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

    Evidently, actual taxpayers were not polled or it would not be that high a number.

    November 28, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Farrok

    Attacking Gun Rights, NSA snooping, GITMO open, Afghanistan till 2014 ++, Obama Care, FEMA Camps, DHS purchasing billions of small arm rounds for Citizen Hunting, His Son Trayvon, His relentless attack on American Liberties, I have No idea why his poll numbers are dropping do you?

    November 28, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Ron

    These polls consist mostly of people that have very, very limited knowledge of politics, history and economics and for the most part they don't understand the many ways we are being deceived and ripped off by politicians. They do understand working and accomplishing next to nothing for themselves though. Even massive media deception and ineptitude is losing it's effectiveness in keeping our head clown afloat.

    November 28, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. CNN lies

    Obama's approval rating is actually @ 35% according to other news sites.

    November 28, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Lisa

    Bush vs Obama...really? Just because Obama is trying to provide people with health insurance he's compared to George Bush? I'm definitely living in the wrong country.

    November 28, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Armor66

    When president Obama's term of office is over the nations debt will have doubled. Our economic future looks at present a lot like that of Greece. Our embassy in Benghazi was sacked, and our ambassador was brutally killed with nothing but cover up's and lie's out of this administration. The IRS has targeted conservative groups based solely on their political viewpoints, something you would expect to see in Venezuela but not here in the US. The NSA has been wire tapping its own citizens. Obama care, an attempt to rewrite the business of 1/7th of this nations economy utterly failed in its initial launch. When and if it does get implemented it will mean rationed medicine, and once again higher prices for the middle class as the least productive members of society take an even greater share of resources from the diminishing middle class. This list goes on and on, but we as a nation have become so partisan that no matter how bad things get, most of Obama's supporters, and his cheer-leading media will continue to line up behind him waving his flag. Obama is the worst president in American history. We deserve better.

    November 28, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Citizen Taxpayer

    United States of America = UNITED WE STAND. We know HOW to divide ourselves, so how working on getting together?
    Thanks!

    November 28, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Common Cents

    Funny... all of the Liberals and Leftists think name-calling of Republicans help to make their point stronger. Naw, we just see it as ignorance and refusal to actually read up on anything that isn't "progressive" or "socialist".

    People still hold out for a chance that their Savior can pull them through the health care scam and all of the botched jobs of the current "President". Sinking ship, I know. Wish they did.

    Get off the parade folks. Go back to your homes, your jobs, your families. Forget about the country getting better any time soon.

    November 28, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Gord

    Prez Obama shouldn't be worried about his legacy.
    He promised that his ACA website would be working just fine in three days.

    November 28, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Chris

    Obama's shown that he lies, his clout has diminished with Congress AND the American people. I also believe the polls are wrong, at least in my area of the country, down here he is a demon who hates America.

    November 28, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Marie MD

    @nuclear mike, yes, because the media elected our president not once but twice much to the chagrin of the teaklans.
    Just because we have racist cutizens,as you call them, doesn't mean that the rest of us have pretty much gotten past the 60s.
    To the haters Obama has done more with as little help from the domestic terrorists in congress. Think how much he could accomplish for the country if those same teaklans and coke heads lose elections in 2014 and beyond.

    November 28, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Thomas

    Rick Perry / Nikki Haley 2016

    The Bold and the Beautiful .God,Guns and football .

    November 28, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. wendel

    next week the polls will say something else. The only people happy are the stupid trolls who would rather denie people health care than help this president . The same clowns who would take away a woman's rights, give more tax breaks to the 1% change voting rights to exclude the poor and minorities and bash none hetero sexual marriages and stop immigration reform. The clowns who say there is no global warming and want to see evolution taken out of the schools. Oh and don't forget the second amendment nuts that think everyone should be packing.

    November 28, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Danny

    Interesting....Obama gets the support of nearly every major news organization and he's still at 41 percent.
    Bush was SLAMMED REPEATEDLY on a daily basis and fell to only 37.

    November 28, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Kelcy

    Given the constant, daily negativity that is in every days press it only makes sense that "opinion polls" would be low. Even things that should be considered successes are colored in the press as negatives. I contrast this with Bush' terms where everything in the press was colored as positives (even when they were negatives). It is all about the headlines and the first few lines of the story. It's why the idea of a liberal media is really a myth..... the media has become just another arm of the conservatives.

    November 28, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Joe

    just think what his poll numbers would be if the the main street media had been honest with the American people. If that had happened he would not be in his 2nd term

    November 28, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Deepen

    he's not even running again.. Approval doesn't matter.. Keep up the great work President Barack Obama!

    November 28, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Jodi

    And as Toby Keith would say "How do you like me now?" Not very much I guess. Hope you lefties are all happy now.

    November 28, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. rh

    Does not have a sampling error? Uh, yes it does, and it is MUCH more than that of the original polls.

    Look at it this way: Poll A has 3% sampling error, and says 40% approval. That means 37% – 43% in reality. Poll B has 5% sampling error, it shows 43% approval. That means 38% to 48%. If you aggregate them (which you can do in several ways), using lowest and highest possible, you now have between 37% and 48% approval. Or you can aggregate them as the average of the low values and the average of the high values, between 37.5% and 45.5% approval. That's not even counting true mathematical methods of aggregating error.

    Do you guys even know a statistician?

    And of course, we don't know HOW MANY Americans were surveyed. Most of these are based on about 5,000 people, at best, and as usual, the ones with more gripes will be more than happy to answer surveys while the rest of us have real lives.

    November 28, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. roccotaco

    HERE is a shocking fact-–take away the "freebie crowd" and what do you think Obama's approval would be? I suggest that he would have lower than 5% of the people in America who are producing. He knows this of course and seeks to add to the massive welfare rolls so he and Hillary can continue their assault on American freedom.

    November 28, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Peter

    Some perspective:

    Presidential approval lows:

    Harry Truman 22%

    LBJ: 35%

    Nixon: 24%

    Ford: 37%

    Carter: 28%

    Reagan: 35%

    George HW Bush: 29%

    Clinton: 37%

    and last but not quite least:

    George W. Bush: 25%

    November 28, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. demsaredumb

    Obamacare will get worse and worse. Obama's poll numbers will soon be under Bush. White, moderate, middle class Americans are putting down the Kool-aid. Remember folks come 2014 – every democrat voted for Obummercare!

    November 28, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. hkirwin

    Marie MD

    @nuclear mike, yes, because the media elected our president not once but twice much to the chagrin of the teaklans.
    Just because we have racist cutizens,as you call them, doesn't mean that the rest of us have pretty much gotten past the 60s.
    To the haters Obama has done more with as little help from the domestic terrorists in congress. Think how much he could accomplish for the country if those same teaklans and coke heads lose elections in 2014 and beyond.
    ========================================================================================

    Please read the above comment. Form your own conclusions. For me, I think they actually believe if they say something over-and over again it will be true. They will repeatively tell you how things are and what to believe. They want you not to believe your own eyes. Forget ever trying to reason with bricks.

    November 28, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. don in albuquerque

    Very happy Jodi, at least we didn't try to put MittWitt in office.

    November 28, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. rdg18

    Today I'm thankful that I'm not a liberal!

    November 28, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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