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)
  1. ron

    Obama's job approval rating is going down because he is learning. Give him eight years to learn. A president without experience can only bring bad change......

    September 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Jon in CA

    Flash Paper .... is the material magicians use to create a burning mass that evaporates into thin air.

    Obama is Flash Paper. Everyone got excited by his "eloquence", but 6-months has proved he is nothing more than a Chicago Politician bent on pushing through a far-left liberal agenda.

    2010 will be the first nationwide rejection of Obama by swinging control AWAY from Democrats. 2012 – we will finish the job.

    September 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Moderate Democrat

    90% of Democrats approve of him. 10% of republicans approve of him and 40% of independents approve of him.

    So the story might be about how a majority of independents don't approve of him, and it's no news that republicans don't approve of him. But when you factor in that 90% of the largest party DO approve of him, and he has support from factions from the OTHER parties, the math...plain and simple....a BIG Majority of america DOES approve of him.

    Conclusion: He would win right now if he were running again. Facts are facts. Chew on that!

    September 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Ben in Texas

    There was nothing said about why the independents disapprove more now. That's calculated to make everybody think that independents think Obama's policies are too liberal, when in fact, many of us consider that he has not shown enough backbone.

    He's been too eager to include the Repugnants, when he should be wiping up the floor with them. He's backed off totally on real health care reform and let the Bush/Cheney era criminals off the hook. In short, he's been another typical Democrat.

    After 8 years of Bush-it, most of the country wanted a house-cleaning, and we're getting a white-wash instead.

    September 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. S M R

    I know that we have freedom of speech but please, You GOP Bloggers have NO REAL CASE when it it comes to defending the last 8 years.

    September 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Dave

    Only Liberals who do not care about the Financial health of our country and who want to turn our country into a Socialist type government continue to support the "Hope" that has been a disappointment to us all. America voted in President Obama with the "hope" he would rise above partisan politics and do what's best for America, not turn us into a Socialist country.

    And to you Liberals out there, pick up a dictionary and look up "Socialist Government" (means Government owned / controlled Industry) as that is where we are heading and the VAST MAJORITY of America does not want to go there.

    September 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Jason NY

    What a bunch of whiners. Fox news sucks because it reports on both sides good or bad. Now CNN (heavily biased towards left) reports something negative about Obama and they suck as well? The left always accuses the right of racism/hate. Seems all the hate is coming from the left.

    September 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. IndyVoter

    Ok. Independents. Give the GOP the reigns again and you will be begging for another Obama in 4 years. You must be gluttons for punishment. I am sooooo glad that we elected President Obama, because now all of the ignorance and posturing and mean-spirited self-serving attitudes come to the forefront. You get what you ask for Independents. If you sink Pres. Obama just for the sake of, no we will all pay dearly for it.

    September 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Expat American

    My schnauzer sneezed and out came another CNN poll.

    So many little can I choose?

    September 1, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    Anybody remember all the polls towards the end of the Bush presidency? The dems are saying the same thing the repubs said:
    "No one polled me". Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now the dems have to just deal with it! After all, "you won, we lost", right!. Now the liberals are blaming CNN! Be happy, liberals nobody polled me, 'cause the numbers would be worse!

    September 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Sgt. USMC

    That's because most independents are now Democrats...DUH.

    September 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Proud Member..Party of No

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 30% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11.

    September 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm an independent thinker and I support Obama......... and this one is for the lemmings out there:
    They didn't call me, waah, waah!! 🙂

    Poll, shmoll. Three years AND another term to go!

    Obama 2012!!

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

    Obama is a political celebrity, not a leader.

    He doesnt know how to lead because he's never done it before. This is the "on the job training" they talked about last fall. You dont gain administrative experience by reading Lincoln biographies.

    September 1, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Alfred E. Neumann

    I'm a moderate Democrat – Obama on the war, an F; Obama on health care reform, D-; Obama on the economy, incomplete.

    We have a weak president in the White House. Sure makes one appreciate all the more what Bill Clinton got accomplished having to fight with crazy Newt.

    Obama controls Congress & can't get anything worth while done!
    Well, the kids do get to travel a lot.

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

    Somebody once said in his column trhat the independants are inclined to inch towards being fiscally conservative, but socially progressive. No single political party can offer either of those ideologies alone, but once a Dem, prez. is trying to effect a marriage between a melange of mentally retarted politicians and a pantheon of pathetic performers, his poll numbers ar likely to plummet. And that is a dear price to pay for the current prez.

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

    Poll: The independent voters are the thinkers. They know gov't health care isnt "free". They also know the dangers of a debt mongering president.

    September 1, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. joc,alabama

    Paid rethugs bloggers make me sick,just say anything negative we pay you $3.25hr just type until something happens or we will keep getting vote out of office,kick away the chair already

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

    It is bad all round but Fort Myers, FL is the worse. I voted for Obama. and I knew that he could not work miracles off of the mess that Bush made but something has got to give. What about us folks at the bottom tier? I am a single mom with a Bachelor's degree and no help in sight and on the verge of losing shelter and transportation. What is being done about it nothing. The government really needs to try and stay focused on America first and worry about the other countries later because pretty soon the majority of us will be homeless.

    September 1, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. christine case

    Do any of the independents remember what the last eight years were like? Do you think that all the problems can be solved like a 30 minute sit-com? We have problems galore and the president and his cabinet and staff have another eight years in my book to get our country back on track. Be a little patient. It is not going over anytime soon. Just thank God that no Republican is in office. If we get another George Bush in office, our country will go down the tubes. Did all of you forget what the illegal war cost us? Where were your independent voices when our boys, girls and innocent Iraquis were being killed? Now, because everything isn't A-OK, you are going to say this president isn't doing his job? He is out there working, trying to get things done. He's not down in Crawford Tx chopping wood. Give me a break. Let's hear your independent voices in support. Think about it for 30 minutes.

    September 1, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Big Al

    Anyone that believes that Obama was intent on governing from the center is out of touch wqith reality. Elections have consequences. Next time we have an election, voters should examine the records of the candidates. If most had done that in the last election, they could have easily determined that Obama was a far, far left radical intent on forever changing this country to a facist state. So far he has accomplished the first task of bankrupting the economy. Next he needs to gain control of the lives of the electorate. That's what health care is all about.

    September 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. sarah

    Just as large bonus packages for executives in bailout companies don't sit well with the general public, neither does 2 weeks and more of vacation from our new national executive who authorized these bailouts. Not one member of the United States electorate wants to see him spending any time at all on the golf course. Why can't he understand this? I do not get a vacation this year and even if I could I would still be working in some capacity. This is the worst time in 50 years for a president to be taking so many breaks from work. He needs to be in the trenches every minute of the work day, six days a week. He wanted the job, now roll up your sleeves and get dirty and stay off of the elitist golf course. How important is the health bill to him if he is not pushing it with all the fervor that he can muster even in this break in Washington? There is too much going on to be spending time hitting a ball in a little hole. He's got bigger fish to fry and his public relations team needs to be fired for not having the proper temperature of the general public.

    September 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Willy Brown

    We wake up each day guessing what Obama will blame on Bush.

    September 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. B. Lewis in Austin

    Suggest you wait until the 2010 elections to do these polls. That way you can better judge his work. Right now everything he is doing is still in process stage-healthcare, stimulus, foreign policy etc. Find something more meaningful to report on instead of Republican wishing points.

    September 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Felicia

    Why are we surprised. he promised everything to everyone. So now he can't possibly deliver. Heaven help us the day we miss Sarah Palin!

    September 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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