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. Jeff - Texas

    Wait until the CAP and Trade passes, all you people think he is doing a great job. Whatever you eat ,drink, or wear will cost an extra 8%, not to mention electricity, gas. Wait until interest rates jump to as high as when Carter was the president. Obama may be a smooth talker but this guy could not run a conveniance store much less our government!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. whaley41

    lena, you must have been in another world. Everyweek, almost every day it was plastered all over the news in print, tv and radio how low Pres Bush was sinking in the polls. Funny how liberals don't like polls when they go against them, and love them when they trash the repubs. You better get a new pair of glasses, lena.

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Steve Townsend

    Obama is a freaking idiot! Going to ruin the country with his welfare and tax crap.

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Mark

    So we can not blame Obama for the mess we are in? He is the President. It is his policies that are directing us to where we are now.

    If you want to blame Bush, fine do it. He too inherited a recession and dug us out by TAX CUTS, not higher taxes and spending. And for six years of his presidency, our country was flying along with low unemployment, a robust stock market, etc.

    So don't say eight years of doom and gloom.

    Libs never understand the meaning of life, which is why I switched parties years ago!

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Garrett

    Obama Hood and his merry boyz are doing exactly as they said they would..."spread the wealth". Why is this such a surprise? He is on his merry way of re-writing the American Dream, although it will end as a nightmare. I voted for this yo-yo, but I certainly regret it now. He spends more of his time traveling the world with his family on our tax dollars as opposed to working his own backyard....oh, I forgot, his African trip was simply a "Homecoming", since he returned to his place of birth. This guy and his merry Czars are a scarry group, and NOT what we signed up for!!! Please, call your Congressman and Senators and let's stop this maddness!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. tweet this

    Yawwn,, whats for dinner?

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Babs

    I didn't know that this was supposed to be an overnight fix. Wouldn't common sense tell us all that if it took eight years to ruin it ....wouldn't it take at least a year to get it headed in the right direction? The whole plan hasn't even been implimented so why are people so eager to judge?
    I don't care who the President is... it's going to take some time. I think that it's way to early to be making a judgement based on the economy. Early next year maybe, but not a day sooner.
    Hey, some of you look at the stock market. It never dropped into the 5's as some of the leading economists predicted. Let's have some faith.

    July 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Shawn

    His approval rating will be in the 30's by December, here's why. He has no clue on the economy. His policies are based on emotion, not numbers or facts. True, he inherited problems. So did every other President since George Washington. He told us he could fix the economy, that's why people voted for him. He is weak on foreign policy. Hillary is just as weak. Joe Biden is clueless about everything. Eric Holder is more interested in prosecuting our own former leaders than he is terrorists. Larry Summers, his chief economist falls aslepp during meetings. While millions in this country can't feed their family, Michelle Obama walks around in $500 sneakers and $5000 purses on her arm. Obama believes in killing babies for sport. He supports Iran and Hamas while ignoring Isreal. Our own soldiers won't go to war because they believe he wasn't even born here. He belives illegal immigrants and terrorists deserve the same rights as hardworking Americans. And finally, he hates the rich. He belives putting more money into the hands of people who don't know what to do with it is good for all. I could go on and on. Just think about this immature, spoiled, elitist community organizer the next time your voting for a leader, because this guy is no Leader.

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Angela

    I think it is very disappointing to hear how negative and judgmental people are. Everybody knows we needed change and thats what we are getting, slowly mabye, but it is happening. Try and see the possibilities that are in front of us. It takes the fist couple years of a term to show steady progress no matter who you are. Everybody wants to see someone fail and say "I told you so!" And to the comment about not having faith becuase President Obama doesn't appear to have a clear plan on how to fix everything... how can it be clear when everything is uneven. Why dont you sit in the middle of a big empty room and decided whats best for a nation and dont forget to take into consideration the plights of the rest of the world... let me know if you get a clear solid plan with no room for change. Be positive people and do your part, im sure our president will do his.

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Fred

    Ah... gee, Obama's poll number have been under 60 percent now for the past 2 months. It's just taken CNN 2 months to admit this fact.

    And, of course, as usual – CNN will probably not post my comments.

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Ann

    I don't know where these polls are coming from, probably all the people at Fox News.
    As far as I'm concerned, I voted for him, and I am still pretty darn proud that he is my President, and I think he is doing a fantastic job, and I am confident that he will be voted in again for another four years in 2012 by a landslide victory. No problem.

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Darrin

    Seriously, lena? You don't remember ANY polls from when W was in office? You know, the weekly polls that kept showing his dropping approval rate?

    It's too early in Obama's term to make any decisions yet as to whether or not he's a success, but come on, people, don't just blindly support someone beyond a shadow of a doubt either. I'm not defending or attacking either Obama or Bush, just saying we should at least TRY not to be hypocrites.

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Island girl

    cph9680 July 17th, 2009 2:13 pm ET

    That's because he's not doing anything. Being President at a time like this includes more than looking pretty for the cameras!
    Help us fix the economy!!!

