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. Kenneth

    Big O is doing Great people just want to have something to say about him Go big O

    September 18, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Jose

    Waits for conservative radio personality to call someone a plus sized model then play 3 minutes worth of christian commericials ...

    give me a break.

    September 18, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. eolufemi

    Americans aren't as dumb as the republicans and even media would like us to believe. We understand that our country was mismanaged to the point of near collapse. So it just makes sense that "the fix' won't happen in 9 months. We also understand that there are structural problems that require novel approaches, some of those decisions won't be made with a consensus. Just how the times are...We won't turn on the president until its clear that his vision is in fact unproductive. So far he's still in the implementation phase of the things he promised during the campaign. Not going to grade him on his homework while he's still doing it.

    September 18, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Deuce

    CNN's Poll of the Black Comunities. Holding steady?

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. `

    You didn't ask me...

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Remi Murphy (Tracy CA)

    Reggie-- "Holding steady, but still historically low. Look for Obama to be a one-termer"

    Hey Reggie:
    Know of Which Yea Speak, Lest Your Reader Will Know Yea for a Fool."

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Farrell in Houston

    Republicans say "Obama is moving the country in the wrong direction" which means they want to keep the country in the direction of Bush's failed policies that got us in this mess. Think about it.

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Jessie

    Holmes September 18th, 2009 12:55 pm ET

    New poll of polls, 55% of Americans are one neuron short of a synapse. Remarkable!
    Yet every study that has anything to do with life expectancy, literacy, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy rates, levels of intelligence, pornography, etc. always have Republican states at the top of the lists.

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Mike in MN

    A lot of voters are in a wait and see state on Obama's approval.
    They are waiting to see if the health care reform bill that will eventually come up for a vote in congress measures up to what Obama says it will and will not do. If the bill does not measure up to his promises or if he claims the bill actually does or does not do things that are not true based on how the bill is really written, his approval rating will be in big trouble. If he supports a health care reform bill a majorty of voters do not like, his support will peal off.
    And many are waiting to see if Obama will really address the deficits. So far nothing on this. Polls show close to 70% of voters rate the deficits as a higher priority than health care reform. If Obama does not address the deficits soon with changes that can be confirmed thru the CBO that show significant reductions in the deficits, again more support for Obama will start to peal off.

    September 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. willard bullock

    congressional decomart have no interest in starting a racial argement that could turn 0ff swing district voter whose support the party will need if it plan on keepingits grip on congress in 210 and the curent occputants of the white house made it clear wednesday that have no interest in bring race back the fore of about obama

    September 18, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Matt

    So if you oppose Obama your a nut job or a racist? Thats really sad that your not allowed to have a different opinion without being attacked and labeled.

    September 18, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. polycarp

    of course Obama has a clear vision on what he's doing as president and those right wing nuts should stop being a party on no..and support the president.Bicckering will only make them a bunch of obstractionists!

    September 18, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. The Teester

    he is overcoming every obstacle the dopey right-wing pundits and scared repubs are throwin at him. Go Barack

    September 18, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Michael M. Noonan

    He's an obvious one termer, which is a good thing since he seems to have an adolescent's appreciation of capitalism, free trade, free markets, and American military power and what it has achieved. This mountebank would not even conced the U.S. won the Cold War. I have never before been embarrassed to be an American.

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

    I believe talking to a republican is like talking to a table; also all they do is LIE constantly. They are lower than the lowest. They sound like idiots!

    September 18, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. D. Tree

    He's been working hard – I'm thankful every day we elected Obama President!

    September 18, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. The Voice

    After healthcare reform passes and the economy stabilizes. It will go back up to 60s and 70s.

    The good news is the Republicans will loose even more seats in 2010!

    September 18, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    It warms the heart to see how forgiving 50% of Americans are for someone who has had such a difficult time getting anything to actually work in his new job. GM and Chrysler going bankrupt in spite of the $50 billion ( 2.5 times NASA'a annual budget, mind you ) he pushed their way; Wall street bailouts 20 times that with paltry results and very little idea where the money went; a $1 trillion stimulus package to keep unemployment low that failed miserably.

    In general, he has received everything on his wish list, the largest wish list any American president has ever asked for, and not accomplished really anything to speak of. Polls like this warm the heart!

    September 18, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Ross, Chautauqua, NY

    I join so many of the rest of you in saying that Iam proud of our President Obama!

    It feels good to be proud of our president instead of ashamed and embarrassed!

    September 18, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Nomoreteabaggers

    President Obama deserves our support and help...the Republicans choose to act childish and are working against our new president to the detriment of our country. The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 18, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Traj

    Joe Wilson did not want people to know Strom Thurman had a mixed race person (his daughter or grandaughet) in his family. He tried to hush her up but was told by Strom's family that she is the daughter and they are proud to have her in the family…. He had to apologize to her.. Look it up… Strom Thurman – Joe Wilson….
    Bet the media ain't bringing that up to show this confederate flag defender is nothing but a scum bag….

    September 18, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Cliff

    I have never been asked this question and I don't know anyone who has. DO you think these "polls" might possibly be controlled by the libs? Naw...they aren't that low....or are they?
    Time for Obama to return to his Kenyan village...and SOON!

    September 18, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Love all of these pro Obama comments. The easiest thing to do is give the money people make to non working, dope smoking, Oprah watchers and that is what Obama is doing and the responders to these posts are obviously the recipients of his largess with my money. Put down the pipes, get a job and pay taxes then see how you feel about mini hugo.

    September 18, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. colorblind

    BO is an idiot and so is everyone here if you believe a CNN poll. How's all the transparency working out for you with only one network reporting truthfully. Let's see. Tom Daschle in week one, Van Jones last week, and ACORN this week. I think the drum that was beat so loudly in the election was "vetting". Whaaahappened?

    September 18, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Enough

    The worst president ever, second to only Jimmy Carter and basically running Carters second term is promising people something for nothing and unfortunately there are lots of people who believe that.

    September 18, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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