Obama approval higher than Bush, but lower than Clinton, Reagan
November 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
5 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. don in albuquerque

    @Common Cents–But when I read a post like yours I have to wonder where you come off on the name calling bit. When you state that liberals are ignorant, that we see Obama as our savior...da, da, da, da, da. What Village Idiot Convention did you just come from. Or is that just the way all Fascist talk.

    November 28, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. hubert39

    Next spring Obama's poll will be back up to around 51 to 54%. That's good for any president these days.
    People who don't understand politics don't like or trust out government. That's life in the USA.

    November 28, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Really

    41% obviously haven't been paying attention, this administration is a joke.

    I do think it would be as bad or worse if Romney was the President.

    November 28, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. hkirwin


    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.

    This is what I mean when I say if they say something over-and-over long ehough they think it is true. It is as if they live in a different universe.

    November 28, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Ben

    Is this guy paid by CNN for polls on Obama? It is evident this is the only thing I have ever seen him writing about

    November 28, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. shrek

    Why is it everytime someone hates Obama's poitics and policies it has to do with his skin color. Personally the only racist thing I can say is I am sick and frickin tired of the progressive guilt trips...if it isn't racial inequality, its economic inequality, or poor minority rights being trampled. Ok WE GET IT....if you want money or have a cause that needs funding you guilt the middle age white male for all the bad things that where done or said 50, 60 years ago. WE GET IT. if you have no solution for urban decay because of overwhelming entitlement programs robbing the city and state.
    0 Treasuries of any sort of fiscal balances, when safety nets become lifetime careers of revolving social safety net payments, when farm bills become food scarcity programs its our fault. WE GET IT., when all of the money is gone its the rich peoples fault and they are the ones who must pay so that we can continue this life of ease and entitlements. WE GET IT. But here's my answer to all those scam artisist using self pity and self victimization as leverage arms to continue.is the relentless fleasing of our nations reSources.......BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT....nobody gives a f### if Obama's black, we just can't stand his socialist agenda..

    November 28, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Average American

    So Peter, Your point? You cant justify the damage Obama and his cronies have brought to America. There is no comparison. I would like to know where stupid 41% live so I can avoid them. Once the intelligent ones wake up and realize how bad this President really is, the percentage will be 0%

    November 28, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. smith

    The Obama lovers are in such denial. All they say is its racism, Bush`s fault, the media, and those evil repubs. I would have alot more respect for these people if they would simply say he is trying or he`s doing the best he can. Obama could knock an old grandma to the ground and the obama lovers would say she deserved it. Sad..smh

    November 28, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Brian from Denver

    What I want to know is:

    What is the current approval rating of Republicans in Congress?

    Oh, 11%. Thank you.

    November 28, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. curtegg

    Just wait till this fall when between 30-100 million americans get cancellation notices from their employee health insurances. I predict Obama will drop to 30%. It will be funny seeing the Democrats be the ones to take down the ACA in order to save their respective hides this November. The pendulum swings again….

    November 28, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. smith

    @Marie- I don`t like the tea party myself but calling the racist when you have never met these people or been inside their home is plain stupid. Just because some moron waves a confederate flag doesn`t mean the klan is back or there is some sort of uprising. You call them racist and I call you a pre-judgmental bigot.

    November 28, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. theman

    If they say the approval rating is at 41% its more like 21%...

    November 28, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. hubert39

    Obama's poll will be back up in the spring. Around 49 to 51% And that's good for a president these days.
    People who don't understand how our government operates will not like anybody in Washington.
    That's life in out great nation which some groups are trying to destroy. I tell them.. sorry but the 1950's and 1850's are gone.

    November 28, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. penguin

    Whoever says Obama gets the support of every major media doesn't read, watch TV, or listen to the radio. Bush was never called a Nazi, communist, of foreigner. The Fox news boys call him a socialist, yet the stock market is at historic highs, the US companies and capitalists who run them are flush with cash, and we produce more oil and gas now (and from private property) than ever before.

    November 28, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. JimmyD626

    Now we no the emperor has no clothes? And the liberals take solace he is still ahead of bush? With in the polling margins they are the same! Except your health care is at risk! Half the world laughs at us? The iranian's will have nukes, but take solace in that margin of error poor liberal fools. Enjoy the free phones,cheap benefits,housing while they last? The backlash building will be epic.

    November 28, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. bob

    Still that high rate in the poll for the big mess of Obamacare that he has created?

    November 28, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. VJ

    There is no point of his approval rating in the 2nd term. First term matters the most. I have stopped paying attention to this long back.
    Time will judge whether he is good president or bad .. Wait and see..

    November 28, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. dnokc

    It appears Mr. Romney's 47% prediction of lemmings who would follow owebama over a cliff is slightly low.

    November 28, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Sumsanity

    His poll numbers are sinking faster than the Costa Concordia. Maybe he will abandon ship.

    November 28, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Carl

    The difference between Bush's ratings and Obama's, when taking into account liberal media bias and Obama handouts, is huge – in Bush's favor. If Obama had the forces working against him that Bush had, his approval rating would be at record setting lows.

    November 28, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. ItSoNlYmE

    What's the big deal? The man can't stand for reelection. It's a non-story.

    November 28, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. southerngent


    So what! Obama's term is not up yet!

    Liberals are doing everything they can to make HIM look better, but America is waking up, and we are tired of being screwed. Democrats thought that the republicans and conservatives were dying after the last election, but I have news for you we are very much alive and getting stronger. To force all Americans into a program with the intention of distributing wealth and under the threat of penalty which could lead to jail time is socialism.

    November 28, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Richard

    People are finally seeing how useless this man is. He is the laughing stock of the world. Look at his latest kludge, he says IRAN is a win and they are calling him a liar, like most in the US is. Most corrupt administration ever

    November 28, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Zuq

    Let's focus on what's important.

    Unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008 and only getting stronger.
    More soldiers are safe at home and not wasting tax payers money on wars to pay that support Republican Lobby Groups
    Less people foreclosing on properties
    Avoided war with Iran (Although Republicans want war but won't send their child to the front lines)
    Gas prices dropping daily and with the Iran deal, will drop more
    Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
    Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards
    Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws
    Improved Food Safety System
    Expanded Health Coverage for Children
    Killed the F-22 – 187 built and never used in combat

    I would add more but many here are focused on a web site. When the web site gets fixed, what will you complain about? His birth certificate? Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 28, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Terry

    CNN is being generous. It's more like 37%. This has been the biggest joke of a presidency and administration in the history of this country. I know Obama doesn't care about what happens to this country but you would think that he would have some sort of pride about the legacy he is leaving his daughters. Shameful.

    November 28, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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