Obama approval higher than Bush, but lower than Clinton, Reagan
November 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 months 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. Jod

    @Paul
    Absolutely right. You nailed it on the head

    November 28, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Anonymous

    47% is a manufactured number.......more like 17%, and that's a gift

    November 28, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. mike

    I give him a 100% approval rating. So much for polls

    November 28, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. nuclear mike

    The Media industry got their wish when Obama was elected and re-elected...now they comapre him to Bush as good contrast to say Obama is not so liked by the citizens...well, the President is NOT as liked by the citizenry as Bush was and the Media still loves Obama even as he strips the Media of their reporting capabailities by denying free access to his proceedings of government.

    Obama is hiding behind the Media his real agendas while the rest of the country fails with his lack of policies, programs and leadership. He is now acting like the Muslim Brotherhood does...

    November 28, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. jeff

    This obsession with blaming Bush is incredible. O-bummer is a liar!

    November 28, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Bob, NY

    With all the help from the GOP's and TP's, I wonder why. We do need health care reform...Hospitals charge $200 plus for a 1 quart baggie of sterile water My email's are loaded with anything negative about our president...they don't bother to send appreciation for his accomplishments. A lot of money is spent to get out the propaganda, (from both sides) pay no attention to those lobbyists cowering behind the curtains. Let's go with the GOP's plan ...which is??? Oh yeah, STOP SS and SSI and abortions and birth control and welfare for the poor and anything this president does.

    November 28, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Rethuglicans are gone to dogs for another Fifty years or so, with their garbage. Just shut up, USA has more awareness today than your GOP rants, garbage, false notions, Greed.

    November 28, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. nelbert

    Hahahaha
    Obama has been wooed and protected by the media. They went after Bush tooth and nail. Had they scrutinized Obama with the same intensity that they went after Bush, Obama's ratings would be in the teens.

    November 28, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. byron allen

    Because Obamacare cannot be fixed because it is fatally flawed in concept, Obama's ratings will continue to slip and Republicans will easily take over the Senate. Because of the "nuclear" option acts of Democrats, it will be no big deal to repeal OBAMACARE over Obama's veto. It will be all over and so is OBAMA…something to be thankful for today!!!

    November 28, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. James

    I think someone is fudging the #'s I believe it's more like 21% !

    November 28, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. lloyd roberts

    Gunderson, do you live in a two dimensional world. Your entire comment was laced with, conservative vs. liberal. Every sentence was one or the other. But you forget, there is a great big middle out there, American who are fiscally conservative but socially moderate. This is the biggest market and yet the politicians and their cheerleaders like you can only identify with the fringe. Please, someone in the middle, rescue us.

    November 28, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Tony

    Gladdensnoot, nowhere in Romney's 2009 USA Today op-ed said that what he enacted in Massachusetts would not work anywhere else. Romney wanted the nation to follow the Massachusetts example in his op-ed. Romney never said in his op-ed that each state should find its own solution. The idea that Romney's health care law was a state solution is a new Republican invention. The Heritage Foundation, the Republican think tank that invented the individual mandate in the late 1980s/early 1990s, did not have only Massachusetts in mind.

    November 28, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. free32

    The president has done an outstanding job. He has actually gotten a health care plan in place for all Americans even if it is a rough start. Just one of the amazing things this president has done. He could never do right for any republicans of course.

    November 28, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. smith

    Saying Obama is doing a good job is like saying Bush and Clinton did a good job. Its simply not true. The last three potus have been dismal. Those folks praising Obama are living in a false reality, they actually believe their own lies and the lies of others. Its very disturbing to see such denial of the facts.

    November 28, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Namelinda

    Who cares about a poll? 3 more years and he is going home with a record to be proud of regardless of what your poll says. He brought this country from the edge of being bankrupt, killed Osama Bin Laudin, housing made a comback, saved the big three car makers, employment is up, and a new health care system. A pretty good set of accomplishments after being hindered by the Republican party, Tea party, and a society that is still by all means racist. Racism never changes in this country! No brag just fact!

    November 28, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. PaulWesterberg

    Obama stinks. Simple as that. Stop with Bush bashing.

    November 28, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. wotudezerv

    those who continue to hate obama do so because of the color of his skin, and then the cowards wrap it up as disagreement with policy. sorry you Obama despisers, it's been clear from day one and still is and will be in history. These are anti american proto fascist extremists whose words and actions have hurt the american people as a whole enormously. No one takes them seriously, though the difficulty they have put the nation in at home and abroad is very serious, indeed. They will deny what I've said, rally together, believing that strength in numbers make them right, just like the Klan does, but they are just racists and nothing changes that. If they really just had a policy dispute with Obama, they'd frame it all differently and work for the nation rather than against it. I remember a cartoon in the Nixon years where a poor, ragged, young black girl with a baby in her arms used the campaign slogan to say it as it really was, with Nixon in the cartoon frame as well: Nixon's the One it said. Well, you racists, you are the one. Obama could have helped us even more than he has – but you and your hatred and cowardice blocked his way. Too bad. But, our democracy will survive you and your ilk. It always has.

    November 28, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Johnny 5

    41% equals an F in the grading scale. Put a dunce cap on the boy and set him in the corner.

    November 28, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. wotudezerv

    as to bush bashing, no one needs to. he did it all on his very own. he stuck in his ignorant thumb, pulled out the plum of his privilege, smiled that insipid smile – heh heh heh – and said What a good boy am I? Of course, the economy tanked, thousands were killed, the nation dove in international esteem, but don't let that bother you, you bush lovers. dream big. maybe you can have a palin/bachmann ticket. maybe even change the constitution and that threesome you long for with paul or cruz thrown in. we real americans will survive you, believe me. we always do.

    November 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. CapeCod

    Namelinda...
    Obama did not kill Bin Laden
    Our military did and they did because of information from Gitmo and the Patriot Act.

    Do you realize that Obama vowed to end the Patriot Act and close Gitmo and never did?

    Obama benefited because of Gitmo and the Patriot Act...

    Get your facts rights....

    November 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Joan

    He is terrific and history will put him a the top of the A List!!! Go back to sleep!!!! Yawn!!!

    November 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Helen Troy

    still a pretty poor level considering the audacity to hope presentation... as a ceo he would have been fired by the shareholders....this guy is a poor leader of people...

    November 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. John Medwid

    I'm not concerned by the "low poll rating". I'm concerned that 41% of people still approve of this administration.

    November 28, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Gord

    The 48 million+ on food stamps are apparently very grateful.

    November 28, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Jack33

    CNN can't wait to post endless stories about Obama's approval rating when it falls. How about some headlines of how the republican Party currently holds the lowest rating ever recorded for a political Party according to two polling sources?

    November 28, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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