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. Nick

    Realistic, fair-minded, news-saavy people realize the President inherited a mess, and they're supporting the man. And his numbers will only go up.

    September 18, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Judy

    It appears to me that all of you have your head stuck in the sand. Are you really watching the news, do you care about Acorn and your tax dollars, do you care about the outrageous amount of Czars and their backgrounds. I guess your not watching real news.

    September 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Not your business no need

    Obama is far from one of the best presidents this country has ever had. That is if youu are not looking for a government handout.

    September 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. bashboxjones

    Congressional approval polls are complicated and very hard to read.. People are always mad at congress, but for different reasons. The people who are mad because congress is working on Health Care reform, and the people who are mad because "Single payer" is off the table are both put down in the same column. When congress got low marks after the Democrats took over, Republicans were gloating, but there were lots of people mad because the Democrats refused to impeach Bush.

    September 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Lisa

    I know I trust Obama. But, Baucas TERRIFIES me. I can't imagine what democrats in the senate are thinking... unless you realize that maybe they are NOT really democrats, but power hungry and so out of touch with everyone that isn't a lobby wallet for banking and insurance corps. I am a democrat.

    September 18, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. The Film Professor

    I hope all of the opponents of health care reform saw the CNN story that indicates that those without health insurance have a 40% higher death rate when they get ill, as opposed to those who are lucky enough to have health insurance.

    Talk about death panels!!!!! If you do not have health insurance in this country and you get sick, you are basically screwed.

    I hope some of you genuine Christians will pray about this one on Sunday.

    September 18, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Obama is an embarassment

    I still agree that he is not qualified to be president.

    September 18, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Black Bob

    Who'd they poll? The guys in the news room over at MSNBC? When you poll the same 3 people consistantly, you will get the same numbers. Obama will be a 1 termer.

    September 18, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. TGF

    Thank God for President Obama. He's trying to straighten things out and make the U.S. more of an even playing field. He will succeed. People fail to realize that he has 3 more years to continue his good work. Before it is over, he will have an overwhelming number of supporters to elect him another term. Change is here and will continue to come.

    September 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. p owed

    The 55% that approve are probably the idiots that voted for him. If I was a lazy unemployed person waiting for freebees I guess i would approve also. After all he is giving away everything this country stands for.

    September 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Mike in MN

    Realclearpolitics has a poll of poll that is updated everyday and includes two daily tracking polls that CNN seems to never include in their poll of poll numbers. Not sure why, CNN may have valid reasons, would be interesting to know what they are.
    Gallup daily tracking has Obama approval at 51%.
    Rasmussen has it at 47%.
    Realclearpolitics also has the other six polls for a total of 8 polls and an average of 53.2%. Still a positive, but wonder why CNN would not include 2 daily tracking polls from professional pollsters.

    September 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Traj

    Just like my president said when he was candidate Obama, he has no problem being in office for one term, as long as he can get America back on track from the absolute fools who got us her. Some of you white folk have proven to be some really "Ghetto" people.. Inbreeds!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    I like the spin CNN. The President held steady despite news coverage of protests at Town Hall meetings... That sounds good. But most of the "news" coverage was about the anry protestors. It was not about the policies and proposals the were mad about. Maybe if the reports were about the policies and proposals it would look different. And again today a big congrats to CNN for not hiding there bias with the top story of people dying without health insurance... not much will change with government run health care except costs and they will go up. Probably not in premiums it will be masked in higher taxes.

    September 18, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. TGF

    President Obama will succeed. He has 3 more years to continue his good work. He will have an overwhelming number of supporters to vote him in another term. Change is here and will continue to come. We all need it.

    September 18, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Lisa

    Also, isn't wonderful that students will have a single-payer system with the government and banks cannot dip there greedy hand in the pile of cash for students? I cannot wait until Obama signs this bill. nless the senate messes it up. Why can't the healthcare bill be "copied" from the student loan bill and weed out both the bank tics and the insurance company tics?

    September 18, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Sam in Albuquerque

    Amazing poll resilience despite such an overt campaign of fear and hate (standard Republican tactics). This President is much more intelligent, honest and courageous than his predecessor. Most Americans are observant and fair-minded enough to see that.

    September 18, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Amazing

    Ofcourse Obama has support, where would many of these people be without Welfare, food stamps, freebies for illegals. The supporters of Obama are the ones on the freebie band wagon, the ones who don't support Obama are the ones footing the bill. Ever wonder why those receiving are Democrats?

    September 18, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Its heartening to see that the American people have seen the Tea Bag and anti-healthcare rhetoric for what its been....fear, smear...and peppered with just a dash of racism.

    September 18, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. X

    Don't look now wingnuts, but the recession is over, housing prices are going up, unemployment is going down and the DOW is heading for 10,000. Amazingly, Obama is cleaning up the unbelievable mess conservatives left behind. All the crybaby conservatives can do about it is cry babies. Cheer up wingnuts. Obama succeeding in cleaning up the economy is good for all of us.

    September 18, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Lori asks the GOP how they seriously intend to win national elections without the Hispanic and African-American Vote?

    Go President Obama! You can get re-elected on 55% approval ratings (look at Clinton). The odds are in your favor- The Republicans aren't fairing to well (just look at Dodds catching up in the polls & at the Republican vs. Democrat poll numbers). 2010 will NOT be a big win for the Republicans as they hope. And 2012... well just look at my screen title and you'll get the point.

    Keep up the good work! The majority of us still support you!

    September 18, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Wake Up

    Instead of attacks on those who disagree and cheers for Obama, can you analyze his policies?
    Specifically, what has he done well? Triple the national debt is a positive for you?

    September 18, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |

    President Obama:


    September 18, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Lynn

    I am so sick of those who try to put our President down. Bush's lies got people killed and no one said a peep. He inherited a surplus and got us into a serious deficit, again not a peep because it was considered unpatriotic. So when President Obama tries to fix things and tries to spend the money at home to help AMERICA, people have a fit. What the xxxx is wrong with our country?!!! Where is our common sense? I've never seen a President work so hard and all he is getting in return is a bunch of mess from those who are suppose to help him improve conditions in this country. Instead they would rather continue to destroy America than see him successful. That is so sad and selfish. Is your hatred that blinding? We have to step it up and support our President.

    September 18, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. MJJ

    Thanks to all of you flammers out there. You continue to prove that our country is full of nit-wits and loons... America is MY country too! and I'll continue to defend it honorably and by the Constitution it was founded on. So if I believe Mr. O will be a detriment to this country because of what his is doing to our nation, it is MY RIGHT! Stop playing the blame game and own up to the facts as they are today. NOTHING this man has done has help you!

    September 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. GOP'sAresick

    GOP loons are getting crazy, their leaders Rush, Beck, O'reilley, Hannity are screaming everyday to destroy obama with no success. The good news is from now on no minnority with a right mind is going to vote for a GOP candidate. We now all know GOP is a party of white and Racist people.

    September 18, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12