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. sharper

    Despite the facts that polls are unreliable, I still have no faith on how the Presidents handles the economy.

    He takes a shortcut to recover the crisis by injecting a monstrous spending which is very dangerous, especially at the time when we don't have the money.

    Even if the economy can recover (for a while), it's only a matter of time when the big collapse will happen. This is because of the huge debts the President makes.

    July 30, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Tom in CA

    On health care – it sounds like people are being duped by the Grand Obstructionism Party's fear mongering! You have to remember that the GOP knows how to hit your fear button!

    Making you afraid that:
    You won't be able to see the physician of your choice.
    Health care will be rationed.
    There will only be a government run program.
    The health care system will be socialized.
    Et cetera...et cetera...et cetera..to ad nauseam!

    Health care reform has been tried since President Truman and has failed everytime. Let's see what comes out of the House and Senate after the August recess.

    You can't expect results in 6 months when health care reform has gone nowhere in 60 years.

    Patience people!

    July 30, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Larry Roo

    The fear card keeps working for the Republicans as many Americans eagerly run from change. Given the Bush disaster change sounded great but when specifics begin to take shape all the gored oxes line up to threaten cataclysm.

    And thank you CNN for feeding the fear and putting a negative spin on things and for giving us the wondrous Lou Dobbs who wouldn't recognize a fact if it was glued to his forehead.

    And while we are at it, the moment to moment fascination with polls and healhcare reform is also a disservice as is the Harvard Professor story being drawn out far beyond its import. Are things really that slow?

    Walter Cronkite would be ashamed.

    In these critical times we need a focus on supporting efforts to improve things; not some peanut gallery chattering criticism without substance. I don't expect you to print this but maybe you will think about the vacuity of your "reporting."

    July 30, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Allen

    It's about time! This is what happens, when you vote in someone who doesn't know what they are doing. He's so busy sticking his nose up the rich peoples ass, that sign his paycheck. He doesn't know what to do.....dude have another smoke, while your posing for your next mens health magazine cover.

    July 30, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Audrey in VA

    Finally, Americans are sobering up from the kool-aid.

    July 30, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Jerry D.

    I don't know what poll CNN is getting but I think people should not judge the President now because he is tackling a lot in less than a year when Bush didn't accomplish nearly nothing during his 8 years of putting up under the bus. So judge ye not so fast and wait and see if you can get on the bus and not get left under it from the Bush era.

    July 30, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Obama Victim

    no surprise here

    July 30, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Karen

    The only reason President Obama is slipping in the polls is because of his failing efforts trying to win over Republicans.. All it is doing is slowing down his agenda, which is what the American people voted for and what they want.

    Trying to appease Republicans is truly hopeless, even for Obama.

    July 30, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Pat F

    Get used to it, Barry. And if Nancy Pelosi talks you into this dog of a health care bill, you better start house hunting for 2012, because the Gallup poll won't be the only poll you'll slip in.

    July 30, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. David Newport, OR

    stupid, ignorant Americans. We should simply let them suffer instead of helping them.

    July 30, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Tony

    People are finally figuring out this guy lied his way to the presidency. And now there isn't governing from the middle but the far, far left. No transparancy, no bipartism, going around congress naming czars, socialism policies, world wide apology tours. Thank god he'll be one and done, but in the mean time how much damage will this country sustain.

    July 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Carl

    It's just the beginning of Obama's downslide. The more people see of him, the more they realize his naivety and lack of experience have led to his ineffectiveness. A community organizer does not a world leader make. It's going to be a long four years.

    July 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Slowly but surely America wises up.

    July 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. SHAY

    Give the man a break. He did not create the mess we are in. It started way before he came on the scene. Now he has to try and make it better. I don't know how with all our good jobs gone–people losing their homes. The trickle down effect does not seem to be working at the moment. What I see is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and where has the middle class gone?

    July 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. He's No George W. Bush, Thank God

    I think the country is very lucky to have a patriot like President Obama. The spin that comes from the right is more than I can stomach. Enough is enough. This man will be our next president and that's all there is to it.

    He's doing a great job and I will reward him with my vote in 2012.

    July 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Gerald

    This is just the start, once the polls start reflecting his stance on race
    in the Gates case the polls will be in a death spiral. A lot of Americans gave him the benefit of doubt but he has now burned that bridge by not offering an apology. Sadly if he were to be impeached look what we would be left with, scary isn't it.

    July 30, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Aaron

    The right-wing media and the insurance industry are spending a lot of money trying to undermine Obama's policies and his image. But nobody should forget that he was handed an economy in absolute shambles, and a health insurance crisis, as well as two wars.

    July 30, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. democrat no mas

    I think Obama's lack of executive or leadership experience is going to hurt him some more. He can't be everything to everybody all the time, and he can't get everything done that he wants in such a hurry. If his policies are good, they will stand a little delay. If they're bad, bringing them on too soon will hurt us all in the long run. Time to work a little smarter, not harder.

    July 30, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. schmeckel

    Good morning America, it is nice to have you back. If you see something that doesn’t make sense, feel free to ask a question.

    July 30, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Dave from Georgia

    Interesting. Obama took his risk on his US health care initiative. It is going to cost his approval rating for a while until the bill gets either passes or dies before it will either go up or down depending on the condition of US issues. I have to give him my thumb up for taking his risk. The riskest one is not taking the risk.

    July 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Kevin in Atlanta

    This is not really a surprise...this is why Obama's approval ratings have slipped: 1) the economy has not improved much (yet) and 2) conservatives have successfully filled the airways trying to scare people about the health care reform plan, hoping to defeat it and hand Obama a "Waterloo."

    In the next 6 to 10 months, a final compromise health care plan will have been passed and the economy will be humming again. At that time, we'll see the president's numbers rising again.

    July 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Scott in Lexington

    Well heck, he hasn't fixed the past 8 years of dumb in 6 months?? It's no wonder he's dropping in the eyes of the short attention span John Q Public.

    July 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. JayG

    Not a suprise, give it another year, then Obamamania will finally be over and people will realize exactly what they voted for.

    July 30, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Pete T - Seattle WA

    Here's where I find out if this is the guy I thought I was voting for. If the President sticks to his guns and doesn't let these poll numbers change his course, he is that guy.

    July 30, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. ss

    That's okay! He's still getting the job done. Go Barack

    July 30, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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