December 20th, 2013
01:01 PM ET
9 months ago

President ends year at all-time CNN polling low

Washington (CNN) – Fourteen points.

That's how far President Barack Obama's poll numbers fell in CNN polling over the course of what's been an especially tough year.

Obama's approval rating stands at 41% in a new CNN/ORC International survey released Friday, which matches the all-time low he fell to in CNN polling just last month. The President's disapproval rating remains unchanged at 56%, which is an all-time high in CNN surveys.

CNN/ORC International full survey results

In the afterglow of his 2012 re-election victory, Obama's rating stood at 55% in CNN polling in January. That number ranged from the upper 40s to the low 50s through May in CNN and most other national polling, but steadily declined in the following months as Obama dealt with one controversy after another, from NSA surveillance and IRS targeting of political groups to the disastrous startup of HealthCare.gov and the controversy over millions of Americans being told they would lose their current insurance plans because they didn't meet stands mandated by the new health care law.

According to the poll, which was released Friday, 40% say they disapprove of the President because they say his policies and actions have been too liberal, with 12% saying they disapprove because he hasn't been liberal enough.

"The growth in negative views of the President comes almost equally from the left and the right," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Not surprisingly, the number of Americans who disapprove of him because he is too liberal is up six points since the start of the year.  But the number of Americans who disapprove of him because he has not been liberal enough is up almost as much since January, indicating that his slide is due as much to disappointment as it is anger."
Obama's support is weakening in some key demographics.

"A majority of women and half of younger Americans, two key components of the Obama coalition that helped to elect and re-elect him to the White House, disapprove of Obama's track record as President," Holland said.

Three-quarters of Democrats questioned say they approve of the job the President is doing in office, but one in five give him a thumbs down. The President's approval rating stands at 32% among independent voters and just 8% among Republicans.

Besides the CNN polls, Obama's approval rating reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in six other individual non-partisan, live operator national surveys conducted over the past two months.

Division on budget deal

The poll was conducted Monday through Thursday, as the Senate passed, with bipartisan support, a budget deal struck by Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and his Democratic Senate counterpart Patty Murray. The House overwhelming passed the agreement last week. According to the survey, 46% of Americans support the deal, with 42% opposed, and 12% unsure.

"Positive views of the budget agreement, passed by the Senate on Wednesday, outweigh negative views, but the number of Americans who don't have an opinion about the complex bill is in double digits, keeping support - and opposition - below 50%," Holland said.

There is a wide partisan divide over the spending plan: 65% of Democrats and 42% of independents support it but only 28% of Republicans are in favor of the deal, which sets spending levels, reduces the deficit, relieves some of the forced spending cuts known as sequestration, and prevents another government shutdown in January, when current funding for federal government runs out.

Obama compared to previous presidents

How does Obama's approval ratings match up to his most immediate two-term predecessors as they finished up the first year of their second terms?

George W. Bush also stood at 41% approval in CNN polling at the same point in December 2005. Bill Clinton was at 56% in December 1997 and Ronald Reagan was at a lofty 63% in December 1985.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International December 16-19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Sunflower2

    Wellll.. You give the NSA carte blanche what did he expect?

    December 20, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -Gene

    And, if most of the folks reading this really knew the full depth of what Obama was doing.. he wouldn't even have an approval rating. Time will tell this story.
    ****************
    Oooh, really, clue us in, Gene, since you have all the inside dirt! Where did you get it all, by reading the Daily Caller and Newsmax?

    December 20, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. valerie west

    Amazing about the polls.... Since I have never been polled? So who are the persons being polled... states etc...
    I do not think we are being FAIR to our President. He is still top notched so who and how is he not TRUSTWORTHY!

    December 20, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    If Bush had killed bin Laden, the RWNJs would demand his face on Mt. Rushmore. If Bush created 8 million jobs instead of losing them in 2008, RWNJs would want his face on Mt. Rushmore. If Bush had been president when the market went over 16,000, RWNJs would demand his face on Mt. Rushmore. If Bush had gotten us out of two unnecessary wars, RWNJs would want his face on Mt. Rushmore.

    December 20, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Smitty

    Has lied since day one, congrats Obama. When the President wins the biggest liar of the year reward you know America is in deep doo-doo.

    December 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. valerie west

    The ones who feel he is not trustworthy must be RICH!!!!

    December 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Dr. Greg

    A nice guy I am sure but it is now pretty obvious he is an incompetent administrator.

    December 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. kiwisepp

    59% Americans suffer memory loss.

