July 17th, 2009
05:39 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Obama approval rating dips under 60 percent

 President Obama's approval rating has dropped under 60 percent according to a CNN Poll of Polls released Friday.

President Obama's approval rating has dropped under 60 percent according to a CNN Poll of Polls released Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An average of five national polls conducted in July indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating has slipped under 60 percent.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans surveyed approve of the job Obama's doing as president, according to a CNN Poll of Polls compiled and released Friday, with 36 percent disapproving. In early June, Obama's average approval rating was 62 percent. It dropped a point to 61 percent by mid-June and stayed at that level through the rest of the month.

"Recent polls indicate that Obama's lowest ratings - and biggest losses - come on the public's perception of how he is handling the economy," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows a double-digit drop in the number of Americans who think that the President has a clear plan for solving the country's problems. The public may not be as willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt after six months on the job as they did when he first took office."

So how does Obama compare to his most recent predecessors six months into office?

George W. Bush also drew a 57 percent approval rating six months into his presidency, in July of 2001. Bill Clinton stood at 48 percent in July 1993. Two-thirds of Americans polled approved of George H.W. Bush's job as president in July 1989, and six out of 10 gave Ronald Reagan the thumbs-up in July 1981.

"Reagan, like Obama, got approval ratings in the high 50s and low 60s during most of his first summer in office," Holland says. "But as unemployment remained high, Reagan's approval rating dropped below 50 percent for the first time in November of 1981, and it stayed under 50 percent for the next two years."

CNN's Poll of Polls consists of five national surveys with interviews conducted in July: The Gallup tracking poll (July 13-15); Ipsos/McClatchy (July 9-13); Diageo/Hotline (July 9-13); USA Today/Gallup (July 10-12) and CBS News (July 9-12). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. D

    and what was that fake accent at the NAACP anniversary dinner?

    Who is he trying to fool?

    Listen to his accent there and then when he just spoke re: health insurance.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Tom

    GW Bush was an ideologist.
    Obama is an idealist.
    Both are not realists, and this is showing.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Shibumi

    Bo Bo's ratings are dropping because he is truly becoming 'transparent", that is, his leftist radical agenda. Quite a turnaround from how he portrayed himself the last 3 weeks before election day.
    And to those libutards saying "We just have to wait"........If I see a train wreck about to happen, I would try to stop it. Not wait to see if it happens. Bo Bo the Clown's agenda is train wreck (that is if you're not on welfare).

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Luwa

    I really think we ought to give the president some time. The problems inherited from the last administration's pernicious policies cannot possibly be effaced in just 6 months. They were more than half a decade in the making! It will take some time for the steps Obama is making to be manifested in the economy. We're just being extremely impatient.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. David

    Wow CNN actually reporting something negative on Obama where was that durting the election. Oh wait just another puppet in the political machine

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Edward in Cali

    I am totally disgusted where this country is headed. Yes, Bush did take this country in a horrible direction (in many areas), but Obama is completely out of control.

    He is setting this country up for total failure.

    I can only hope that the mass of idiots that voted for this JOKE of a President get their heads out of the their butts and realize they made the WORST mistake not only for their lives, but for our country and vote this piece of TRASH out of office.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Nickernacker

    @AWR: "Taxes are skyrocketing, unemployment is soaring, foreclosures are rising, inflation is looming, the Dow is sinking, North Korea is firing, soldiers are dying,…..This is all since Obama got into office just 6 months ago!!!"

    Actually this is all since 2006, and even before. North Korea has been saber rattling for the better part of the decade, the housing bust started in '07, inflation has actually gotten better since Obama took office, unemployment has been an issue since Clinton, and soldiers have been dying Since dubya kicked off his 2 wars.

    Get some perspective, Obama may be a corporate stooge, but so was Dubya and Clinton. Until we stop giving our respective leaderships a free ride with our short attention spans and start holding them ALL accountable, they will just divide and conquer the electorate. WE act stupid and just buy their lies (It's the OTHER side's fault!), so they treat us like idiots and steal our tax dollars to fatten up their campaign contributors.

