    November 28, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  8. Thomas Nichols

    Higher than I expected.

    November 28, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  9. james

    Obama has a built in base that will always love him no matter what. Can you figure out what it is?

    November 28, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  10. jaony

    The 41% are obviously on government swill

    November 28, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  11. John

    A for good intentions. B for most things. D for management. He HAS learned to not speak too hastily.

    November 28, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  12. William

    Bush may have been a dunce but Obama has turned out to be a slick and dishonest ideology.
    Dont forget to talk to your children about Obamacare over your Thanksgiving dinner.

    November 28, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. imfilla

    I'll bet Obama bounces back to around 50% by the time it's all over. A bad website is fixable and even rural poor conservatives are realizing the benefits of being able to get life-saving health insurance for the first time in their lives.

    Transition is always tough.

    November 28, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  14. works4me

    This 55% has now clue about his performance record. All they know is what they hear while standing at the urinal at Kelseys Bar and Grille. Too lazy to educate themselves. Much easier to just repeat the talk.

    November 28, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  15. Gaunt

    The great irony of the poll is that it should probably be lower, given the fiasco of the Obamacare rollout, but the republicans totally overplayed their hand. After screaming 'wolf' ever week and inventing a brand new made up fictional 'scandal' about the president, the people have just gotten so tired of their lies. And now, when there actually IS a scandal, the screaming of the GOP is just background noise.

    November 28, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  16. ora pike

    Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey a leading democrat and head of the foreign policy-said that obama was using fear and that new santiions have to be put in place-he is a leading democrat and sees through the joker in chief. Iran will not stop until they are THE power in the middle east, that they destroy Israel and in their minds America-AND OBAMA WANTS TO PLAY WITH THEM???? The poll I saw had obama at 37% not 41 but this is CNN again. Menendez said when obama's mousepiece in the WH said if you don't go along with the Iran agreement you are leading us to war shows the fear this president has, he wanted a positive note to help the lies of obamacare. IMPEACH OBAMA NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE-–wants to release 7 billion dollars to iran who has not agreed to anything??????

    November 28, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  17. stan

    Hey, it only took 5 years but at least some people are starting to wake up. Of course the United States of America may be a smoking ruin in another 3 years of Obamas, er, 'leadership', but that's what you get. The voters that elected this fellow hold all the blame.

    November 28, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. Roy

    Why does any approval rating matter he's in office for three more years like it or not.

    November 28, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    The people of America are giving Obama a pass, when no one else would have been.

    His approval rating is meaningless, because it isn't real. It is politically generated.

    November 28, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  20. Johnny DC

    These polls are meaningless.

    They used to mean something, when people were unafraid to voice their true opinions of a president's performance. Now, you have blind liberals treating the question more as "would you rather have voted for Romney?" instead, which is an altogether different question.

    The fact that 41% of America claims to approve of his performance is proof enough that politics in America is nonsense. The list of his failures, both on domestic and international fronts, is appalling. Not to mention an absolute and open disdain for the Constitution he promised to uphold and protect, nearly every week of his presidency.

    November 28, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  21. Sad

    Sadly I believe that 41% really does approve of Obama. I have the displeasure of talking to some of those herded cattle on CNN sometimes.

    November 28, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. Dan

    And rightfully so. He has been a joke.

    November 28, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  23. john rosen

    How in the world does he manage to retain a 41% approval rating. Just goes to show you, "the gift that keeps giving" will always be liked by the takers.

    November 28, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  24. sammy750

    Obama is doing a great job, with the greatest pushback by the Republicans ever. Obama has been trashed, Speaker Boehner has shut down the House, and Obama is still making progress. The Republicans are digging their graves for the next elections. Majority of the people and voter will vote against the Republicans and Tea Party. They are really mis reading how the voters feel about them. They are trying to defeat the health care bill, keeping people from being insurance. they are suppressing the voting rights of the people, taking away health care from women. The Republicans have a war on women. Ever get a woman mad, beware Tea Party and Republicans.

    November 28, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  25. Barnacle Bill

    It's that high?

    November 28, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
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