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. Mete Kroo

    "Who cares about poll!" Bush

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Rick

    @Bob, I take it you never took Statistics. A 1000 person survey sample has always been pretty accurate in standard polling. It depends on the sampling of the 1000.

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Bob

    He was unpopular before the election, lied to stay in and was assisted by a complicit media. The chickens are coming home to roost. If only he had payed more attention to Rev. Wrights sermons he would have learned about chickens and roosting.

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. davezs1

    Comrade Obama has failed America. History will show he is the worst leader and the largest proponent for communism in government.

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

    Bob, i so agree with you, poll is meaningless.

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. mrc

    Well there is only one explanation, everyone clearly is r@cisst

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Would You Look at That

    This is funny... surprisingly high... but, funny nonetheless. Coincidentally, the obamacare website is shut down, again!

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. JV

    Last i checked is was still 2013. He still has time to drop more.

    December 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. daniel

    Who are the 41% who still support this clown....I want to know, where I can stay away from them.....Its the 41% just that stupid or do they have their heads buried in the sand?

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. abc

    Impeach this guy!

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. just saying

    i will say it again. these poll numbers are totally skewed depending upon how many black people are polled. their approval of obama is skin color based, not performance based. their aproval rate is close to double what others is of obama. if you noramlize those numbers, obama real approval rate is already in the high to mid 30s.

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Tom

    'm pretty sure he'll end up in the mid 50's by the time his term is over..........just like Bush and Clinton. Now that the ACA is up and starting to play well, so will his numbers by June 14'.

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. patNY

    Watch the numbers change positively for the president as the economy continues to grow, unemployment dips below 7%, and the stock market rises even further (note its 100% gain since Obama took office in 2009).

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Jeffrey P

    Force more Policies on people and lie about them...

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. malcolmtbm

    dow 16,000, unemployment rate under 7%...vs dow 6,000 unemployment rate exploding towards 8%...?

    December 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Keith

    There are 11 days still left for him to screw something else up & drop even lower...

    December 20, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. calvin

    Not like he cares, he can't run again, and once he leaves office, he'll enjoy lifetime benefits. And his approval rating is what... about 30 points higher than CONgress ?

    December 20, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. What part is Affordable?

    Let me guess, it's W's fault?

    December 20, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Man, he is never getting a third term unless he can turn things around.

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

    Lame duck for three more years. So much promise, so little success

    December 20, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Kevin

    I am so excited for the 2014 mid term elections. Republicans will have congress and the senate and I predict very quick action to remove Bussein from office and put Pelosi, Reid, Holder and Clinton in prison where they belong.

    December 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Old West

    Relax republicans, your party ratings, including Tea Party and congress are lower....how quickly you forget...I'll take him over soldier killing Bush any day...

    December 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Daniel

    I am so sorry I voted for him. But, it was him or Romney. Him or McCain. We were screwed either way.

    December 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. e7juliet

    Liars always lying and trolls always trolling. Despite all of them this POTUS continues to move America forward.

    December 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Larry

    But the economy is now better but his rating are low. Lol. Give me a break.

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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