July 30th, 2009
07:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll of Polls: President's approval ratings slip

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/30/art.obama0730.gi.jpg caption="A CNN Poll of Polls out Thursday indicates that 54 percent of Americans approve of President Obama."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's late July, a time for hot and humid weather in the nation's capital. But when it comes to President Barack Obama's approval rating, an average of the most recent national surveys indicates a cooling trend.

According to a new CNN Poll of Polls, 54 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his duties in the White House. That's down 7 points from late June, when the president's approval rating stood at 61 percent. The latest approval rating is the lowest for Obama in his young presidency. The CNN Poll of Polls, compiled and released Thursday, is an average of seven national surveys conducted over the past nine days.

It appears a drop in Obama's numbers on health care and the economy, the two issues that have dominated his domestic agenda since he took office in January, are contributing to the deterioration of his overall approval rating.

A CNN Poll of Polls of the five surveys that specifically asked about how Obama's handing the economy indicates that 48 percent approve and 45 percent disapprove.

Four of the seven surveys asked about how the president's handling health care reform. A CNN Poll of Polls average of those numbers puts Obama's approval rating on health care at 43 percent, with 45 percent giving him the thumbs down.

"In a mid-July poll of polls, more Americans approved of Obama's handling of health care than disapproved," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The latest poll of polls shows disapproval is now higher than approval."

Obama gets better marks on foreign affairs than on domestic concerns. A CNN Poll of Polls of the four recent surveys that measured public views on Obama's foreign policy show him with an average approval rating of 54 percent. His disapproval rating on foreign policy averages to 31 percent among those four polls.

A slip in the president's overall approval doesn't necessarily mean a rise for Republicans.

"Most polls show that Obama's standing with the public is dropping, but that's not necessarily helping Republicans," says Holland. "There has been little to no change in the public's view of the GOP in the past month, and on most measures Republicans still lag behind Obama and the Democrats."

This latest edition of the CNN Poll of Polls consists of the seven surveys released since our last Poll of Polls: Fox News (July 21-22), NPR (July 22-26), NBC/Wall Street Journal (July 24-27), CBS/New York Times (July 24-28), Time magazine (July 27-28), Pew (July 26-29) and the Gallup tracking poll (July 26-28). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

UPDATE: "The president isn't fixated on the ups and downs of polling," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at Thursday's briefing.

Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Kurt

    Are we that stupid and have that much of an attention span that we are turning on someone who's been in office 7 MONTHS?!! The stocks and financial sectors have at least stabilized. God, we really are nation of idiots.

    July 30, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Mark

    I love how these pollsters go out of their way to mention that this is not helping the Republicans. I am sorry, but when the President is dropping in popularity, and his policies are meeting with more and more disapproval, people are not going to continue to vote for his party. And until we get a viable, much-needed third party in this country, there is only one other choice.

    July 30, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. jellymon

    Barry's popularity numbers are slipping? Must be Bush's fault, EVERYTHING else is!

    July 30, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    Listen Up American, you did not elect Jesus Christ to the Presidency, you elected a human being who never claimed to be Houdini or Jesus Christ. You expect him to PERFORM A MIRACLE ON THE STINKIN' MESS THAT WAS CREATED BY THE RIGHT-WING-REPUBLICAN'S. If you will think back, it actually was George W. Bush who thought he was Jesus Christ, remember Bush and Cheney ? according to them they never made a mistake. Arrogant, Ignorant and Selfish, that's more descriptive of Bush/Cheney, so get with the program and start telling the greedy Republicans, we want health care NOW. If they don't listen start a hugh campaign to get them out of office for GOOD.

    July 30, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. johnnie

    CNN is telling an untruth, again. You know cnn ,why do you do this (Bogus) nonsense everyday, why, just why? Are you so scared that your GOP is loosing so much GROUND you have to say this phony polls , is REAL. My poll for President Obama is 85% and going up, what are cnn so locked all the time with polls, Oh i know ,it is about Health Care Reform, by telling or saying the presidents number are bogusly dropping oh my goodness, how can he pass this BILL. Bad try CNN, america is to aware ok.. 85% plus, for President Obama , and by the way CNN , is already done, the bill has already PASSED.

    July 30, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. John H

    It's no surprise to me that his rating is falling. But don't blame him for everything. I'm giving him a chance, even though I didn't vote for him. My concern is how congress and the senate are working. In my oppinion, they're not. We need to kick all the senators and congressman out, and start fresh. There are to many onld dogs in the Legislative side of our goverment, and you all know what you can't do with an old dog. Get some new blood in there that can acctually work together to develop healthcare, national security, and economic plans that will put this wonderful country back on the right path.

    July 30, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Rob Johnson

    Considering the relentless attacks against Obama, it's pretty impressive that it is still over 50%. The economy is in the toilet, things are not going Obama's way in Congress, but the majority of Americans still think he is doing a good job. Not bad.

    All you Republicans who are so fired up about how Obama is going to be gone in four years need to ponder this: No incumbent President with an approval rating over 50% has ever lost an election. Period.
    Even if Obama's approval slips below 50%, if the GOP runs Palin or a similar right-wing loon, he will still win easily.

