Failure and success for Obama: Poll offers clues
December 23rd, 2013
11:52 AM ET
10 months ago

Failure and success for Obama: Poll offers clues

(CNN) – Is it President Barack Obama's biggest failure or achievement?

The Affordable Care Act aims to help millions of Americans, many of them poor, obtain health insurance. But one poll released on Monday indicates a popular split on how it should be viewed so far.

Thirty-six percent of respondents in the Gallup survey pointed to Obamacare as the biggest failure of Obama's presidency, while 22 percent believe it's his greatest achievement.

Not surprisingly, the politically polarizing program that had a rocky rollout this fall was the top plus for Democrats and the biggest negative for Republicans in the survey on issues that so far shape Obama’s legacy.

Also noteworthy: a third of respondents overall either said Obama had no single defining accomplishment or offered no opinion.

Moreover, issues around the economy and jobs combined were muted in the survey, viewed as either a noteworthy achievement, 5 percent, or failure, 6 percent, in Obama’s first five years in office.

Following the Affordable Care Act, 9 percent of Americans thought acrimony with Congress has been the President’s biggest failure, while getting troops home from Afghanistan was his next biggest overall success at 7 percent.

The survey was conducted from December 5-8 among 1,031 adults with a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Robert Dittman

    this opbamacare fiaco has caused harm to just the people who got the democrats elected again..I an everyone I knoe are subsidizing healthcare for all by paying higher rates or losing our plans..Fool me once..the agenda is clear to see now..Take from my family and give to your support base..done..thanks for all the promises.

    December 23, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Thomas

    Nobody has yet died or beed made homeless from his Failures .

    When you find those WMD's n Iraq , let me know .

    December 23, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Thirty-six percent of respondents in the Gallup survey pointed to Obamacare as the biggest failure of Obama's presidency, while 22 percent believe it's his greatest achievement.
    --------------------------------------------
    What about the other 42%? I judge the President's performance based on campaign promises. Such as: "If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush al Qaeda." Sounds like a promise kept and among his greatest achievements thus far.

    December 23, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Thomas

    The Key to success is having some failures , the key to failure doing nothing !

    And the GOP has done just that " NOTHING ".

    December 23, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Dow Jones way up... why recite what most sentient folks already know.
    He's done a very good job with the big lobbyists, the circumstances he walked into, and the Republicans stacked against him.
    Well done Mr. President, very well done!

    December 23, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Would You Look at That

    Thomas wrote:
    "When you find those WMD's n Iraq , let me know ."
    --------
    You must be referring to the same WMDs that Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and other "champions of the left" all ackowleged...
    --–
    "Nobody has yet died or beed made homeless from his Failures ."
    well, many people would consider Benghazi a big failure on his part... there were a few notable deaths due to his inaction...

    December 23, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Financial regulatory reform is a B.F.D. in my eyes as well. But if you like deregulation, and bursting bubbles is your sort of thing, I guess he's a failure.

    December 23, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Would You Look at That
    Thomas wrote:
    "When you find those WMD's n Iraq , let me know ."
    --–
    You must be referring to the same WMDs that Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and other "champions of the left" all ackowleged...
    ––
    "Nobody has yet died or beed made homeless from his Failures ."
    well, many people would consider Benghazi a big failure on his part... there were a few notable deaths due to his inaction...
    ---------------------------------------------
    Secretary Clinton requested money for additional embassy security and your Republican Tea Party Congress denied her request. You should double check to see who really has those four Americans blood on their hands.

    December 23, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    I missed something from this article; A point. Was there a missing page ?

    December 23, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    According to Fox and CNN, all right wingnuts had a gold insurance policy that cost them $25 a month. Now the ACA is forcing them to take a lesser policy that costs $2000 a month. Hard to believe isn't it?

    December 23, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Purtman

    @Robert Dittman, prior to this, the average family of four was paying between $1200-1500 per year to subsidize the uninsured. This will reduce it unless we allow more people to go uninsured. Insurance rates were also growing a much higher rate than they are now. Did your insurance rates go down in the last 20 years? I doubt it.

    December 23, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. TONE

    Mr President you are not a failure Sir, congress is a failure more so the republican congress they've done nothing for the American people, Mr President you have done all you can to help the middle class, and poor despite all the Obstruction coming from the Gop Cnn you should be calling out the gop do nothing congress.