    Hate Obama all you want, I think he's terrible, and I'm a socialist. But be honest: don't lay the blame for Bush's failures at his feet.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Donna Bordelon

    The economy was set for a soft bounce until the presidential campaign in which the Democrats upped their NEVER ENDING rant against Bush saying the economy is horrible (when it wasn't & unemployment was 5%–wishing for those days again, aren't we?) over and over again until people became afraid and stopped spending money. Self-fulfilling prophecy. I blame the Democrats for the economic crisis starting with Barney Frank and Bill Clinton who encouraged the FHA to make all those loans to people who weren't qualified to repay them and killed our housing market. There goes construction jobs, there goes real estate jobs, there goes banking jobs. Since Obama passed another stimulus which he promised would create jobs we've lost another 2.5 million jobs. Ten percent unemployment and rising. Now cap and trade and national health care is on the table which would kill small businesses (who employ most of us fortunate enough to still have a job) and further mortgage our kids futures. Now their saying that with the passage of all these new and wonderful measures we will have ZERO job growth for the next four years so those of you out of a job–good luck! Meanwhile Obama is appearing on talk shows, traveling all over the world, and generally enjoying life–I'm really happy for him, but sad for all of us who need a president that actually wants the economy to recover and job growth to resume. Throwing more of our money at the problem doesn't seem to be working.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. John

    I think given the mess he inherited -the worst since the depression – he is doing quite well. Consider how much WORSE off we would be had he not intervened. Our major banks would have failed, and we would have NO automobile industry. It took more than a decade to get out of the Great Depression – expecting a recession this severe to go away in 6 months, even with the best policies for dealing with it, is simple fantasy. But believe me, folks, it would have been a LOT worse if the do-nothing Republicans in Congress had gotten their way.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Marshall B.

    After Obama passed the stimulus, he owns the economic outcome. They promised us unemployment would be much worse unless they spent nearly 1 trillion dollars of other people's money. The stimulus wasn't meant to stimulate, but to grow the government bureaucracy even more.

    And now they want to destroy the healthcare system, slipping into the law banning private insurance, causing employers to drop insurance for all of their workers in an attempt to move everyone over to a government run system. If people think our system is bad now, just wait when political organizations are making your health decisions for you.

    And then cap and trade. This is the Democrat's Iraq war. Something nobody is asking for and something that will truly hurt America's ability to compete.

    The cardinal sin during a recession is to weaken the economy even more with taxes on the productive. Since when was envy a good thing? I don't believe most American's resent the fact others are successful. The Democrats think that if you happen to be successful, then you deserve to be penalized, meanwhile if you contribute nothing to society, you deserve free everything.

    If Cap & Trade, Employee Free Choice act and/or Health care bill passes, I predict Obama is voted out in 2012. It contains so many trojan horses in an attempt to centralize the US economy.

    We're screwed. Wake up people.

    July 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Jen

    This is actually great news. Maybe now he'll grow some balls and prosecute Bush Administration officials.

    July 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. SEAN


    July 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Educate yourselves before you open your mouth and just let the words fall out

    And any way you try to spin this, right-wing extremists, 57% is STILL the majority.

    July 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Bea

    Many of you got yourself in this mess – now you want someone to pull you out like yesterday – live by your means – if you have a beer pocket book – buy beer and don't try to buy champagne. This President feels for all of us – poor or rich – so give him a chance. Rome was not buit in one day – so how can you expect the President to fix it in one day. I sure would not like to have all the opposition he has. Get back to your representatives (House and Congress) – tell them to start doing the right thing. There are the ones to blame – not our President.

    July 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. drowning in the midwest

    I laugh at all the people who are highly critical of the non-Obama supporters. They talk down to us and then go on to show their ignorance on a grand scale.

    I guess everything that has happened in the last 20 years and for the next 4 is Bush's fault. They quote that the last 8 years are the total reason because Bush was the worst president. Can you Say Frank, Dodd, Reid, Pelosi??????? Who do you think set the rules that allowed the money to be so loose? Stop drinking the kool-aide.

    I do agree with the comment about the average person. The apathy most Americans have is why we are stuck with the people we have in Congress and the presidency

    July 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. citizenjane

    When CNN can allow posts that reference killing others, monkey libs, and all the other garbage many posters post, yet deny those who don't post with hateful words, it's time put away the keyboard.

    July 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Doug

    YES we can. I didn't buy into the media hype. Obama doesn't know what he is doing. I think that he doesn't care too much about the economy anyways. He relates the economy with the rich. Lets change healthcare to insure people who don't work! Great timing. Liberals stand for feelings not for principles. Results show that Obama can't deliver what he campaigned for. Obama wants government control of all US aspects.

