December 20th, 2013
01:01 PM ET
12 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. Dale

    41%? Isn't that a little high?

    December 20, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. KidKid

    Approval ratings goes down, economy improves. At least the GOP are good at something.

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Eric

    Deficit cut in half, Dow and S&P at record highs, unemployment now at 7% and dropping, everyone has access to health insurance, bin Laden dead, getting out of Iraq & Afghanistan, economy growing at 4% ... Don't you wish we still had the last guy as President?

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Friends

    Well Duh !

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. J-Man

    Impeach the liar. Not liking the president isn't an impeachable offense. Losing the public trust is. The president has proven that he is a liar on multiple occasions. He is also running the most corrput administration in history. Most departments are under investigation for lying / corruption. Just to name a few, the following departments are under investigation: NSA, IRS, DEA, EPA, SOS, AG, SOI (Interior), SOL (Labor), HHS, DHS. This guy needs to be removed from office and sent to jail with many of those who work for him.

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. NorCalMojo

    That's gotta hurt

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Jack

    Big Deal! Even when I am running my Family LLC, there are days almost everyone disagrees with me and there days when almost everyone agrees with me. So, Big Deal

    December 20, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Hex

    Only pea brains do polls. So that 41% is high.

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. steven

    Obama, the Democrat's George Bush. I think that is an accurate portrayal.

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Kenman

    Great, we have to have this first gay President come on and lay out some prewritten, pre-screened, focus group tested nonsense to feed his drones in the media and the millions more dependents that his policies have created to eliminate the very group that he professes to champion, the middle class.

    It's all about control; he's in the aristocrat class and that's who he's looking out for first, while bemoaning Conservatives that made successes of themselves, and he needs the lower class to stay hungry and dependent so that his kind can buy their votes with the tax money spent for that purpose, and he hates the pesky middle class that might WORK their way into the upper class and challenge the socialist views of his aristocracy!

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    What I want to know is if he will address the growing black on white crime that's been happening since he's been office

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. T

    ........Guess Obama wont get his.................THIRD TERM.....................hahahahahahHAHAHAHAAHAHA

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Gunny

    Polls on his popularity are pointless. He simply doesn't care what anyone thinks. Lame duck presidency protects him from public opinion. That coupled with his grandiose sense of self-importance and arrogance are in large part responsible for him being so unpopular.

    My favorite polls though deal with his trustworthiness... is it any surprise that has tanked as well? Even his biggest fans must have gotten kicked in the wallet with ACA. Enjoy it folks.

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Bobbi

    Daniel, at least Bush never had any personally killed.
    Seal Team 6 and Benghazi.

    December 20, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Paul

    The mood of the country is anti Washington. Compare ratings of congress and Obama looks pretty good. Polls need to be more inclusive and bigger to get a true meaning.

    December 20, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. smorkingapple

    So slide is also because Democrats are disappointed. Which means if election were held today he's still getting at least 50.1% of the vote.

    This is why listening to any of these polls is worthless.

    December 20, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. bob

    worst president ever.....

    December 20, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. smith

    @Old West-Remember Vietnam? Started by democrats with a lie(Gulf of Tonkin).

    December 20, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. MBSeattle

    It has been a tough year for the President. Hope and good ideas are a starting point but the execution of these ideas has been dragging down the Presidents poll numbers. That said can we compare poll number to the congress.

    The simple truth is the voters think and rightfully so is that our government has been dysfunctional. Congress, Mr. President 2014 is a do over for all of you. I do not give a hoot about party but I do care about process please get it right next year..

    December 20, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. growisernotdummer

    No President could do it all. Thanks to all President's of the U.S. for putting up with the selfishness of a free and greedy country. Oftentimes we deserve death, instead freedom reigns. Thanks to Jesus Christ the true Santa.

    December 20, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Bobbi

    Sorry Daniel, I meant Old West.

    December 20, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Ulysses-AZ

    Breaking news, Obama falsehoods (spun in the name of political victory) hurt his poll numbers. The President would have said, done or promised just about ANYTHING to get his signature healthcare overhaul passed. This doesn't faze his ardent supporters because they got what they wanted, the roadmap to nationalized healthcare. The amazing thing is a lie told to accomplish a political goal is acceptable to 40% of the population.

    December 20, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. tychi

    Americans are rather fickle. Do another poll an hour later and they will change their minds again.

    December 20, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. cyrus

    I think lobby groups start picking on Obama after asking for raise of Min wage and having peaceful deal with Iran.

    All those negative survey result start popping last month and half. Interesting enough, only time I saw surveys request was in Fox news and Depka [Israeli military intelligence website], which I have hard time to trust them and give them my email address.

    CNN if you are doing a survey about president place, make it available to everyone and let reader know there is a survey and where they can do the surveys. Depka web site will give a pop out and let you know where to take survey. I think CNN, should let his viewer to take survey, instead of just sharing results from surveys select it people or state

    December 20, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. 0bozotor

    His reign is getting shorter by the hour. Hurrah....!!!!

    December 20, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10