    Forget these failed bill, immigration and gun control, NSA leaking and tumbled ACA rolling out, it is all about economy, stupid.

    December 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Jack 2

    It's amazing that anyone would approve of his lies and ineptness. Where's our middle income jobs? where's our manufacturing?

    December 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Jamal

    Tom Paine.... Why bother explaining anything to those who know the truth , yet refuse to accept it as such? Or, put another way..... Never mind.

    December 20, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    I have noticed a lot of inane posters making accusations that even Fox, foreign owned media would not make. Lies are all the RWNJs have. Why can't we see a poll on Cruz's popularity, as I believe is lower than our druggie, Trey Radel, in the 19th district?

    December 20, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. vbscript2

    It's just too bad that so many people waited until after the last set of elections to finally see through Obama. Get ready for approval ratings in the 30s and dropping, Mr. President. They're headed your way. Hopefully Americans will at least see fit to kick out his supporters in the Senate in the next election cycle so we can finally begin the process of undoing his messes. Of course, this is also going to rely on the GOP to run actual reasonable candidates, not nuts like Cruz, Angle, Bachmann, etc., which has been far from a given in recent years.

    December 20, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Just me

    I'm sorry, but I find it difficult to believe that 44% of the voting body still agree with this president – he has been proven time and time again to be a liar and at best, incompetent... so 44% of Americans no longer judge people by their morals or values? That's a very scary thought.
    ***************
    And how does the opposition look? Filled with new ideas, bursting with optimism about what we can still accomplish in this country? They have not had a new idea in a generation but apparently 47% of voters were barely satisfied that a Mormon aristocrat with a car elevator related to them more than a man who has attempted to inject some equal opportunity back into the American dream. That is a far more scary thought.

    December 20, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. wildman38

    He's a rotten human being.

    December 20, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Starflyer

    Re RO, no doubt that perhaps a 1/3 to 1/2 of Americans are stupid, but that's not the reason BO is down in the polls. Electing Randel, Backmann, and several other Right/Left wing loonies is more that proof that some Americans are dumb.

    I voted for BO in '08, but have come to the conclusion that he's an empty suit, soon to be followed by an empty skirt. Wonder if we'll ever have real statesmen in high office again? Not likely when 50% of voters want the others to pay their way.

    December 20, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. wildman38

    he really is not a good person

    December 20, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. mom

    BO can do nothing to help our nation because he never intended to. He simply wants to control and weaken our nation. He has done nothing whatsoever that would help make the US economy more stable., or to have more defensible borders, or to encourage businesses to prosper that are US-owned, or to develop our own resources.
    He is completely clueless about most matters of real life. He has one goal. To deceive America into believing he is a good person who knows better than we do about our lives, so that he can move on to his long-time goal of taking a powerful global government position. He never had any interest in helping the US. His entire adult life has been about making himself appear to be a cool, really smart guy who cares about our country, when in fact he cares for nothing except his own image and his own grasp on power.

    December 20, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Jamal

    Tom Paine.... Why bother explaining anything to those who know the truth , yet refuse to accept it as such? Or, put another way..... Never mind
    ******* *********
    its fun to watch them dump their ignorance out for all to see, if you egg them on enough.

    December 20, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Destroy opportuniy

    Obama said, "No family should have to do broke because of health-care".

    Because of Obama: Millions of families WILL be going broke, because Obama-care, and will not have the money to put food on the table"

    Obama will "fix" the problem: by RAISING TAXES on the middle class, to give out, "SUBSIDIES".

    December 20, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. wildman38

    Ive noticed that too many don't like this one and the ones that do ... well... self explained lol

    December 20, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Starflyer

    Could be worse though. Harry "lying" Reid is 4th in line to be President if the worst ever happened. I tremble at the thought.

    December 20, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Bush's highest disapproval rating was 71%, and so far you report 56% for Obama. You wing nuts who think that the 12% who feel he is not liberal enough are going to go crazy and embrace Cruz, Paul or Jeb Bush are fooling yourselves. You are still stuck with a per cent of the population that cannot win an election. (56% – 12% = 44%)

    December 20, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. VJ

    NSA and Obama care reduced his favor ability.

    December 20, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Ann

    They survey a bunch of people around 1000 and those people are suppose to represent the entire United States.

    December 20, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    It is a shame that RWNJs were too dumb to see they received a tax break from the stimulus. Instead they were told by Fox foreign owned media it was a tax increase. Too stupid to think for themselves. As to Destroy, you had to make that lie up, its crazy.

    December 20, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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