    July 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Melanie

    I think it's baffling that everyone is saying, "Give him a chance!" or "What do you expect after only 6 months?" The problem here is that he's going about it all wrong. He's completely messing it up. Instead of using those 6 months to make it better, he's made it worse. No one - and I mean no one - can justify spending left and right to get our country out of debt. It defies everything we've been taught about economics. Even the uneducated citizens of our country can see that this isn't adding up the right way. These massive 1,000 page bills that no one is reading are simply filled with little-known pieces of legislature that do nothing for the average American, and do everything for his personal agenda. Why the middle-class American still thinks he cares about them is beyond me. Ask those who worked in Michigan GM and Chrysler dealerships and factories how well Obama's doing to boost our economy and save jobs. God help us all...

    July 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. David Chicago

    I am a conservative. I like small government, low taxes and a strong military.

    Deomcrat and Republican doesn't mean anything anymore. The Republicans are weak kneed and need to be outed.

    True conservatism is dead.

    We can only hope that the country can wake up and see that we are becoming Russia.

    Bin Laden must be laughing his rear end off. Look at the financial and political mess the country has become.

    Spending a fortune on Health Care, Carbon taxes, a stimulus bill where the money vanished. The GM autoworkers must be thrilled to death with the demise of the American Auto industry. Great work Obama.

    Where did the money go? The street should be paved with gold. Billions of dollars going from one bank account to another.

    Unless you are on the receiving end of the handouts, what can this man offer to you or your children? I only see taxes and more regulations in my future...

    I hope I am wrong.

    July 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Betty

    You mean Bo's interview with AC in Africa didn't put him at 100%.

    I am not a republican. I am an Asian American and came to this country to do a masters degree back when the last dem president was still in office. Been in this country for the last 10 years and have never seen a president move so fast without a plan to tear down the basic foundation of capitalism.

    the problem with taxing the rich more – even if you tax them at 70%, it will not pay for healthcare. Soon the taxes are gonna go up for those over $150,000.

    July 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |

    Texas is a rich state full of rich people and rich land.
    We have money, ambition and knowledge that our country can use to their benefit. But our education system and our media have SUPRESSED, ALTERED, CONTOURED, AND Liable-y MUTUALATED everything to were when the reader reads it ,every person interprets it differently to make a social gap which has left more people stupid and in the blue about everything from the origin of the bible to why we have a tail bone? This is a walk through the desert we are all going to have to learn to survive. Everything we have been told is a mirage and If we don’t start over by starting with what we teach our young then maybe they will understand why they have to have a job @ the age of 6 to pay for the elementary school?

    July 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Maria - Proud Democrat

    While I voted for our President, I think that he is not doing the job we expected.

    He's taking on too many issues and spreading himself too thin!!

    He also seems to be more focused on his personal image than the state of our nation.....whomever is doing his PR needs a new approach.

    Although I enjoy seeing him and Michelle out on Date Night and all......our current economy and state of our nation calls for him to focus on the job we elected him to do and spend less time trying to be the cool one.

    Americans are dealing with losing their jobs, losing their home and trying to keep food on the table, so we would like our President to FOCUS on whats important and stop campaigning!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. tony

    why are so many whites (including self) seem to think it's all on one person. It can't be the people of color who put this man in office, because there aren't enough to put him in office or enough to keep him out. Why? Because many are in jail or not registered to vote, or how about they only make up 12-21% of the U.S population. So who put him in office? Hmmmm!

    July 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. sarahinfla

    It's simple he's held to a higher standard point blank. In office less than a year with a economic meltdown, a huge badly designed and poorly regulated money giveaway by the previous administration.

    War funding that may or may not have been reported properly.

    Both parties they TALK" about helping the working class they "TALK" about health care but our lawmakers would be happy with the the same old same old. Because there kickbacks from lobbiest will continue to come in.

    Until big business feel they have an moral obligation to help this country and this president we will all suffer Obama will catch the blame but big business and greed will be the culprits.... Look how they did Bush and he was big business friend with the tax breaks... non-patriotic, greedy, cowards.

    July 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. RB

    I do not support Obama's policies in the slightest. "Mostly textbook socialism in a capitalist nation (oil and water) and too much too fast. I cannot even begin to explain my disappointment with the majority of Americans. So quick to rally behind one man. So ignorant of the truth. Through my short existence on the planet, I have come to realize that everything is about money. Those with money have the power, and they do not want to give it up. The country has been blind to so much fraud and greed.

    July 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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