September 18th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: Obama approval holding steady

Barack Obama's approval as president is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to new CNN Poll of Polls.

Barack Obama's approval as president is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to new CNN Poll of Polls.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's approval rating is holding steady in the mid-50's, according to a new CNN Poll of Polls.

Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, according to the CNN Poll of Polls, which averaged the six national surveys taken since the president addressed a joint session of Congress on September 9. Thirty-nine percent, on average, disapprove.

The 55 percent approval rating is almost identical to the 54 percent mark that Obama had in August, according to an average of national surveys conducted last month. "The early part of the summer was a bad time for Obama, whose average approval dropped 7 points during that period. But since then, his average approval rating has stabilized in the mid 50s," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Protests at health care town halls held by members of Congress in their home states and districts received a lot of attention in the news media in August and early September. Many of those demonstrations were directed against the President and his proposals on health care reform.

"It looks like the town hall protests in August didn't drive his ratings down, but it also looks like his nationally televised speech didn't do much to push his ratings up," Holland says.

So how does Obama's 55 percent approval rating stack up to his predecessors in the September of their first year in office?

That mark puts him substantially ahead of Bill Clinton and right in the same ballpark as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, says Holland. "Obama is well behind both Bushes, but bear in mind that George W. Bush's mid-September ratings for 2001 were affected by 9/11," he says. "It's impossible to say what his approval rating would have been if 9/11 had not occurred, but the best guess is that Bush would have probably been in the mid-to-low 50s."

This latest CNN "Poll of Polls" consists of the six surveys conducted since Obama's speech to Congress on September 9: Fox News (Sept. 15-16), Pew (September 10-15), Bloomberg (September 10-14), CNN/Opinion Research (Sept. 11-13), USA Today/Gallup (Sept. 11-13) and ABC/Washington Post (Sept. 10-12). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

Filed under: CNN Poll of polls • President Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. katiec

    You see, CNN, supporting the republicans does not like to give
    our president credit for being the president of the United States.
    They are not going to give him anything positive if they can get
    around it.
    They are becoming as bad as Fox, in fact, worse as we all know
    where Fox stands but CNN tries to hide their bias behind "news
    you can trust".

    September 18, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Haas

    Of course! Our president is the hardest working president we've had in a long time.

    September 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. James From Chicago

    Look waht Pres. Obama walked into. Bush and the Republicians
    destroyed this country with their lies and greed. Obama is trying to get
    this country back on track.

    September 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Wake Up

    Lots of Kool-Aid drinkers! Obama is the worst president in my lifetime.
    All of his policies have been proven wrong over the last century, but you sheep just follow his nice words, lies and attacks against him.
    Oh, man, I must be a racist if I disagree with King Obama!

    September 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. DonnaLee

    You go Mr. President.

    We like what you are doing.

    If It wasn't good policy for the country ... then the Rethuglicans wouldn't have all their panties in a knot.

    September 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Texas Observer

    Since the day the Stimulus bill was signed, S&P 500 is up 35%.

    I believe the Tea party protests and all the partisan obstruction by the Republicans will backfire on them big time.

    All this fake and stupid opposition will not stand in the face of factual data.

    September 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Bluebonnet

    CNN has been known, and has admitted, to overpolling democrates to get a favorable rating for Obama. We all know every other poll, reputable ones, have quite a different outcome – TANK!! He's going down.

    September 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Fitz

    Oh please CNN, tomorrow morning or on State of the Union, you will have a new Poll that says Obama's numbers are falling.

    September 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Andi

    Can they take a poll of people to see how many hate polls? No matter what the polls say, the GOP/TeaParty/Right wing groups will disagree. No one seemed to care about the poll that showed almost 3/4 of those polled SUPPORTED a Public Option. I guess the majority of us aren't loud enough to get attention (except in the voting booth). All the press seems to go to those who only have negative things to say or silly lawsuits or policies that do nothing.

    September 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Mark

    Ok, so Obama's approval ratings are approximately DOUBLE those of the GOP.

    I can't wait for 2010!

    September 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Never a low-life disgusting democrat!

    Since all you democrats have the answer, why arn't you running this Government. It seems like their are so many ignorant, stupid people willing to voice their opinion and yet not a one of you have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, therefore you want the government to provide for you.

    September 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    The honeymoon is gradually moving towards reality, rather than fantasy, and I will expect those numbers to drop, by year's end.

    At least we did get good news on the missiles in Europe, and on the possibility of leaving Iraq earlier than proposed, if asked.

    If he would spend less time on "social programs" and deal more with our current immediate problems, such as jobs, he would be best advised.

    The Dems just have never looked at reality, when it comes to social programs, choosing to be idealists, looking through rose-colored glasses, and ignoring the basics of what comprises the human animal, and what kinds of limitations those characteristics impose on society, overall.

    September 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. big deal

    this from a media source with toilet ratings. nice.

    its over. you messed up. "you acted stupidly" cnn, lol

    September 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. norb

    What a relief not having George and Darth Vader at the controlls. Change is indeed coming! If you can't get onboard you better get out of the way!

    September 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Bob in Pa

    Sorry CNN – that poll doesn't ring true in our neck of the woods. As a person he might get close to 60% but on performance the man comes in around 30 – 35%

    September 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Chanel

    The true measure of the Presidency to me is not ratings, it's what he has done. We all know what the economy looked like when Pres Bush left office. Now lets see in a few years if Pres Obama can get this economy back on its feet. If he can, forget the naysayers who just want to see a Republican in office. If he can't...

    September 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Doug

    As a democrat, these results are good but why are people being negative about other opinions. In politics and life, you reap what you sow. If you support President Obama then why attack anybody else. They have right to their opinions as well as you.

    September 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. single mom

    Poll of Polls?
    Can it walk on water?

    September 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. 'coiny'

    Today, I'm 50% approval. Yesterday I was 50% disapproval. It ain't easy being a liberal, in a Centrist country......,

    September 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Proud Member..Party of No

    If true it shows how ignorant the public is. Everytime Obama opens his mouth he lies to the American people but the media keeps covering for him and the public, like the mindless lemmings that many of them are, laps it all up. C'mon people, wake're being taken for fools and you don't even realize it.

    September 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Lexie

    Look what George W. and his Republican cohorts left President Obama. What a mess they left for all of us, well, except the rich, of course.

    September 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Dave, the Truthteller

    The number is lower than that – a lot of people are afraid to publicly disagree with President Obama lest they be labeled "racist". The real numbers will be revealed in 2010.

    September 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. ALEX

    And Republicans have been working so hard in tarnishing President Obamas image.....they'll be crying in their beers tonight. This is great!!

    September 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Aunt Bea and Opie

    President Obama is doing a fine job.

    September 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. ZANE

    Republicsn have tried everything and anything to bring President Obama down......instead, I think they brought themselves down. GO MR. PRESIDENT!!

    September 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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