December 20th, 2013
01:01 PM ET
7 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. ThinkAgain

    I still support him. I never expected him to be perfect – and I always knew he was a pragmatic centrist. Yes, I agree, he should have been more explicit with his comments about keeping your doctor. He should have said, "If you don't have a crappy health plan, you get to keep your doctor."

    Have a safe, relaxing and wonderful holiday, Mr. President!

    December 20, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. faboge

    I will take his rating over congress's rating of 5% LOL Even Chlamydia polls higher than this congress!

    December 20, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Looks like the american people are waking up.

    December 20, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. asdfasdf

    no kidding. he just made another major change to Obamacare and is now leaving on vacation to Hawaii...how nice of him. I bet insurance company's are loving him now.

    December 20, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. b randon

    If you didn't hear yet, Its all Bush's fault.

    December 20, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. benndover

    LOL...This is even lower than Bush at the same time...by the time this fool gets done in office i bet his numbers may be in the teens if not single digits even...LOL

    December 20, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Rememberwhatbushdid

    Everyone please remember that all the broadcast networks and cable channels are owned by huge corporations, who have, for the most part, been opposed to healthcare reform from the very beginning. I believe this makes President Obama even more heroic in trying to bring about positive change on behalf of the forgotten middle class. A minority taking on the moneyed-interests. History will be on his side, and the side of the middle class, if not now in his time, in the future. He has withstood more of a full-court press than any president in our nation's history. Obamacare is both morally and fiscally the right way to go. And I am a longtime independent health insurance agent.

    December 20, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. mrc

    Well there is only one reason for this, everyone is ra-cist

    December 20, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Yahoo

    Good for him !!

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

    I voted for him! And I'm ashamed I got duped!

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

    It's funny how on all the negative stories they switch to the one page that doesn't allow disqus comments

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

    I guess that Hope and Change just did not work for most of America!

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

    I find it interesting that the Presidents approval is at an all time low while the stockmarket is at an all time high, jobs are being created, wars are ending, homes are being sold. The reason his approval rating is so low is because of the media constantly slamming Obama Care and constantly reminding the public that the Presidents approval rating is low. Speak about the positives of "our" President's terms. Stop flooding the media about the very few bad things that have happend during his watch and promote the good he is doing in our country and around the world. Remember most of the people who think he is doing a bad job voted for him.

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

    crickets

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Erick Holmes

    People have too high of expectations for him, particularly when he won in 2008. People in this country lack patience. Give him more time.

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Homer

    I wonder if his approval rating in the six states that had their own exchange.

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. styxhexenhammer666

    Obama lost almost all support among independent voters- hence the bad numbers.

    Any more losses indicate a drop in support among Democratic-leaning groups, which could devastate his chances of getting so much as a single bill passed (which explains why he is now mostly legislating by executive order- which is only dubiously legal at best.)

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Dave

    In a household of three, I ended the year with an approval rating of 33.3%.

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. bones1918

    "Do a lousy job, do lousy in the polls." –America

    December 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What are the Republican numbers? Hello? No smart answers? Crickets chirping...

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

    Bush was at 37% for a while.......this is nothing new for a president at one time or another. Clinton was at 32% for a while and now he is a God.......means NADA.

    December 20, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. SG

    Obama has a core following of mindless zombies that will support him no matter what level of idiocy he achives. Obama has done for the Democratic party what the Tea Party has done for the Republican party.

    December 20, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Kate111

    Well, President Obama I am here for you, you can only do so much when you have such a closed off, 'do-nothing' Congress that is also been set out from the beginning to do you in!!!!

    December 20, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Harry

    No worries. 88% of blacks still approve.

    December 20, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Creal

    Commander in Victim nation!

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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