    December 23, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. CryBabies

    Pretty pitiful across the board. And last nights interview with Susan Rice....Benghazi was a "fabricated controversy". Beautiful! More denial and holding back information. And you wonder why this so-called"hatred" by the American people? Its disgust about the lack of transparency and stonewalling . But "what difference does it make"?

    December 23, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. CryBabies

    @Tampa Tim...Really????? More fog added to the haze!

    December 23, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. SMITTY

    Tampa, that is just bull and you know it. There are facts out there that can help you. Try researching so your post don't read so idiotic.

    December 23, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    USA needs to get over with GOP garbage, Fox spewing venom. What failure? Outright denying pre-existing patients by insurance thugs, failure? Hospital looting Medicare, doctors overcharging Medicare with fraudulent activities, a failure? Pharmacy robbing a failure? Insurance thugs looting a failure? Or BCBS hiring foreign cheap work force a failure. So only ACA Law is devised, put up or shut up. Nothing wrong with Law. Period. Let it be implemented first. Lat USA go forward–not backward. God bless!!!

    December 23, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Voice of Reason in NYC

    Gurgyl

    USA needs to get over with GOP garbage, Fox spewing venom. What failure? Outright denying pre-existing patients by insurance thugs, failure? Hospital looting Medicare, doctors overcharging Medicare with fraudulent activities, a failure? Pharmacy robbing a failure? Insurance thugs looting a failure? Or BCBS hiring foreign cheap work force a failure. So only ACA Law is devised, put up or shut up. Nothing wrong with Law. Period. Let it be implemented first. Lat USA go forward–not backward. God bless!!!

    Can you please write in complete sentences? Your rants read like REM's "End of the World".

    December 23, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Gunderson

    Humm,
    I think the jury come back on Obama. Guilty on all counts. But call for new trial. Maybe you get better decision. Before Obama leave office 1930's may look good. You want somebody else pay your freight? Good luck.

    December 23, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. jackdin

    The main problem the President has is the Incompetent members of the House who really don't need to be there. They have lost all credibility, the Speaker clearly said this, and when their gone the work of governing can be achieved.

    December 23, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason in NYC

    How do even Democrats support this President anymore?

    December 23, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    SMITTY

    Tampa, that is just bull and you know it. There are facts out there that can help you. Try researching so your post don't read so idiotic.
    ------------------------
    Yeah, uh-huh. "There are facts out there...." The right wing's favorite response to anything. "It's out there." Where? Why is that no one can ever cite those facts? Simple. There no "facts out there" to be found. Hey, I'm still looking for Mitt Romney's record on job creation, which was "out there", too. I'm still looking for the Republican Health Care Plan, which is likewise, "out there."

    December 23, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. shorething

    Obama is the main reason that anyone who is running for office should publicly state their experience. Obama has zero experience as a leader and had even less experience as a state senator. Obama had no business running for president and his ability to lead is not even questionable as he is an utter failure in the true definition of the word. Obama has help no one but rich friends and himself, while blaming America's problems on something and someone other than his own inability to be an effective leader. He is ignorant and has never once listened to the voice of the nation but rather his own ego to spearhead even more national debt.

    December 23, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. barryinlasvegas

    Proclaiming that Obamacare was done to help the poor is really a joke and just another lie by Obama and the Democrats.

    The cheapest Bronze plan has a $5000 deductible for a single person and $11,500 for a family before the insurance starts paying and then the copay is only 60% after you have completed the deductible. Of course you have a monthly premium of $250 for a single person to $750 a month for a family.

    This in reality becomes self insurance for most people.

    This is hardly Affordable Care.

    December 23, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. John

    Why is this ACA a hard question? The IDEA is wondrous, spectacular. The EXECUTION has been worthy of executions (just their jobs) for some people.

    It is fixable and it will be fixed. It is the law, and deemed lawful.. Right up to my hero, Barack Obama, this has been unmitigated horror, and it continues to unravel with these ill-conceived exemptions and deferrals. Oh, that single-payer was never a viable option! But we know who is to blame for THAT.

    Ah well. 10 years from now only some of us will remember that what is beautiful was once an ugly duckling.

    December 23, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. destroyerofeconomies

    November 2014. good-bye libs

    December 23, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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