December 20th, 2013
01:01 PM ET
4 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. .Berry

    Toast.

    December 20, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Dr_Dr_Please

    I think that number is inflated

    December 20, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Barbara

    41% who favor him must be idiots.

    December 20, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Tony

    And Obamacare hasn't even kicked in yet...Look for approval ratings in the 30's in 2014.

    December 20, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. I've had enough

    Obama.....worst President ever...thank you

    December 20, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    No surprise here. The right wing lie machine runs 24/7 against this man!

    December 20, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Donna

    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.
    --

    The 41% is the REAL scary part of this poll! It is shocking that a lying snake oil salesman that has wrecked our healthcare system and kept unemployment at record levels FOR FIVE YEARS gets 41% approval. This does not bode well for the future of this country. Maybe many just didn't tell the pollster what they really believed for fear of being called a racist?

    December 20, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. j

    yeah...because he sucks

    December 20, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Shelia

    That's because he is the worse leader ever since Jimmy Carter, more corruption then Nixon.

    December 20, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. markfromdover

    It's lonely at the top....or bottom!

    December 20, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. lol@atheists

    ...and who is surprised by this? /no one

    December 20, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. hender1123

    Do you think he's in for another slide after people gain some experience with Obamacare? Soon there'll be no need for a sales pitch or any explanations. Obamacare will define itself and there will be no place to hide.

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. AC

    There is a cure: FIRE SEBELLIUS, while speaking live to the nation, on TV.

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. jharry

    Yahoo! See the light America!

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. keith

    Who Cares.......

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. u laby

    who is still supporting this liar?? you wanted big government ... you got it!!

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. just asking

    was this poll taken before or after he was awarded the liar of the year prize??? i don't think he has reached bottom yet. he's heading well into the lower 30s once obamacare gets million more americans an insurance cancellation notice.

    December 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Tim

    I just can't believe 41 of 100 would think he is doing a good job.

    December 20, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. CW

    Democrats: Get out of my life, my wallet, and my doctor's office.

    December 20, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. craig

    i used to like him, but he ended up failing, due to weakness or perfidy, to uphold the values that the claimed to stand for. those who voted for him valued freedom, liberty, rights, peace, and equality. instead, they had more of the same: military action, spying on citizens, war mongering, and persecution of whistle-blowers. it's a real shame that republicans don't like blacks, as he appears to be more republican than democrat, save for the socialist tendencies to spread the wealth to people that probably don't deserve it very much.

    December 20, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Bob

    With only a thousand ppl surveyed, this poll, as most are, is meaningless.

    December 20, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Jessica McGwin

    T Ball. Rough sport. I think it is about to dip to a record for this country. Never have I see a staff that hates a president so much. I would love to blame him for all of it. But GD his staff I do not even know what the he** that is. Holy crude. From the CIA to The NSA next the SS. Who trained these people and who vested them? Do any of them know who they work for or who pays the bills? Do any of them even know what country they are in?

    December 20, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. notsofast10

    And all this only 1 year after his election win where a majority of voters voted for him.

    December 20, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Sweet little Suzie

    LOL – 41%? Who is padding the numbers?

    December 20, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. HUH?

    What did you expect from an incompetent community organizer? Well, you got it. "Liar of the year"

    December 20, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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