    When you compare Obama to Palin, suddenly he looks a LOT better.

    July 30, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Mase

    Gee, who'd of thunk it with all his glorious work. With 3.5 more years just think of how much more damaged our economy will be.

    July 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Marilyn Smith

    The obamacare plan really stinks. It is his "death wish" for seniors. Finally people are finding out his real agendas, his dislike for our founding fathers, his socialist-marxist ideas and the horrible results of the wasted stimulus dollars.

    July 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Mike1952

    Obama is a weak leader. He has deferred to Nancy and Harry to lead on his domestic agenda. He has proved he knows little or nothing about the legislation being crafted in the congress. Either that or he lies better than most politicians.

    July 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Jim, Honolulu

    This was to be expected, it happens to all presidents, especially ones who have such high expectations thrust on them early. However, all poll numbers must be seen in the context that 1) Obama's dealing with more world-shattering problems than any president except (maybe) FDR, and 2) he's still a LOT better than the Republican's recent offerings (Bushed 1 & 2). AND THIS IS COMING FROM A LOYAL REPUBLICAN!

    July 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Bill NY

    I say SHAME!!! SHAME!!!
    How dare he not fix everything in six months. I say throw the bum out of office!

    July 30, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. feel the heat

    Is that not not about the % of the popular vote President Obama wan the election with. So he still has the same loyal followers, not bad I'd say.

    July 30, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. wellthereitis

    Expected that, didn't we all? Every leaders ratings slip. If they go down and stay down, then its time to worry.

    July 30, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Joan

    It will continue to fluctuate according to what is going on at the time. It is way too early to predict his successes, though if we made predictions on how well he has started...it would be very hopeful and promising. I love him.

    July 30, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. spiraling down

    As a lifelong Massachusetts Democrat and a small business owner who voted for Obama I am not surprised. I like Obama but I do not trust emmanuel pelosi or reid and they are running the country - I did not like TARP, the stimulus plan, health care reform, or the wasteful spending and large deficits -– I can no longer support with a vote the man I admire as a person

    July 30, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. ab

    Ever wonder if people are just tired of the constant polling?

    July 30, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Sharon Kitchen

    do not forget.........rep want him to fail................so go figure.
    They want the American people as a whole to fail

    What they have not counted on..................Americans.........the majority..................................want health care reform.


    now go back to your corners good ol' boys and try to think up some more ploys...........................................

    July 30, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Chris Kirkpatrick

    I'm not really surprised by this. The President has had to make some tough decisions since he has been elected, decisions that are bound to disappoint some people. That is the nature of elected office. You can't please everyone. The problem we face is that Americans can only trust unseen promises for so long. At some point something has to materialize or the public will sour. It is my hope that things will change, but with so many promises to keep, chances are some are going to be left unfulfilled.

    July 30, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Rick in OP

    Obama and the Democrats needed to push the health care plan through before the August recess and before any one had a chance to understand it. Evidently they are not going to be able to get it done and they are now in deep trouble. The American public has all of August and part of September to consider the implications and the costs of the various health care plans. Similar to the stimulus plan and Cap and Trade, once the details are known, these schemes very quickly become unpopular with the public.
    By the end of 2009 I would not be surprised to see Obama’s poll ratings approaching 40%.
    2010 could be a very interesting year.

    July 30, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Excuse me?

    Who are these people polling? I think he's doing GREAT! He is trying to repair our image overseas to prevent more attacks on our homeland, he is working to improve the economy (just check out the stock market today), he is making the Repubs squirm at every move...GREAT JOB, MR. PRESIDENT! And I'm a white, southern male..

    July 30, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. CG

    This is to be expected , but still good numbers , I think some supporters felt he could make miracles happen over night , and with all the negatives he deals with and hopes for his failure , I personally think she has done reasonally well. So much better than the previous 8 yrs!
    Now he has made slips of the tongue but hopefully they are learning experiences . I think he is doing well with the hand he has been dealt.

    July 30, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Dancie

    Even die hard Barry supporters are waking up and realising that Obama is a liar, incompetent, in over his head, and most likely from his recent remarks, a racist.

    July 30, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Russ

    It's amazing how much damage can be inflicted on ones approval rating by the party of no. The good thing is the more the Rupublicants stall on the important issues, the worse things get, the more it will affect them in the future too. Obama's rating could go to 20% and he still would be 10 points higher than the closest Republicant.

    July 30, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Steve NY

    Obviously his popularity is slipping because he's not doing anything. People perceive him as still campaigning not only here in this country but also in Africa. The white people resent this mainly because they see him as favoring and supporting the blacks in any controversy that may come up, as an example the Crowly Gates controversy. He hasn't done anything that he promised to do as part of change. Latinos are still crossing the border , no fence, no support for the border patrol, etc. He's got torepresent the whole country and not just the poor, the blacks and the latinos. The middle class is left out and that's the goup that's is going to hurt him in the polls.

    July 30, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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