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)

    Being on the fence looking south gives me a different perspective.We in Canada have a lame duck prime minister and glad that Americans have a new president with very good values and always being very postive during this current crises in the world economy.He is by my standard of fair play very honest,forthright and will not back down to criticsm.I applaud President B.Obahama with his sence of duty and honor that he is showing by daily examples to the whole world.

    Upnorthof 49 Ian

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Scott

    Ok so I hear that 6 months is not enough time to do anything but it is enough time to show some improvement. Remember, this issue has been growing for 12 years and started with Frany and Freddie which was supported by Obama in the first place and was also a huge contributor to his campaign. One thing is very clear that American attention span is short and forgets why we are where we are today. It is easer to blame the Republicans for their mistakes and forgive and make excuses for the Democrats.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. KJS

    My neighbor recently re-did his front yard landscaping. It took the contractor six months. It might take a little longer than that to turn a whole economy around. People just need to be patient.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Bizzarro

    We aren't expecting miracles. We only want to see evidence that we are heading in the right direction. Americans know instictively that the marxist direction this President and Congress are taking us is misguided at best. Most folks want to believe in the President, but it is getting harder with every day that goes by. Obama's poll numbers will continue to slide.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Jim

    The headline makes you think only 20% of America approves. He has the approval of the majority!! Isn't that how a democracy is supposed to be run? Give me a break. He is doing an incredible job considering the economy and the world situation handed to him courtesy of Bush, Cheney and company.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Angus McDugan

    Take another poll after 4/15/2010.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. doug

    BoBo's numbers will continue to drop as long as the economy is falling. This should happen steadily as there is no plan from BoBo to actually "create" jobs. It is nothing more than elementary math that shows stimulus money does not, and never has worked. Once the money runs out for a stimulus project the workers are AGAIN laid off and back to the unemployment line. BoBo cannot grasp this elementary math, and since he cannot YOU will be the one that pays the ultimate price with YOUR money. Beware of anyone that wants to sell you a must-have product, but will not use it himself. Healthcare.

    July 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. dina

    I think its obvious that the American people are wising up to what Obama has had up his sleeve all along. And that is changing our country from a free republic to a people and country enslaved by the government. I think it's ironic that liberals are happy to look at poll numbers when they look good for Obama, but quickly put in a disclaimer when things don't look so good.

    July 17, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Matt

    It's dropping because people are realizing he is all about perception and uping the working class into thinking things will be better. The middle class (my class) is starting to wake up and see that these tax increases will cripple the economy further. Getting rid of tax cuts and increasing taxes in a down economy makes no sense, does not help small businesses (which are still the key to this economy), and does not inspire consumer confidence. It's ALL wrong. Clinton/Bush did not impress me, but this administration has gone off the deep end!

    July 17, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. John

    That what happens when people vote someone with less than enough experience to run this country-instead he is ruining this country. After the party is over and the lights are on, this is what you get!! Hurry up 2012

    July 17, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. kathy

    How is the President going to fix the ecomony when all the people with the money keep "screwing" over the taxpayers. Like in the article I just read about Goldman Sachs. All I can say is we are dealing with a bunch of greedy people... and I give the President a lot of credit. I just wish he had the power to stop all this greed.


    July 17, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Bobby D

    I love these morons who defend the POTUS that has never held a real job in his life but elected to run the largest corporation in the world.
    They say you can't can't expect it to turn around in 6 months because it was years in the making. What morons. He is the one who promised he could fix it , and now that it's getting worse, he says his plan is working (liar or stupid). i guess he figures you idiots were dumb enough to believe him before, you'll believe him now.
    Sitting on the sidelines in Canada, i can't believe that that so many people fell for this liar. The media got him elected through there constant bashing of Bush for 6 years. You could have run a donkey against McBain and it would have won.
    Hmmmm, Chavez was also installed by the media. I guess that's one thing those guys have in common.

    July 17, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Robert

    Duh, Wake up people. obama and his politics are destroying this country. America is going bankrupt so lets spend more. I think every small buisness that he put out of business with his obama healthcare plan should send in their layoff information on the same day nationwide. Maybe it would be a wake up call to the idiot he is! He will put more people on unemployement with his obama care than the great depression!

