Obama approval higher than Bush, but lower than Clinton, Reagan
November 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 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. Reggie53

    Penguin: If Obama was to touch the stock market it will definitely hit bottom so please let him stay away from it. Everything else he has touched has gone down the drain. So if you want your investments to prosper, please ask him not to get involved there.

    November 28, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. winchester74

    Recent polls indicate that the Republican Majority House of Representatives has a poll rating in the teens – less than one third the rating for Obama. After the shutdown one poll found that the Republican congress polled lower than dog do.

    November 28, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. CapeCod

    Let's focus on what's important...

    We now owe $ 17 trillion...
    We have 48 million people on food stamps...
    We borrow $2.3 billion a day...
    We have over 7% unemployment for years and years and years and years..

    Gitmo is still open..
    NSA spying is up...
    IRS are targeting conservatives..
    He never ended the Patriot Act...

    It's a disaster..

    And he lied about health care....

    I rest my case

    November 28, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. DrDanno

    The obvious point that everyone on the right chooses to ignore is that despite crippling sanctions the Iranian nuclear program has rocketed forward. While we've been successful in destabilizing their economy, sanctions have had NO impact on their nuclear tech development.

    That reality leads to a crossroads. We engage in war with Iran when, inevitably they make it known that they have the bomb and hence force our hand, or we attempt to gain access with minor easing of sanctions, not only to monitor, but to reconnoiter and get a better strategic understanding of their capabilities, sources of tech support and materials supply.

    The reality is that there will always be time for war. The entire 20th century is proof of that. Windows for peace are few and far between, not just because of drastically differing political and religious ideologies around the world, but because so much of the 1st world has a huge financial stake in maintaining ongoing and constant conflict.

    It takes tremendous courage to pursue the agreement with Iran. Obama is, again, running counter to incredibly powerful forces around the world. His hope is to spare our kids, and our nation, the cost and tragedy that war always brings.

    I would think we'd all be congratulating him for it.

    November 28, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Brian

    Zug, you are hopeless. NOTHING you listed is part of his job. You will read back on history and conclude that this is by far the most corrupt presidency in history. He should be leading in big ways and setting examples with his actions. He is unfit as the leader of the free world. The things you listed is job for his underlings in one of these agencies.

    This maybe his 2nd term, but he has had a FREE PASS from all the media. Start plotting his approval rating. The drop WILL continue as Obamacare continue to 'roll out'.....really should have taken Cruz's offer and repeal this 'law of the land'.

    November 28, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. i'malib

    He gave me a free phone so I like him.

    November 28, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. smith

    @Penguin- You must have been a kid or something during the Bush tenure. There were plenty of morons holding signs calling Bush a nazi at pro-liberal rallies. Let`s not forget Bush being called a racist because a hurricane flooded New Orleans as well. What about the occupy people making anti-jewish remarks in New York. Google it, you will see. As liberal Rudy would say, " Nice try but we got ya".

    November 28, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. NameAverage American

    He is worse than Carter. BO has no idea how to work with people. My way or the highway is not how a Real President works. president BO will not "change his spots". Thus, more to come.

    November 28, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Monomachos

    So 41% of Americans are either oblivious to what the president has done or don't mind being lied to and manipulated.

    November 28, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Pete/Ark

    Four times higher than Congress ...a win is a win ...in Basketball that would be 100 to 25 ...

    November 28, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Common Sense Blogger

    Utter joke. Oh, and by the way, to all those squawking that congress has a lower rating – guess what? There are 2 houses of congress, not just a Republican led House of Representatives, don't forget the Democrat led Senate...study your Government 101!

    November 28, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Monomachos

    New Dem talking point: Obama's ratings are higher than Congress'. Response: so what. Congressional elections are local not national and something like 95% of incumbents win re-election. What this means as regards those polls everyone is citing is simply people like their own representatives but think that yours stink. If you want to make the comparison meaningful, then compare ratings of individual members of Congress within their own districts and see how many are at 41% or lower. My guess – none, with the possible exception of the Republican cocaine dude from Florida. Nice company, Mr president.