    Wow! If the President looks good for the camera, then we have to congratulate his mom and pop for such a product of their union. Now, I think I'd rather see him smile than frown or sport a blank quizzical look. Anyway, I don't believe any other president had the "honor" of taking over an office that was left in such disarray, so how about giving him more than six months before we judge? Cheers and say "cheese"! Let a smile be your umbrella!

    July 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Bum


    If there were no polls of GW how did they know he had a 57% approval rating 6 months into his presidency? There are constantly presidential rating polls. Read the entire article.


    July 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. anonymous

    You folks should all be running for office. You sound like a bunch of haggling politicians.

    July 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    If you made a list of the things that would bring America to its knees, it would read almost the same as the actions Obama has taken since becoming president.

    -Make friends with dictators and deny oppressed peoples seeking their own freedom

    -Quadruple the deficit

    -Cut missile defense while rogue nations ramp up their missile and nuclear capabilities

    -Close the place where we hold jihadist without any plan on what to do with them.

    -Take over enough major industries to make his dictator buddy Hugo jealous

    -Governemnt health care burden

    -Taxpayer stimulus money to pay his political supporters with projects that have no benefit to taxpayers and do not create jobs

    -Talk down America while overseas

    July 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    Americans are beginning to realize there is no substance behind his massive spending and that he only put our great country further in debt. Wait until "Main Street" gets their tax bill for that spending – his approval rating is really going to sink...

    July 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. usualone

    Mr. Obama inherited a huge mess...with the economy and the war expenditures. People have to give him a chance; they expect miracles and instant results. Also, as long as the parties only think with their party brand, no President will succeed. He is only one third of the equation. It appears he is building a platform from which we will grow. Heavens, he may even make a few mistakes. We all need to give him some time for things to develop. Soon enough, we will find out if his health plan will move forward. Then he can go on to other tasks. He is mending bridges abroad and that has to be positive in the long run. He is not a magician and things will automatically get fixed. Maybe he has to hit a few people in the head, figuratively speaking, as they think strength and bulliness are the ways of the world toward success. That is not his style.

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. republicans hate america

    i cant wait to vote for him again in 2012. i dont care what the polls say.

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Eric

    Six months is 12% of his Presidency done. This is his economy now. His promises to get elected and most especially regarding the stimulus are not close to the reality we are experiencing. I don't think anyone expects things to be getting better overnight, but there has been enough time for the slide to slow down. In the numbers I see and situations I face, the downward slide is not slowing. I also think there is growing resentment towards the additional ambitious goals for energy and health care that he has while the slide keeps happening. He needs to regroup and focus on what is important. To borrow a phrase, "It's the economy, stupid!"

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Ken from missouri

    I can't wait to see his rating when he takes 50% of your wages to pay
    for his programs but like he said yesterday in a interview with Dr.Nancy their is no free lunches and just think how will your life be
    with 50% of your paycheck and this is supposed to be CHANGE.

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    @Kevin B July 17th, 2009 2:15 pm ET
    The reactionary GOP right wing zealots will use these numbers to shriek and run around with thier hair on fire about the end of the world and how Mr Obama is a failure, in spite of having the exact sam number as Reagan at this point. And better than the GOP messiah GWB
    Sorry Kev. He polled the same as Bush and LOWER than Reagan. I understand it may be hard to admit, but do you really have to twist this? The reactionary libs will now loudly proclaim how polls now are meaningless!

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. Lori reminds the GOP that they have the lowest approval ratings in decades! There are NO signs of life in your party!

    So in other words... President Obama's approval ratings were similar to or better than 1) the Republican messiah, Ronald Reagan (two term President), 2) Bill Clinton (two term President), 3) And the same as George W Bush (two term idiot) and this is something to worry about? Given the economic situation that he inherited and the Republicans attempts to constantly bash him, I find it more amazing that the GOP still has some of the lowest approval ratings in two decades (Signs of life, my arse...). President Obama is trying and 3 years from now the American people will vote him in again.

    July 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Pro Republican

    I guess Camelot is over....thank God some people are finally waking up to this lunacy. At least 48% of us saw this coming when Obama was elected. SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE has always been the Democrat way of business. Get a jbo even if it's delivering pizza. No free rides!

    July 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. suzyku

    This headline is really stupid! At 57% he's still a very popular President! On Daily Kos' poll he's gone up from 60% to 61%. It all depends on who's doing the asking and what they're asking and who they're asking! For people to expect instant results on the economy is so unrealistic that it's amazing. President Obama inherited a huge deficit, caused in very large part by the previous administration and the republicans who frankly didn't care about the average person in this country and also started a completely unnecessary war instead of finishing what should have been finished in Afghanistan! It's BUSH'S RECESSION!!!!! Let's call it exactly what it is. Furthermore the media perpetrates the myths and lies of the republicans with regard to this economy and holds much responsibility for allowing bush to start the Iraq war. The media did nothing to spread the truth to this country because they were busy cowering and being afraid of being called UNpatriotic. The media by doing nothing WAS unpatriotic. There's plenty of responsibility to go around and this country better wise up fast, stop blaming our "new" President who has been in office for a few months for what bush and the republicans did! This country has a short memory.

    July 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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