March 22nd, 2010
11:07 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN poll: Majority disapprove of Obama for first time

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals that 51 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama's job performance."]Washington (CNN) – For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's job performance and 46 percent approve of it.

Full results (pdf)

Obama's approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.

The new poll was conducted before the House on Sunday narrowly approved the Obama administration's signature domestic policy proposal: health care reform.

The measure, which Obama plans to sign on Tuesday, represents the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.

In fact, health care was the policy area that drew the second highest negative rating, with 58 percent registering disapproval. The highest negative rating was 62 percent for his handling of the federal deficit.

While his performance ratings have slid, Americans personally like Obama. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents approve of him as a person, and only 25 percent disapprove.

On the economy overall, 54 percent disapprove of his work and 43 percent approve. He scored well for his handling of the environment and education, as well as on national security.

"Obama scores some of his best numbers on 'commander-in-chief' issues - Afghanistan, Iraq, and terrorism," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In January, 51% approved of Obama's handling of Afghanistan; that number is now 55%, an indication that the public has a positive view of the latest military offensive in that country."

The CNN poll was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Bethy

    I honestly can say that I approve of 95% of the President's action thus far. I like that he is fighting some of the tough battles...NCLB, DADT, Gitmo, timeline on Iraq, more troops in Afgan, healthcare. The only decision I did not like thus far has been the "beer summit". I think Obama should have stayed out of that since he was friends with the Harvard professor.

    March 22, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Ray

    I wonder how low it would be if you didn't include the blacks. Probably half that. I'm not saying that their vote isn't important, but since the only reason 98% of them voted for Obama and still approve of him is because he is black, then it kind of skews the results.

    March 22, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. luvinman29

    I have been contemplating no longer following cnn news for a while. Between a poll every other hour and using the word "slam" to exaggerate stories lines, they have become more of a tabloid news organization. Apparently john king has gotten a seat on the board or something. See ya.

    March 22, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. BurkeMtn

    The Republicans have become masters of Josef Goebbels-like propaganda, managing to misinform half the nitwits in this country, so they don't understand the first thing about this health care bill, and don't even bother to learn. How sad.

    March 22, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. len colorado

    CNN: You should report updated polls, instead of polls that were taken before the VOTE. Because, technically, you are not telling the American people the whole truth!! Shame! Shame!

    March 22, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. tim

    Think the poll results were intentionally withheld until Obacare was voted on? You can bet on it!

    March 22, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Seattle Voter

    I believe that the Health Care Reform will benefit a lot of people in the end. If Medicare do not exist, the elderly is far worst financially. The average social security pension of the elderly 65 years and above is between $700-1200 a month. If they are hospitalize for a few days their savings (if they have any) will be gone in a matter of a few days. I take care of the elderly and most of them are on MEDICAID SUPPLEMENTAL. They take and average of seven different kinds of prescription. SO NO MATTER WHAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYBODY. I ALSO KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEIR MEDICAL INSURANCE BUT CHOSE NOT TO. THE NEW HEALTH CARE REFORM, PEOPLE WILL THINK THEIR PRIORITIES AND THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. IF THEY CAN AFFORD TO BUY EXPENSIVE CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOLIC DRINKS, THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR THEIR MEDICAL INSURANCE! PEOPLE NEED TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE AND STOP COMPLAINING!

    March 22, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. dedee

    Well,who is the person asking the questions? Where are they asking them and to whom are they asking? CNN, you are bias and you love the conservative republican party. YOU are as bitter as the republican congress and the bitter tea party. I ask you to respect the majority the democratic party and all american people other than your bias racist tea party minority!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also check out the New Party the coffee party, unlike the tea party they are not bias, racist , and they care about all issues other than the republican party.

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. Julia Zupeda

    I find this unbelievable that CNN would put up a "poll" of the President's
    "new" disapproval rating after the health care victory.

    Let me guess. These 54% are Republicans and teabaggers. No?

