September 1st, 2009
03:20 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Independents disapprove of Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-three percent of independents questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, with 43 percent in approval. That result marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of independents give the president's performance a thumbs-down.

Obama's overall approval rating of 53 percent is down 3 points from a month ago, and down 8 points from June. Forty-five percent of those questioned disapprove, up 5 points from a month ago and up 8 points from June.

According to the poll, nine in 10 Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing, up three points from a month ago, with 15 percent of Republicans approving, down 8 points.

"Obama won a majority of the vote among independents last year, and that helped put him in the White House," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Losing their support makes it more difficult for Obama to govern from the center."

Broken down by issues, the president still gets majority support on foreign affairs and terrorism, but a majority now disapprove of how he has handled health care, taxes, the economy and the budget deficit.

Is the fight over health care responsible for the downturn in Obama's numbers?

"Yes, in part, but his standing on some other issues has taken an even bigger tumble," adds Holland. "Among all Americans, his rating on health care has dropped 13 points since March. Compare that to his 16 point drop on the deficit and 17 point dip on taxes and it looks like there is growing discontent with Obama's overall domestic agenda - not just his health care policy."

According to the poll, Obama's approval rating on how he is handling the war in Afghanistan also fell 18 points since March.

The survey also indicates that 37 percent of Americans think the media has treated Obama fairly, down 18 points from February. One in four say the media has been too critical of the president, up seven points from February and 36 percent say the media has not been critical enough, up 10 points.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Read: The full poll results

Filed under: CNN Polls • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (174 Responses)

    Seems like the independents are finally getting smart. Obama you are finished. The Republican Party is the Smart Party, join and you will benefit greatly.

    September 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. David

    My fellow indepents made a huge mistake then. They should have gotten behind Barr or Baldwin. The two-party system is a scam.

    September 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. phoenix86

    Looks like the average IQ of the Obama supporter is falling faster than his ratings. Soon, only the loony left will still be in denial that this is an abysmal president and was a terrible choice to begin with.

    3 million more unemployed since he took office.
    $2 trillion budget deficit in his first year.
    $10 trillion projected deficit.
    Cash for clunkers that benefited Japanese automakers.
    Bailout of banks that earned less than 3% if you ignore AIG.
    2 World Apology tours that yielded 11 missle tests from N. Korea.
    Ignored pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran and continues to ignore the show-trials there.
    Czars for everything that haven't done anything.
    Swine flu predicted to kill 90,000, yet no word on vaccinations.

    2010 and 2012 cannot come fast enough.

    September 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. S M R

    This statement by the Right leaning Independents should not surprise anyone. These Clowns back Big Business, Oil Companys, Insurance Companies, Banks and DEREGULATION of all of the above. GREED DRIVEN GOP POLITITIONS are harmful to the futher of our GREAT COUNTRY.

    September 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. haren

    I will call this all independent stupid to give us 8 year of disaster of bush years.
    Now they are judging Obama a compassionate democrat who is worried about average Americans.

    September 1, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. tom, nyc

    and how do independents feel about the republicans? i'm guessing the party of no would take obama's numbers any day of the week.

    September 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. haren

    He is not finished yet with his term and all his program are not implemented yet.
    He did more than any president can do in six month.

    September 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. hypocracy from the other party!

    I guess the question is are you better then you were 7 months ago? I know I am and not because of a president , but because i'm proactive, but yes I do support our current president!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Mike in LR

    This should be no surprise. You elect an amatuer you get an amatuer. Obozo is the weakest leader we've had since Jimma Carta. He is sinking fast. If he depends on leftist's he has 20% of the electorate. If has has 47% of the independents that's 19% more for a grand total of 39% of the electorate. Not even the 40% that are conservatives. I see trouble for the socialist movement in America and I couldn't be happier.

    September 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Since when is Obama governing from the center? Obama is not even governing from the center of his own party, but from the far left. He has lost my Democratic vote for 2012.

    September 1, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    A lot of those Independents are former Republicans who are impatient and expecting the mess Obama inherited to be cleaned up quickly.

