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. Marcia

    Obama lost due to Fox,Limbaugh,Beck against him 24/7-he has only brought us out of the worst Republican depression since 1930's, ended 2 wars and is still bringing soldiers home,found jobs at a steady increase instead of losing 850,000 a year under Bush,saved the American auto industry, killed binLaden, and tried to get heatlh care for all Americans agianstextreme Repub opposition-all the people wanting Repub-do you really want them deciding what health care your wive and daughters can have? do you really want them in your bedroom. Obama went down due to phone taps started under Bush when all of us give Facebook and Google more info-I only see the Teaparty and Repubs rooting for total American failure just to ruin Obama-shame on the Repubs who only want the success of the 1% and the Koch brothers who are trying to destroy the middle class and drive it to poverty

    December 20, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. ksuflash

    This has been the most non-transparent administration in history...people are finally starting to see through his bs. 41 percent, seems there are still plenty of kool-aid drinkers though.

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. hitman

    When will his impeachment begin!

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Gene

    And he still has higher favorability ratings than the Tea Party, Republicans, and Congress. How about that???

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Mark

    This is NOT the all time low for Obama. 38% in the month of October is his all-time low. dont understand why CNN cant get that right.....CNN reported it back in October.

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Steve

    41% approve???????? These people need to be deported.

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Nikki

    This guy needs to go !!!!! didn't voted for him and now I know why....

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. President Selfie

    Who cares what my poll numbers are! I'm going on my 367th tax payer paid for vacation! Free golf thanks to all of you too!!

    December 20, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. John

    The 41% who answered as a good job, have NO idea what his job duties are. Just that they are getting food stamps for free.

    December 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Craig

    30 years from now, when Obama's name is mentioned, people will hear in their head "you can keep your insurance". Funny and sad at the same time.

    December 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Jeffrey B

    41%? That high? Really? Guess that sampling still drinks the kool-aid.

    December 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Nate

    He just needs to get in front of people and wag that silver tongue again. The sheep will all return to his pastures and believe everything he says.

    December 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Andy

    Hopefully those who voted for this have learned their lesson

    December 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "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."

    Yeah, we should totally only count the poll results from black people at like 3/5 or so. Amirite?

    December 20, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Evervigilant

    I love how certain stories they use this comment system so they can screen comments and remove unwanted negative replies.

    Guy was awarded number one lie of the year award.
    His own half brother said, and I quote:

    "Barack thought I was too white and I thought he was too black," Ndesandjo said.

    Not much question to the significance of that statement. Fits in with his relationship with Jeremiah Wright.

    So all in all a real winner in the oval office.

    December 20, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Ben

    I'm not an Obama fan, but I would rather see us spending our money on Americans who may not deserve it than blowing it on wars in the middle east that don't provide any benefit for Americans.

    December 20, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Tom

    If you look at the above ratings....he still is one of the better liked presidents in the last 40 years. Ford, carter, Reagan and Clinton were all less liked....and the two Bush's and Carter had the lowest approvals ever.

    December 20, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Mike500

    Too bad all the people who are finally waking up didn't do so last year before the election.

    December 20, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. joe

    worst president since James Buchanan

    December 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. chris

    Poor guy. No worries though, you all will complain in 2016 and 2020.

    December 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Brad

    Who's the idi-ots that double fokered & voted for the Lying King twice?

    December 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. AndyDaniel

    "just saying" said: " 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."

    ...which makes sense because no white folks at all, who make up only 85% of the population, disapprove of him solely because of his skin color.

    December 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Patrick

    If you like the high poll numbers after the 2012 election, you can keep them, period.

    December 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Has anybody looked at the economy , jobs , the market , this quarter's growth ?

    Remember what it was like in 2007 ?

    December 20, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. J.R.Roberts

    Good news for the President…he doesn't have to care what people think. If unemployment drops and Obamacare works out all of the bugs – he'll be riding high when he leaves office.

    In response to Kevin – Republicans nominate the same type of candidates as in 2012 – and they have NO chance of taking over the Senate. Besides – it will take 67 votes to over-ride any veto and you will be far shy of that number. I'll take 50/50 – and Veep Biden becomes the most important man in America.

    December 20, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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