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. no need to know

    President Obama is without a doubt one of the smartest and best Presidents this country will ever have. Period.

    September 18, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. nellie

    Will someone please write what Obama lied about? I believe the reps are mad because they elected Bush not once, but twice. He spent our dollars like a drunken sailor, led us into 2 wars and single handily destroyed the economy. It will take Obama longer than a few months to get this mess straigntened out. So what is the problem here. Maybe not racism, could it be just plain "green with envy"

    September 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom

    Amazing how vile the GOPers can be! Its disturbing, since most of the GOPers claim to be Christian! GOPers will argue that they are not haters, but all one has to do is read the comments on these blogs to know that ...... yeah........ the GOP= hate, lies, fear & division!

    After ONLY ........ NINE months ....... in Office, President Obama can not be expected to FIX ALL the problems left to him by the Bush Disaster!

    I have lived through many recessions, including the "Twin Recessions of 1981 & 1982" when Reagan was president. Recessions take time to get through.

    Funny isn't it how the GOP NEVER give credit when credit is due, example:

    The Dow ROSE so far in September by 3%

    Yesterday CNN-Money reported that "Americans wealth grew by 2 TRILLION"

    And in this last quarter ONE MILLION JOBS WERE CREATED!


    September 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Independent

    The Goverment Run Healthcare system of Europe and Canada rank higher, insure everyone and cost HALF. If we adopted the same system we would not only have a better healthcare system but we would save over a TRILLION dollars.

    September 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Alexander

    Hey, JP, where do you get your stats? In dreamland?! Here is another self-serving and fabricated number to serve my rationale: since 99% of republicans have smaller brains than the average small rodent it is no surprise that the last administration destroyed our beautiful country!

    September 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Mamixztwo

    I knew his numbers would rise back up once the crazy wackos were exposed for telling lies and trying to instil fear into the American public. People are seeing through the sorry fear tactics that seem to be the only thing the gop can win on...fear and smear. And, boy, are they going full force. It's kind of amusing to see what lengths they will go to when they see that the people outside of the right fringe just aren't listening anymore.

    And both the Democratic leadership AND the Republican leadership need to call the racist antics's one thing to honestly's another to give the racist fringe an actual forum to speak and embolden them.

    September 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Canaman

    What all these CNN poll addicts refuse to say is that about the same percent of Americans voted for him as President. I don't think there is any alarm, as long as his poll numbers do not fall below 50%. Even if they do now, they would bounce back. Enough of polls!! Did CNN have as much polls as this for any previous president? It's starting to look as if you are afraid that a black man is gonna screw the country. Shame!

    September 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Billiam

    CNN will not approve of Obama's high approval rating.
    Maybe they'll get Jeannie Moos to wobble out and do another mom jeans or flag pin story to put him in his place.
    Notice Jeannie Moos never has done one of those reports on Rush or

    September 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Michael Hsu

    CNN polls of polls – YOU LIE!

    September 18, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. T

    "Best President we've ever had".........please, seriously? Wow.....

    September 18, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Zach K

    Steady is as steady goes.

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. I still believe in you.

    September 18, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Mississippi Mike

    I hope he feels nice and safe because 2012 will be a nightmare of a year for him as conservatives come out of the woodwork to support whomever he runs against.

    September 18, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Lisa

    President Obama's approval rating hasn't gone down. It's just those who hate him are beefing up hate in America and are trying to make it seem so. President will accomplish everything he is meant to accomplish in his presidency and no one will be able to stop that!

    September 18, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Kate in SW Fla

    I consider the first part of this century to have been "the lost decade." The destruction doen by the previous administration is almost unparalleled in our history. From a surplus to a deficit, the middle class pay acually DROPPINg by over $2,000, health insurance premiums almost doubling, wars without end, torture, spying and hate filled fear mongering, topped off by the biggest recession in a generation, and just barely escaping from a complete fiscal meltdown. In less than one year, we have been turned around. It won't happen overnight, but we are headed on the right track. I do not think the American people will vote Republicans back into office for a very long time. The difference between 1994 and 2010 is that the Republicans are completely, 100% responsible for the mess we are in. If anyone doubts it, they have NOT been paying attention. But, happily, enough have been.

