July 23rd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama's approval on economy drops to new low

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/23/art.obama.0723y.gi.jpg caption ="President Obama’s approval rating on the economy is down to 42 percent, according to a new CNN Poll."] Washington (CNN) - Americans approval of how President Barack Obama is handling the nation's economy has dropped to its lowest level of his presidency, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 42 percent of the public approves of how Obama's dealing with the economy, down 2 points from March, with 57 percent disapproving of his performance on the economy, up 2 points from March. The survey's Friday release comes as the president made comments at the White House on what he termed the progress made this week on the economy and job recovery.

Full results [pdf]

The poll suggests a wide partisan divide on the issue, with nearly eight in 10 Democrats giving the president a thumbs up and nearly nine in 10 Republicans disapproving of Obama's job on the economy. According to the survey, two-thirds of independents disapprove of the president's economic performance.

"The public hasn't given Obama good marks on the economy since last September, and his approval rating on the economy, now at 42 percent, has been stuck in the mid-to-low 40s throughout this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Part of the reason for that is that Americans haven't seen much to cheer about on the economic front. Nearly eight in ten say that economic conditions are somewhat poor or very poor."

While there were some vague signs of optimism in poll results earlier this year - when the number of Americans who said that the economy was in "very poor" shape had been slowly but steadily declining - that seems to have fizzled. Thirty-seven percent said things were in poor shape in our May poll; the same number feel that way now.

"Nonetheless, the Democrats are winning the battle for public opinion when it comes to deficit reduction versus job creation. Only a quarter say it is more important for the Obama administration to focus on the deficit; 74 percent say that creating jobs is more important," adds Holland.

Thursday the president signed the Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010, which restores unemployment benefits to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession. The Republicans argued against the legislation, saying that the Democrats bill would add to the country's already massive budget deficit.\

According to the survey, the economy remains the No. 1 issue on the minds of Americans, with nearly half saying it is the most important problem facing the country. Only one other issue, the deficit, cracks double-digits, but only 13 percent pick the deficit as their top concern. Immigration, health care, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq trail far behind.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted July 16-21, before the passage of the extension of jobless benefits but after passage of the Wall Street and financial reform legislation. One-thousand and eighteen adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Polls • Economy • issues • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Glenn Koons

    As his arrogant little chin is pointed upwards, today, the Chicago Thug told us how wonderful the economy was just in this last week. This naif in the WH is simply an elitist progressive socialist who frankly should retire. The only reason this is not a good thing, is Biden!!!! LOL OK, let the entire Dem leadership retire. OK, let all Dems , locally, state, and federally lose in Nov. Now that would improve the economy immediately.

    July 23, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Washington DC Insider

    I like how CNN makes this partisian poll seem like it is the American People. Yeah, duh, Democrats are going to be supporting the President and, yeah, duh, Republicans are not going to be supporting the President. I find it odd that the war in Afghanistan is so far behind on everyone's mind. Maybe that is why it is no longer a major issue that this Administration is tackling.

    I guess we'll have to wait until this November to see what the political landscape looks like. Personally, I hope Hillary Clinton resigns as Secretary of State and runs for President in 2012. I am regretting my vote from 2008.

    July 23, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Laurie

    The economy has improved. The President has done an excellent job in managing a terrible crisi and he should be commended.

    July 23, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Well of course it droped. Why do you think the republicans keep saying no to everything, its working for them. And you people can't see its the republicans mission to keep it down. Doesn't matter who they maybe hurting. "GO REPUBLICIANS"

    July 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |

    The democrats must believe we are all stupid. Do they really believe that by spending more/more/more we can reduce are deficits? The only way that can be successful is if the government takes away everything every citizen in the US owns. Is this the Obama/democrat plan?

    July 23, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. nathan

    One party has a conscience. And they are not on the right.

    July 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. David in Houston

    They must be longing for the good old days of George W. Bush!

    I guess they think it's more fun driving the country into the ditch than having to work to pull it out!

    These folks must have one seriously short memory...

    & unfortunately, those who fail to learn from history will be destined to repeat it.

    July 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    How does the Obama approval rating on the economy compare with the Bush approval rating?

    Bush got us here in eight years and Obama is supposed to get us out in two??? That doesn't seem fair.

    July 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Johnathan

    What do you say we give the republicans that dug the hole a 2nd chance? FAT CHANCE!

    July 23, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Ted

    Typical Repukelicans, the Grand Obstructionist Party, AKA The Party of NO to blame Obama for the state of the economy when it is a FACT that George W Bush's administration and its actions/inactions pushed us into this economic recession and the FACT that the Party of No is not providing any ideas or solutions to help us get back out of it.