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Shouterguy

    It isn't a popularity contest. I'm proud that this president lived up to his commitments. He will be just fine.

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Rowe

    I understand that the 24/7 cable news channels are desperate to find something to talk about now that the health reform bill fight is all but over, but polls like this are meaningless.

    According to Gallup:

    Ronald Reagan (served two terms and became a conservative icon) had a 46% approval rating in March of his second year.

    George H.W. Bush (a one termer) had a 71% approval rating in March of his second year.

    In fact, Reagan (46%), Clinton (51%), Carter (49%), and Nixon (54%) all had virtually the same approval ratings as Obama in March of their second year in office.

    So, the fact that Obama's approval ratings are identical to those of Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Clinton at the same point in their presidency is supposed to mean....what, exactly?

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. len colorado

    CNN: one other point, were is your poll on how American people feel about the disgusting behavior of Republicans and "Tea Party and right wing conservatives" this past weekend? Report, do not sway the facts!!!

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. Tochi

    Government by opinion polls-thank god we have an intelligent president who governs by reason

    March 22, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Fola

    oh please, give this guy a break!!!! He is doing a good job

    March 22, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. sfcmac

    Awwwwww....wassa matta? All of the liberal tools who voted this Alinskyite into office are getting disillusioned with their lord and savior? Tsk. Tsk.

    March 22, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. Doc Merlin

    Hrm, so this CNN poll is now following Rasmusen's

    March 22, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Really???

    Pack your bags! You're Fired!

    March 22, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Buh bye in 2012 when you get voted out TOTUS

    March 22, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. MJH1978

    It is going to be even lower after the vote Sunday... Now the president is going to try and "sell" the bill to the American people. I guess is 40+ speeches on healthcare over the last year haven't been enough.

    March 22, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. TB

    I wish some poll would ask me about this some time. I'm educated, moderate of view, of distant European heritage (nearly 400 years of American roots), employed, re-married, a father, a grandpa, mortgaged, and well-burnished by real life's ups and downs.

    I'm with Obama. He's put his focus where it needs to be - on domestic issues: re-building our economy after 8 years of reckless spending, valuing health care for those outside the womb every bit as much for those yet unborn, re-regulating a financial system gone wild, preparing for the reality of a world with limited energy resources, and reforming a failing education system. He's about supporting the middle class and preserving opportunity for those from more humble origins. He's about protecting the decent from the rapacious, and helping the many realize their dreams, much like the privileged. Why is that worthy of disapproval ?

    March 22, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. txdemoct

    Why is this such a shock. Obama campaigned for Healthcare and Finance Reform. Oh I know, politicians are normally don't follow through on their promises. Well this one is on a mission to do what he stated. I'm in shock!!
    Contract with America worked so well for Republicans!

    March 22, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. flexx

    THIS poor guy has been doing everything possible to get things done & has done so! it's the republicans that are racist & are not wanting to cooperate with him at all, because they are afraid of him! it's disgusting, the GOP , TEA PARTY, & THE HATE MONGERS! SHAME ON YOU ALL!

    March 22, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Dick

    Finally!!!! A President that is willing to do something!!!! Now many of our seniors will not have to choose between supper and medication. Finally, my friend can retire from the prison we work at even though he has cancer in remission. His wife has a pre-existing condition and his doctor says get out now and enjoy what time you have left. Finally!

    March 22, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. dj

    i take it a majority of those polled were Republicans as always with nothing better to say

    March 22, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    These are the same people who will be paying less or finally will be able to have health care insurance for themselves and their family.
    Then again, if anyone really thought that this isn't about race the handful of hateful individuals, including members of Congress, showed their hand on Sunday. Those members should be fired for treason!!
    Now I know why boner didn't want the bill to pass. There's a 10% tax increase on tanning. Between that and that wig of his he is going to have to dish out more money. Is limberger really leaving the US? He is asking that "they have to be wiped out". I doubt he means anything good should come to those who voted for this bill.
    I wonder which country will allow him to set foot on their soil.

    March 22, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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