    November 28, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Jim970

    Honestly, I find it amazing that his approval rating is that high.

    November 28, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Jack

    Mike Tyson to Piers Morgan: Obamacare is 'really bad'

    November 28, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Harvty

    Funny how CNN's headline starts with "higher than Bush." This president has always been and remains ill-prepared for job as Commander in Chief. Some people are finally waking up to the fact and the polls are beginning to show that. Period! (What took folks so long is really a mystery to me)

    November 28, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. ashton

    Never before has a President used his communicative style to hood wink a nation with B.S, lies, deceit and arrogance. However, due to his verbal ability to lace lies with a sprinkling of truth, he has mastered the minds of many Americans. Listen to him closely and you see/hear his voice tones, his selection of buzz words- all orchestrated to numb the empty headed public into the belief that his words are making sense. He is a great orator of lies, deceit and robed bigotry- not a leader, not a person to be trusted.

    November 28, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. I'm 26

    I'm married and with child. I have a life insurance policy, no health coverage. My wife and child have a "Cadillac" plan. I will pay the fee the first year for bamakair. Me, looking at it statistically, will be fine and save money 98%+ of the time. I've saved 6K+ so far, because I have no pre-existing conditions and am healthy as a horse. Look around people, why should I subsidize YOU? People forget us "millennials" are not complete sheep. Another way to put it; Would you spend $200 plus a month on "protection" of a "stock" that has a 0.5-1% with an average holdings – or "catastrophic" loss – of less than $70K (or LESS than 0.5% because of my exemplary health, weight, pre-ex, and lifestyle) chance of failure? No you wouldn't, are you STUPID>>>??? We are not as gullible as the government would like. (These are averages and generalizations, but you would be surprised at how accurate I am in this post.) I have less than a 0.1% chance of going into bankruptcy because I DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE. Wake up peeps....

    November 28, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Vince

    Higher than Bush? What a great standard to measure up to!!! Geez...... Bush's was that low even with an unpopular war......BO's is low without one

    November 28, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Bill Smells

    Three more years to keep digging to the bottom. He will rank as the worst president in history.

    November 28, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Jim

    You have to decide who "you" are. Many Liberals are thieves who steal other people's money by voting in "welfare" politicians who steal from the upper and middle class to buy votes with big handouts – i.e. the ACA. Naturally, the working class contributors dislike the thieves for taking their hard earned money and the liberal politicians have convinced their voters it's OK to steal other people's money. This liberal culture creates NO incentives for progress or growth. Clearly a thief has no incentive other than to keep stealing and the contributors struggle to produce when it becomes technically legal to steal from them. This is where it stops being America.

    November 28, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Jimh77

    Hey CNN, you want real polling numbers, ask what average Americans think, unless your scared and really don't want to know like always.

    November 28, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Tell the Truth

    I cannot believe that Americans who are forever bragging that they are the "Greatest, Richest, most Powerful nation on earth are so crassly stupid!

    Obama started his presidency by telling the Republicans to "Go sit in the back seats" -– He BYPASSED Congress at every hands turn an d refused to work with them -- but he STILL , from day 1 BLAMED Congress for all his failures! And you stupid, uneducated people swallowed it whole!

    Congress have a low rating for two reasons:-
    [1] BOUGHT and paid for pollsters
    [2] A ratio of 8 Democrats for every 2 Republicans.

    No wonder America is a world laughing stock! You grovel at the feet of a dishonest, inept, unpatriotic leader who is taking you willingly into a MEGA recession.
    Can I sell you shares in my Underground Airline? phhttttt!

    November 28, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Tell the Truth

    I should have pointed out that there are millions of decent, hardworking Americans who are overpowered by the great unwashed. My respect and sympathy goes to them sincerely and without reservation.

    November 28, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Xman

    Barack Obama is the biggest mistake this country has ever made.

    November 28, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. The issue as it stands

    That 41% actually believe he's doing an acceptable job is the real story.

    November 28, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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