    Take a deep breath, folks – this is going to take awhile. But it will happen.

    September 1, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Proud Member..Party of No

    Nine out of ten democrats approve??? It just goes to show what a crazy bunch of lunatics now make up the democrat party. But then again this is the party that thinks Fidel Castro is dandy and Saddam Hussein was just fine.

    September 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Jake

    many of the independents are from the gay community that were hoping he would reach out...we're waiting Pres. Obama!

    September 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Rick

    Why is it when CNN reports something "bad" about Obama, they are "Pathetic", "wrong", told "polls don't mean anything" (unless they are positive)?

    All polls should be taken with a grain of salt, but are "generally" accurate.
    If they weren't, they would never be used in the first place.

    Stop being a bunch of closed minded robots and think for yourselves.
    Seriously folks. Obama can be wrong... he is human.

    September 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. DJ

    Obama has only been on the job for a few months and all this constant negative spin? Didn't he just inherit the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression...yet the cynics expect INSTANT results?

    This is a bunch of hype.

    September 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Peace

    "The survey also indicates that 37 percent of Americans think the media has treated Obama fairly, down 18 points from February."
    In other words this means the media has not been fair the way they treated him, as it was in February, so long as the points have decreased(going down)!

    September 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. chubby

    Is the writer of this article stupid, if nobamb had been governing from the middle his numbers would not be going into the tank. Come 2010 and 2012 we can have a "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN" and a new "YES WE CAN' by throwing out the tax and spend liberals then nobama. Now that is change we can all live with.

    September 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Janice

    Obama is at 42% approval in less than 8 months.

    It took Bush two wars and three years to get to 50%.

    Oblunder is going to be the new Jimmy Carter. Just hope we do not have a hostage crisis. Oblunder would want to talk over tea and cookies.

    September 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. USA

    Is this a surprise. The only surprise is that this number is not higher. He has bankrupted this country and has made us a lot less safe. His approval ratings will be lower than Bush was at the end of his term. It is just a matter of time before everybody finds out what a complete fool this guy is. Even CNN is starting to move away from their own far left agenda.

    September 1, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. John

    Although I voted no confidence against the Republicans and would repeat that vote I am disappointed in Obama. He is not a good manager and that IS the president. He has let the idiots on the far left ruin his plan. The overall concept has been fine. The plan are so leftist they stink and have turned many of us away.
    Obama is not in the least responsible for the economic problems but Congress is fighting the fire with gasoline. This is not the time for an academic dreamer this is time for good management something we haven't had in at least 8 years Clinton and Reagan were both excellent managers. Obama doesn't get it, yet.

    September 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Deuce

    Barack Obama's Worry about Swine-Flue, is really about ho9w much is left in Obama's Piggy-Bank. Not much! It's just being swilled away..

    September 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Ken

    Who defines what an "independent" is? The people who are being called? What a joke! Very few sentient humans would actually admit being a [R] after the recent butt-kicking the [R]s got during the elections, even though they identify with their empty policies and abject delusion. So what do you get when you ask affiliation in a poll? - a lot of embarrassed, confused neo-tards who want to call themselves 'independent'. Good luck believing that drivel CNN. With all the credible information out there, if someone is actually stupid enough to fall for the fearmongering by the rightwingers, then they are rightwingers themselves - dumb-as-grass [R]s.

    September 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Obama has broken too many promises for me.

    And before anyone says "but, but, but, the Repubs are lying too"

    Independents tend to want actual truth and results – that is why BOTH RNC and DNC stooges need to go.

    Time for a new Party maybe devoted to honest simple government.

    September 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Truth Hurts

    Can't go by polls. Some of those so called independents are downlow Republicans. Like O'Reilly and Dobbs. They claim they are independents, but every chance and oppurtunity, they are dogging out the Democrats. Never hear them dog out the Conservatives!! The media keeps political and racial tensions going among everybody as well!! I sure wished they would have kept a report card every day on Bush like they are doing Obama, and maybe we would not be in this mess!!

    September 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Jann in Denver

    The election is over. Why are you doing polls every 5 minutes? Please find something useful to do.

    September 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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