    July 17, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Obama Fan

    As my screen name suggests, I am a fan of President Obama. He has done the best job possible with some of the worst circumstances possible.

    He did not promise to turn the economy around in 6 months. Anybody that knows anything about economics knows that when credit markets tighten up, the only way to loosen them is for money to flow in to the banks. The only entity that had that kind of money is the government.

    Now, people are complaining about deficits? It will take time for the recovery to happen. Patience is a virtue, America.

    July 17, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Bryan

    The problem isn't that he's trying to deal with Repubs...The problem is that he lied to everyone and made promises that he could not and cannot keep. All he's done in 6 months is increase the national debt by 4 times on programs that have absolutely no affect on improving the economy. All he did was put this country in a deeper hole that will take longer to get out of. Props to all of those that were dup'd by him and put him in office.

    July 17, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. jeff lee

    ahh...good!! very good!!

    July 17, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. tom

    Hmmm. . . . .

    Guess it's time for more pictures of Sosha and Malia (Obama's adorable kids) to help boost his polls.

    God knows his policies aren't doing the trick.

    July 17, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. WhatdidyouExpect

    People are beginning to realize Obama really is a Socialist who wants to bankrupt this country. He is truly dangerous to our national security. Also, it was mainly the Dems who got us into this economic mess, mainly with Housing (Barney Frank comes to mind)!!

    July 17, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. AZPhil

    "It took Bush and the Republicans eight years to decimate America, waste a $200 billion surplus and throw our economy into the toilet. "

    And it's taken the Kenyan six months to spend more than the other 43 presidents combined.

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Vickie

    I have to wonder how long people are going to blame Bush for the mess this country is in? While Bush was in office we did not have the biggest deficit in the history of this country. Please do not try to tell me the deficit is because of the war either. It is the bail outs that were done right after Obama got into office. He gave companies billions of tax dollars, which I by the way contribute to being a working person, to companies that turned around and gave the CEOs and execs millions in bonuses for companies that were going under.
    While Bush was in office a friend of mine, Obama supporter had a full time job, no longer is her job full time.
    Obama is in office and things are going the way he wants no matter what the tax payer or voter thinks or feels about it. If we say anything negative about Obama all of a sudden we are racists.
    Hard to admit the person you thought would solve all of the problems is letting you down isn't it?

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Joan

    I agree with Tim in NC. Unfortunately,we have become a nation of people wanting instant gratification even at the risk of less quality...which is usually what you get with impulsive behaviors. Critical thinking is a lost science for many of today's leaders...a characteristic Obama doesn't lack. Think people!!! Have you or could you make a major change with a crisis situation even in your own life or workplace in six months? If you think you did? How was it in one year, two years....?

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. MT

    This is what happens when we "test" socialistic economic principles, I wonder what Marx's approval rating was before his demise.

    Keep it up Democrats, you are running the show now, I'm patient I have a masters in Accounting a minor in Economics and I don't "buy" into popularity poles. This economy and my portfolio will not return to previous levels until 2020, but then again those were inflated "paper" values anyway.

    What I am concerned about is how will the Municipalities afford the Fire/Police/Water Treatment/Sanitation/etc services when they go broke.

    Ask any economist from the Liberal Democratic Stronghold of California how those IOU's are going to work out, the three very elite professionals from California that I know (2 of them democrats) are very concerned with no real solution on the boards...... just riding it out for now.

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Thomas Basham

    Your poll is rediculous. You say his poll numbers have sunk to new lows, like he's in the 30 percentile. He is above the 55% honeymoon numbers so why act like this is a tragedy? Instead of checking the peoples pulse every week or bi weekly, wait until he does something and see how people feel about that. Wait until healthcare is in its final form and see how people feel about that. Wait until the stimilus has been in effect for 6 or 7 months then check out what people think.

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Marydoe

    Looks like a slow news day. This is nowhere near where Bush went. I know, give it time. Polls don't matter anyway, do they?

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. AZPhil

    "Barack Obama has done more in six months than Bush did in the entire 8 years he was in office."

    Spent more money, true.

    July 17, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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