    September 18, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Citizen

    I work for a very Republican company. When asked my opinion on Health Care, I stated that I beleive everyone should have health coverage. I was booed for my response. Most Republicans I know are the same, only worried about themselves. There is no empathy for others. These are the people who run this country. They have run it right into the ground. They got there's, you get your own.

    I know there are more of us, than there are of them. Unfortunately, they have convinced the poor people of this country, that they are republicans. If these people would understand how the republicans are using them, they would scream at them and not at the people who are truly trying to help them. Wake up America! Don't let these old, white, narcissistic, greed mongering republicans get the best of us.

    We need compassion now more than ever. You won't get it from the republicans, you will get it from our President!

    September 18, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Robin

    Dominican mama 4 Obama September 18th, 2009 12:30 pm ET
    I hope to God that these off-the-wall lunatics are rounded up and put in check.

    Rounded up? Such as placed in a "camp". Hmmm, is that a threat?

    September 18, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. joc,alabama

    Go Mr.President,keep brushing your shoulders off.The Teflon President.

    September 18, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    The problem for Obama is that while people like him, they don't much like his politics–his Rasmussen Approval Index is at -8 at the moment and has been negative for about the last three months. (His index was at about +30 at his inauguration and, except for a few weeks in May, has been dropping steadily since.)

    On Obama's "signature" thing of health care, his numbers are far worse: 56% oppose his version of reform whereas only 43% favour it. And of the 56% who oppose it, most, by far oppose it strongly but of those who favour it, only about half favour it strongly. (The index is -32, far worse than Obama's personal index of -8.)

    The conclusion is clear: the more Obama associates himself with the currently proposed health care plan (HR3200), the more it's going to hurt him. That, I suspect, is why he persists in supporting generalities rather than specifics–when the whole mess goes down in flames he can deny it was ever his plan.

    September 18, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. willard bullock

    obama was mocked by some critics as the magical negero during the campaigan because he was pericved to be a slove – all to nations problems

    September 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. m jeff

    President Obama is doing a great job, because he is dealing with issues that have plauged America for years,and he doing this while the other party is trying to destroy him.

    September 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Alan

    Despite all their misinformation and outright lies and slander, Obama continues working hard to solve the horrible mess he was handed by the very people who now criticize him loudest.

    Keep up the great work, Barack! Folks here are right - polls mean NOTHING. Really. What you accomplish for the good of the people will win out overall, regardless of what the polls may say.

    September 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Cheryl

    What happened to love and respect in this country? Americans should unite, not fall out with each other. Why can't everyone work with President Obama? President Obama is not the enemy. It seems that those who hate him will hate him no matter what he does. This is a sad shame. I am confident that President Obama will succeed because he is doing what is right for our country.

    September 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Angie in PA

    The Republicans are simply having a complete melt down a nervous break down if you will they cannot get over the fact that a Black man took their power away it is Shocking to them! but keep up your lies and nastniess Republicans Tea baggers,Birthers,Etc you will only make this President Stronger!

    September 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. mike

    Worst president in my lifetime. And I'm 87.

    September 18, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Radium

    Could not have said it better, Dominican mama 4 Obama!!! If it was the black panthers at a Bush meeting, they would have been teared gased and the cops would have been out in riot gears. Why are they doing nothing when these people have their guns!???

    Mr President, you are doing a GREAT job. Remember they may have thousands of people behind them, but you sir have MILLIONS!!!

    If you take care of us (health care) we will be glad to take care of you in 2012!!!!

    Your poll numbers are in the much higher then this. They are not polling the 18-35 year olds and these are the people that played a HUGE roll in getting you elected!!!

    September 18, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12