    Obama has been trying to get us out of the problem. But all the GOP can do is to suggest MORE tax cuts for the wealthy and screw the unemployed out of unemployment benefits.

    July 23, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    "According to the survey, two-thirds of independents disapprove of the president's economic performance."

    There are 2 widely accepted facts when it comes to elections – that people vote with their pocketbook, and that you can't win unless you win the independents. I'd say that makes things look bleak for democrats... and unless Obama starts paying attention, even bleaker for him in '12.

    Anyway... the first commenter who says they're not polling enough African Americans gets a cookie...

    July 23, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Shari from Madison WI

    I am as concerned about the economy as everyone else seems to be, but I can't and won't blame the President for it.. I blame both the democrats and the republicans! They can't do anything else but blame each other and we the people either get our hackles up and throw mud at each other or we don't give a da*mn. There is no center and unfortunately that means any president, republican or democrat can accomplish much of anything.

    July 23, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. atypical

    It's unrealistic to blame one person for an economy–particularly and economy that's been destined to nosedive for years.
    Read the econ book, "Aftershock."
    We ain't seen nothin' yet.

    July 23, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. felicia

    So what, these polls reflect what white folks think of our black President so this don't mean a thing.

    July 23, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. CBR

    The economy seems to be slowly getting better. I think we were warned that the comeback could take a long time. I do believe that the administration is making progress. What we do not need is a change in taxes until the deficit is paid down.

    If you are out of work it must seem like forever, Those of us who are able to survive this downturn are very fortunate. That being said we need to pressure big business companies that have the money to hire employees back should begin to do so. Banks need to begin giving small business loans particularly to small businesses who are succeeding.

    Instead of blaming let's unite to do better for everyone.

    July 23, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. one voice

    57% of the people polled are IDIOTS, PERIOD

    July 23, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Tony 140

    What do you expect. Obama and his minions are either career politicians, career academics or community activists. None of them have ever beeen in the real world. No wonder they can't get it even close to right with the economy, immigration, health care, financial reform and the wars.

    July 23, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    All you have to do is read the FACTS about all the new taxes coming in 2011 and 2012, how UNIONS are exempt from certain taxes and regulations, and you start to see how horrible this bozo is.

    We need a RECALL ELECTON now.

    July 23, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    I am surprised it is as high as it is considering he is an inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady clown. Obama one and done. If we can impreach him before then the better.

    July 23, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Indy

    There is no President or Prime Minister in the world that can snap their fingers and turn an economy around just because they are the President. Three things will change an economy and that is people, demand, and supply which has nothing to do with who is President. Americans get so wrapped up in the blame game and putting celebrities on a pedastal they waste energy on all the wrong things. You have to work with the sitting President and all of the State officials and have a focus of working together. Too many people think that it is more important what Sarah Palin has to tweet each day and loose all focus on important issues and get sucked into empty speeches from people who do nothing to help their country.Every country in the world is struggling right now but at least they focus together and strive for the same goal of getting their countries back on track. You don't see the childish political/celebrity blame game in successful countries.

    July 23, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Dano

    It wouldn't matter if the economy was fully recovered and booming, Republicans would not approve of President Obama. I do remember that they gave GWB a high approval even as the economy was tanking and the deficit exploded under his watch, so this poll is not surprising at all.

    July 23, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Jim

    With all of the negativity flying around generated by the ultra-conservative Right, what do you expect? All they do is create fear and mistrust. The economy is recovering, albeit more slowly than many would like. But if the recovery is more methodical, maybe it will actually last.

    July 23, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Liz the First

    Well, this totally proves the expression, 'not all republicans are stupid, but most stupid people are republicans.' glad to see we Dems know what's actually going on and appreciate all the incredibly hard work this good man is doing for the country and ALL its people. and each of us needs to get out to vote in November and rid the congress of the republican't infestation and then watch some great things start happening. 🙂 there are far more Democrats in this country than there are right-wingnuts. the only reason there are any repugs in office anywhere is voter apathy.

    July 23, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Becker

    Economic conditions have been miserable and only by the sweat of the American people are we starting to a glimmer of light. Unfortunately President Obama has scared businesses and caused constrained spending in the private sector. Companies are lax to make large capital investments and hire new people when the Obama administration is so anti-business.

    July 23, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. anagram_kid

    1,018 PEOPLE IN THE POLL. How is that a meaningful sample?

    I really wish CNN would put the number of people polled in either the headline or in the first line of the article instead of burying it at the end. And I see they have a new trick of spelling the number instead of just listing it. PLEASE CNN, stop with the meaningless polls!

    July 23, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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