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. MommaM

    I am so happy to have President Obama in office – I believe his is a smart man who cares deeply about this country – I am glad to see the polls show he has America's support – all the shouting that we see on TV is not representative of what most of us feel. He is what this country needs!

    September 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Concerned

    The only thing I can't decide on is whether President Carter or President Obama is the worst president this country ever had. Fortunately, they will both only be alloted one term.

    September 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. mike,texas

    I wonder what the polls would look like if they would call cell phones.

    September 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Concern Citizen

    I am so proud of President Obama. I can feel the sincerity in his heart to help improve this country. Repub against everything he does because that's all they got. A party of NO ....go to IRAN. That's where REPUBs belong.

    September 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. paul

    sounds like the DEMS are smoking that grass again.

    September 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. ex-Republican since Bush's destruction

    Mr Obama has my approval! He's had a ton of Republican garbage to clean up after the Bush Administiration. Mr Obama isn't perfect, but at least he tries to do his best!

    Mr. President, you're a great man!

    September 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Marine

    Obama is nothing short of a disaster, to see it otherwise shows your ignorance on topics of any relevance!

    September 18, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Mary ohio

    This is our America and whether the repugs likes it or not CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA AND CHANGE HAS COME TO STAY.


    September 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Quedog

    Of course the Presidents popularity rating has remained steady and it will go up when the ridiculous accusations get old and eventually ignored. We Americans love good entertainment so we watch the so-called birthers, deathers, the people who claim Obama is not an American, and lest we forget the obstructionist party of no on TV and youtube. But Americans recognize this behavior for what it is and are smart enough to know these people don’t represent what America is about. Nevertheless, the summer entertainment was fun. Now its time to get back to the people’s work!!!!

    September 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. ex-Republican since Bush's destruction

    Thank the Republicans for helping to boost Mr. Obama's popularity. The Republicans have embarrassed themselves and they will continue to lose the W.H. for generations to come.

    The Republican Party is the Party of the ignorant South, mean-spirited white men, and religious xtian nuts.

    I am a white man and glad Mr. Obama is President!

    September 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. tisgoogle

    Mr President you are doing a great job! Very proud of you and your beautiful family! May the wingnuts this includes gop's go back to your
    mountains and pray to the evil god that you believe in! Which I think is Rush and Beck! Evil people and beyond crazy! GO PRESIDENT OBAMA! Eat your hearts out wingnuts!

    September 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. gerald

    yes we can and we will!!

    September 18, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. notfooledbydistractions

    Hmmm....looks like the wingnuts attempt to bring the black man down is failing as miserably as their party is.

    September 18, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Patrick Williams

    Why are people threatened by successful and smart people...did you think our last president was smart????? And oh yeah, Obama is also black...another threat to low self esteemed conservatives who think the civil war is not over

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Maria in Florida

    President Obama is doing a FABULOUS job!

    September 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Susan

    President Barack Obama, you are doing a wonderful job - in spite of the hand you were dealt in the beginning of your administration. Your accomplishments in nine months have surpassed most administrations in this timeframe. I am so proud of you and your wonderful family. so much.

    September 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Typical Democrat

    I love Obama, he will take care of me and my family and I don't have to worry about making hard decisions in life, like getting a job and supporting my family.

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Dorothy, Kentucky

    Those who want a fair and balanced nation will keep supporting the president because he is working for us. All of those that are ready to jump ship did not support him to begin with. He told us everything he wanted to do during the campaign. He could not control the mess that was left for him that he had to do something about right away. The president is doing a great job because "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and tho he fall, he shall not utterly be cast down" Keep up the good work true christians, God is listening and answering.

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Mark in Atlanta

    Thank goodness America picked the right guy in Nov. Obama has done just what he promised her would- focus on what works instead of getting hung up on ideoloogical purity, right or left. He is smart, he's honorable, and he's pragmatic. There will always be an angry, confused, ill-informed Fox news minority claiming to speak for "America." They don't. America admires and supports President Obama.

    September 18, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. J.D. Abel

    An American president with brains and an ethical center ? A pesident that I don't have to be ashamed of ? I still can't believe it......

    September 18, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. ALEX01

    For all of you who think this poll is not accurate due to being on CNN. I have some bad news for you. Go check out what your loving Fox news has him at. Fox news has him at +15% which is actually one of the highest polls figured into this. hehehe

    September 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Shelly

    Polls schmolls....they are generally not accurate.
    In general I hear from my friends that they have to give the President a chance. He has a lot on his plate....I doubt if anyone of us could fix all the issues in 8 mos. We have become a culture of INSTANT GRATIFICATION and 24/7 media cycle! Come on folks give him some time.
    I know the haters will continue to attack ;but the rest of us need to sit back and relax and see this country become a great nation once again.
    Have faith in your Prez.. Breathe slow and easy America!

    September 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Truth Teller

    Wow, can't believe that at all. Wonder what morons were polled. All these polls are manipulative. I can make them say what ever you want.

    September 18, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Chris Robertson

    Wow. Everyone loves to bash George W. every chance they get. I get chills thinking about how Obama would have handled 9/11. Very scary. People love to forget that day happened, and how it changed Bush's presidency and America forever. It's been over 7 years since a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and I'm very thankful for the difficult choices Bush had to make, to keep me and my family safe. No one gives him any credit for that and I think it's sad.

    September 18, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Change ?

    There are only two things that this administration is going to change.

    1) Obama will change the money from your pocket to the pocket of someone that did not earn it.

    2) Obama will tax your paycheck to the level that you are left with nothing but change.

    Obama can not possibly provide all these promises without increased sending, he must and will raise taxes and those taxes will hit everyone, not just the upper income levels.

    September 18, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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