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. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Well, this was to be expected. His popularity in the run up to being elected president was due in part to no one really knowing much about him. He tried to avoid anything controversial and stuck to things no one could really argue against ("We are all citizens of the world and must stand as one!"). As usual, once the public gets to know a politican better, the more negatives pop up.
    It also hurt Obama that he was supposed to be another Martin Luther King/JFK rolled into one. Hard to measure up to that when coming in, the job was going to be tough.
    The Obamamaniacs will be angered by this story but the radical left and right always squawk.

    July 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Shari, NY

    Didn't I hear only yesterday that the recession was showing signs of stablizing?

    July 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Chai-wallah

    The President his approval ratings is not less than Zero. I can't understand why he would run for the Presidency in the first place.

    The party of "NO" will allow him no rest and he has to work 500% harder than George Bush. For those who remenber; Bush would have had several vacations already; matter of fact, Bush would have only completed 30 days work by now.

    These polls are worthless and serve only to strenghten the GOP in hope that the 2010 elections will garner more TV ratings.

    Instead for polls everday, can't the news media find wisdom in asking people their thoughts on how they the people are staying alive in this economic crisis.

    July 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. JR

    I wasn't polled and I approve of the job he is doing.

    July 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Dave in Illinois

    All the President does is use his "bully pulpit" to say the sky is falling because of everyone else's greed and stupidity but trust me, I'll fix it.

    People are starting to realize he's promising everything to everybody but leaving the Congress to pass a bill based on what they want to include. He makes inspiring speeches but he comes up short on follow through and leadership.

    July 30, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Peggy in Iowa

    Don't think so Rasmutation.

    July 30, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. D

    Everything has two sides to it. The government run health care will cut costs which means there will be a cut in the doctor's salary. So, when a doctor sees a patient he will not be as motivated as compared to when private insurer's pay for the patients health. During preliminary diagnostics patients are asked if they have insurance. This does not hold true in Canada or Europe where a one payer system exists. So it is really upto the people to decide if they would have a one payer system and cut costs and risk top notch health care or pay a little more and get the best health care one could possibly ask for.

    It's just a little food for thought for the folks reading this comment.

    July 30, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Steve

    I keep hearing about Omama's approval rating in some kind of poll. Where is this poll? Why can I never find it? Why is his approval at only around 50% when every person I talk to has a very positive opinion of him?

    July 30, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    Ah yes the Kool-Aid that the Obama masses have been drinking is finally wearing off. Too bad we're still stuck with the guy for another 3 1/2 years.

    July 30, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Wilson

    People are starting to realize that The Anointed One is nobody more than a politician.

    July 30, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Roco

    Oh no! If the election was held today, Obama would only get 54% of the popular vote! This is great news for John McCain.

    July 30, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Res ipsa loquitur

    Typical for a nation with a small attention span. Six months ago, an overwhelming majority of people said they could be patient for up to two years so Obama's policies could have a chance to work. Now, about four months after the stimulus passes, people are screaming about the economy not bouncing back.

    Let's see where we are at the end of 2010 before we start getting angry (or overjoyed), folks...large systemic problems don't fix themselves overnight.

    July 30, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Go President Obama!!

    Given everything that's been going on, and the mess Bush left for him to clean up, I think these ratings are extraordinary.

    Keep going Mr. President and don't let the "Blue Dogs" stop you!

    July 30, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Gerald

    The only way he can salvage his ratings is to listen to the people who actually pay taxes. Most every one in my office agrees he should aplogize for his racist remarks in the meanwhile.

    July 30, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. RealityKing

    NPR , NBC/Wall Street Journal, CBS/New York Times, Time magazine!?

    Come on CNN..., if you really want some creditablity then post the questions these progressive hacks are asking in their polls!!!

    July 30, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. jeff

    I have supported President Obama from long before the election, but there seems to be a slump going on here. Way too much time doing press conferences and media ops and not enough time severely twisting Nancy P and Harry R around the May Pole, and getting some legislation passed that has nothing to do with the interests of a medical or big pharma lobbying group. The Democrats were elected with the "Change" mantra and unfortunately it has simply turned into the same old song. Whoever waves the most money in front of the elected phonies wins, nad it certainly is not the American people.

    July 30, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. James

    The blog entry notes that:

    "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."

    While this may be true, the Henry Louis Gates matter and more specifically Obama's comments regarding it have dominated Obama's media coverage of the past week. "I don't have all the facts on this...", but I have to believe that Obama's comments on the Gates matter contributed to Obama's drop in approval rating.

    July 30, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Snapper

    I certainly don't approve of a lot of things he's doing, but he's still much better than McCain or Bush, or any of the 2012 repub hopefuls, except for maybe Ron Paul. I'll take the lesser of 2 evils any day, since it's painfully obvious that Americans are too cowardly and lazy to have any kind of social or political revolution.

    PS: I (regretfully) voted for Bush in 2000.

    July 30, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. once upon a horse

    seems to me that President Obama's been polled more in 7 months than President Bush was in 8 years! OF COURSE the poll numbers are going to go up and down especially if you run a dang poll every week. Yet I'm sure even though his numbers are still better than any Republican including Sarah Palin, the GOP is jumping for joy that his numbers are coming down.

    July 30, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Roy

    People that were duped into voting for this smooth talking clown are starting to see the real deal. What they are seeing is is a comander in training whos true socialist agenda is coming true. His campaign poster said hope, when it should have said "DOPE".

    July 30, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Ben

    Hey CNN, it's still over 50%... stop with the bull.
    Fire Lou Dobbs!

    July 30, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Brian Rzeszutek

    I like the Prez. I think he doing a good job, given the circumstances. I am in favor of Universal Health Care. I have seen it work in other countries. It does work!!
    He is doing a good job with the economy. It took time for the mess to be created. It will take time to clean it up.
    I think the beer summit is a waste of time. He shouldn't get involved. Nothing to gain, everything to loose.
    I like his milder stance on foreign policy. The U.S. needs to be a nation of peace. Our message to the rest of the world needs to be one of Honor, Humility, and Understanding. War should be our last option, not our first.

    July 30, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. gumbii

    54 and falling, this is no where near the end either. Hes going to be around the Bush approval rating by the end of his first and probably only term.

    July 30, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Jackson

    I was never polled

    July 30, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Brenda

    President Obama is doing a great job and I am proud of him. His ratings had no where to go but down, but he still is doing well at 54%. Did Bush ever have a rating that high? My point is, you can please all of the people some of the time, but never some of the people all of the time......

    July 30, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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