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. CJA/Independent voter

    I approve of Obama. I think the extreme right's response to health care is largely based upon race. It is not socially acceptable to admit to prejudice; and I believe the rage about health care has become a vehicle for an undercurrent of prejudice. What a cultural step back. I'm ashamed of the behavior that has been exhibited at townhall meetings, and I'm frighten that those radicals will somehow come to a position of power.

    September 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. GGG

    Truth Hurts!!!!! Obama is NO leader!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Jo Jo

    CNN, are you going to take a poll every month? My goodness, I have never seen so many polls taken on this website since Obama became president. Another thing, anybody with any common sense knows most people are fickle and base their opinions on how they are feeling at that particular moment. If things aren’t going according to the way they believe it should (at that particular moment), they are quick to change their opinion. That’s why polls should never be a major factor in gauging one’s performance. My suggestion to CNN and people in general is to wait and see how his term ends. If we are worse off than we were by the end of his term, then we have a right to judge. But until then, polls are utterly ridiculous at this early stage of the game.

    September 1, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Greg

    My advice to all the whiny libs is to change the way polls are conducted if you don't like the results. That's what you do for everything else when you find out no one else agrees with you; you change the rules of the game. Or better yet, here's a quarter. It might not get you any cheese with your whine but you can still make phone call. Better hurry up, though, before Obama tries to take that from you, too. 😉 Whiners!

    September 1, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Obama Victim

    The Community-Organizer calls average Americans, voicing their concerns, "astroturf" ....and then calls on HIS "grassroots" union thugs and Acorn members to organize counter-protests.

    Apparently Obama thinks this is a shouting contest? And you people wonder WHY Independents are walking away from your political messiah???


    September 1, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Bill

    I vote for both parties – the best man wins my vote. Not all democrats are bad, not all republicans are bad. My feeling is that Obamas fiscal policies, of which health care is one of them, are terrible for this country. All republicans and democrats that we send to Washington need to quit spending our money like its water!!! Bush was bad at increasing our debt, but Obama is at least 8 times worse. We cannot afford this people, whether it is done by the republicans or the democrats. We cannot afford to look at the government as our saviours. They need to quit passing legislation and provide the resources for our defense and upholding the laws and improving the institutions we already have.

    September 1, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Sabrina

    ron You want us to give more time because he is learning on the job. This why I did not vote for him-– not enough experience!!!!!!!! You all deserve what you get!!!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. AustHall

    WOW, From one thousand and eleven people on land phone lines.

    There are about 165 MILLION Americans eligible to vote and you sample 1011 voters. ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!

    There should be a poll of how many people think that polls are irrelevant and meaningless.

    September 1, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. S M R

    A bad approval rating for: Changing Policies to benefit the AVERAGE AMERICAN, Implimenting REGULATION in ALL important entities of our economy, and actually spending money HERE in AMERICA? Just doesn't make much sense to me.

    September 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Peter

    The best 21 century US president, !! Gadhi "I have respect for everyone except journalists and photographers". American journalism plain sucks!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. welches, oregon

    Hey speak for yourself! All Indies and Dems I know absolutely support Obama. Here in Oregon we're are seeing many many positive signs of the Federal Stimulus working and the signs are all over. People have new jobs or got to keep their job, and city roads, bridges, highways and other transportation areas are getting fixed and built. Like "President" Starkey said "Things are getting better – Getting Better all the time". (What? Didn't you see the movie?)

    Thank you President Obama! I knew you'd come thru for us – (all of us by the way).

    Oh but those conservative christians, yea, they sure don't want universal health care for all – how utterly Conservative Christian of them.

    September 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. enemy of the state

    stupid independents! we don't need them anyway.

    September 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. John

    Bush should be in Jail:

    1. Lying about WMDs of Iraq.
    2. Creating false intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs.
    3. 4300 US Troops Died.
    4. 25000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.
    5. $800 Billion spent on Unjustified and Misleading war. – Still Al Quida is not eliminated.
    6. No 9/11 terrorist from Iraq.
    7. Unregulated Banking – Mortgage Crises – 2.5 million lost their homes.
    8. No health care for 50 million. – Yet Iraq was Attacked.
    9. No rescue relief for Katrina.
    10. Bush misleading in 2008 "Our Economy is still strong".
    11. Bush Stating "Mission Accomplished". Since then 2500 US Troops have died

    September 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Indy

    I am an independent and I am sure not happy with him, pelosi or reid.

    September 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Char

    I will make this very simple, people will always disapprove when you are doing something right! Keep doing the right thing President Obama!!!

    September 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Dave

    I'm an independent, and I give him decent marks. There's a few things he's done I'm not happy with, but overall he's doing pretty well, and it's a work in progress. Then again, anything would be better than a Republican right now. I'll never trust them again. They've become a theocratic party at this point. and I will *never* willingly entrust this country to theocrats. I see what that did for the Middle East, and I don't want that here. Republicans scream about "socialism," but they're pushing for governance-by-religion instead, and that's FAR worse! It's brought down every country it's been tried in.

    September 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Independent

    This Independent doesn't disaprove of President Obama....

    I don't recall all these stupid polls when Bush was in, what is with this???? Every time you turn around, another poll......

    The man is going into his eighth month of office and still got to find something to put him down...why don't you start supporting him a litlle more....

    September 1, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Steve

    For Democratics, polls only are relevant if they support their beliefs. CNN is usually the darling site of the left. Now they're attacked because the left doesn't like the poll results.

    Some of the liberal posts on this article are just plain scary if that is how their authors truly think

    September 1, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Liberal excuses:
    Blame Bush
    Blame the poll
    Blame CNN
    Blame the Party of No
    Blame Blue Dog Democrats
    Blame the health insurance companies

    That's right, blame everyone except the guy in charge and see what happens in the 2010 elections.

    September 1, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. wow

    oh my god, the tingle is wearing off.

    September 1, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Let's see... All the Reps, more than half of the Indies, and even about a third of the Dems–the far-lefties–disapprove of Obama. The guy has got to be having a real sinking feeling just about now.

    Deservedly so.

    September 1, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Steph

    Well, this independent voter approves of the job he's done so far.

    September 1, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Theo

    Sooo, Obama's been in offfice for 8 months and he is suppose to make corrections to the 8 years of mess the last administration got us into? WOW...

    September 1, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Dan, TX

    The disappointment with Obama seems to be that he isn't dictating what Congress does. Do we really want Obama to tell Congress what to do? All Obama is saying is let Congress have its say, then we can improve it from there. It takes time. Obama has an economy to worry about, he is focusing on that. Once Congress is done with their version of fixing the health insurance problem, Obama will then play his role.

    September 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Deuce

    And he was crucified anyway....

    September 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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