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. Jeff from Chicago

    What this really shows is 8 out of 10 democrats cannot think for themselves, and 15 of 20 non democrats can.

    If you cannot see that things have progressively gotten worse over the last 1.5 years, you obviously have someone else doing your thinking.
    Unemployment up!!!
    deficit waaaaaay up!!!
    The nation more divided than anytime since the civil war.

    Oh wait, let's blame Bush. That doesn't work anymore people.
    Somewhere along the line this is now Obama's presidency, and as much as we would like, we cannot go back.

    You wanted change, but you should have specified postive change.

    Not all change is good. (Should be the new republican battle cry!)

    July 23, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Rickster

    I might as well say this before the empty-headed democrats start their usual chirping about Bush:
    Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress,and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011.
    For FY 2009 Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.
    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.
    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.
    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

    July 23, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. scott

    Funny how 9 out of 10 Republicans disapprove of Obamas handling of the economy. I suspect 9 out of those same 10 voted for Bush, whose policies are responsible for the current economic mess we are in.
    I won't even delve into the 2 wars he started, Wall Street, Housing, Federal Debt, etc....he dumped into Obamas lap to clean up after.
    They caused the mess now they complain about the amount of time and money its taking to fix it? Morons...........

    July 23, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Incompetent-DICTATOR

    Obozo, Pelosi, and Reid have done EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to ensure that businesses in this country DO NOT HIRE PEOPLE. They have shown they are COMPLETELY CLUELESS about how the private sector works and how and why they create jobs.

    Their focus on screwing up the healthcare system in this country, cap & tax, corporate takeovers and shakedowns, demonizing every business in sight, and on and on has driven the private sector into a cave where they are hunkering down until these fools are driven out of office.

    They got EXACTLY what they deserved and millions of unemployed Americans are paying the price for their stupidity.

    July 23, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. thor

    Poll nubers don't matter because you can manipulate them by the way the questions are asked and who makes up the sample.However,it doesn't take away from the fact in the real world the economy sucks!! After 18 months in office you would expect a better performance than 9.5% rate and higher for teens and minorities.Maybe it's because Obama has never worked in the private sector and spent his entire life living off the government at taxpayers exspense.And instead of focusing on creating jobs he more focused on creating his "socialist utopia"

    July 23, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. XWngLady

    This is soooooooooooo stupid! What did they expect the President to do? He doesn't CREATE JOBS....Did he not say that we would be looking at a poor economy for at least 2 years, if not more? I specifically heard him say that before and after he was elected. Americans have selective and/or very short memories. He asked for a big stimulus to really throw us into a recovery and the Republicans balked that it was too much. Now that everyone realizes that the 780 billion was not enough to get us completely out, they want to blame the President????? What crack is everyone smoking. OMG! we were headed for a complete meltdown of our economy. Now we have positive grown, businesses doing much better and unemployment (while still high) is down significantly from the millions of jobs losses that we were dealing with before....what about the recovery that we are experiencing are people disapproving of? If they are mad about jobs, then they should blame the business that they love so much for not hiring. They COULD hire if they wanted to!!! They just DON'T WANT TO for a very simple reason....they don't want to spend the money. They can get just as much productivity squeezed out of the employees that they have left, so why bother. They just don't want to hire you....Period. And there's nothing the President, the Congress or even the Pope can do about it.

    July 23, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Dave

    Reagan was at 42% approval rating at this time in his presidency and now Chicago has a highway named after him and Washington D.C. has an airport named after him.

    There is a lesson in that last statement. This poll at this time frame is meaningless.

    July 23, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Orlando Patriot

    Most sane individuals find that when they make bad decision after bad decision they take a step back and determine what is the best course of action going forward. Do I make some revisions? Do I discuss with other informed individuals? No, not this incompetent president. He has an agenda and by golly no matter how bad it affects this great country it will be pursued. He is either ignorant or is ruining this country on purpose. I think it is the later.

    Obama is INTENTIONALLY killing our economy just like FDR did with the "New Deal". FDR initiated policies that hurt our economy and pushed us into a Great Depression that lasted over 10 years. Is Obama trying to beat FDR as the most damaging economic policy in U.S. history? I guess so. What Obama has done will irreparably harm this economy for many years to come and could actually be 10 years or more before we rocover. In fact the Federal Reserve Chairman (Ben Bernanke) was even quoted saying it could be a decade before our economy starts to grow again at traditional levels. Thanks Obama for ruining our great country and we will remove not only the Democrats that supported this catastrophe (which is ALL of them) but will remove your butt in 2012.

    July 23, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Da Professor

    "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."

    What a pathetic poll! Apparently those polled have forgotten that the Economy went into a tailspin at the end of the Bushy – Dicky era. And it has been Obama that bailed us out of a near Depression.

    You DO NOT start two wars, FAIL to have an exit strategy AND FAIL to fund those wars, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. That dumb approach compounded the deficit problem.

    Then the foolish NO Party voted against new controls over the Big Banks and Wall Street that tossed us into the near depression in the first place back in the last year of the Bushy – Dicky term in office.

    College Business Professor
    And, a disgusted Republican

    July 23, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Mike

    Let me ask a question to the 57% that disapprove... What is he supposed to do? He does not have a magic wand, and Republicans that block everything from jobless benefits to stimulus have tied his hands. Do you understand how the government works? Republicans want the economy to be terrible, so they can win in November. Get it? Make it so the Dems cant do anything, and then run a race in which you point to the Dems and say they have done nothing. 57% of Americans are just ignorant I guess, unless someone has another explaination.

    July 23, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    I can hear it now:
    Bush's fault..., we inherited..., the GOP......, blah, blah, blah!
    I will concede we are an impatient people. I will also concede Congress controls the purse strings and no President has much control over the economy (if any), yet is the focus of the blame! Obama knew this when he ran! This knowledge did not stop him from making promises he knew he could not deliver without the Congress! Blame the GOP if you will but there have been plenty of Democrats that have not been so happy with him either! He WAS a Senator and knew how DC worked. Case in point, at one time the Dems had a super majority! Not much was accomplished back then!

    July 23, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Ric

    I’m sure the Libtards will blame Bush and dig for some misguided reason as to why Obama a complete failure. Denial has set in with blacks and white ultra-liberals that will make excuses for this Marxist even if he killed innocent people on prime time TV.

    GOP will win in Nov. big time and Obama is out BEFORE 2012. I bet he is forced to resign due to gross incompetence.

    July 23, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. JANUARY 20, 2013 - THE END OF AN ERROR

    The funny thing is the Democrats have no choice but to extend the Bush tax cuts. If they don't, the economy will really tank and there will not be enough time for sufficient recovery before the 2012 election cycle begins.

    July 23, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Dave

    I guess the government should put their hands in this huh. What's wrong with the economy, I've been doing rather well?

    July 23, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. JP

    Obama's economic policies are a joke.
    A stimulas bill was the right thing to do the problem is Obama's stimulas had more to do with advancing a social agenda than stimulating the economy that is why it failed.

    Obama held a jobs summit and did invite the chamber of commerce.

    Obama is prounion. Unions destroy jobs.

    Obama is protrial lawyer. Trial lawyers help to destroy the economy by sucking out its life blood. Currently Obama is working with the treasury department to give the trial lawyers a 1.4 billion dollar tax break. Economics 101 if you subsidize something you get more of it.

    Borrowing money from China to expand the bloated federal workforce hurts more than helps the economy.

    Obama is proillegal. The illegals steal jobs which hurts the economy and costs taxpayers 113 billion a year. Obama doesn't care if illegals hurt the economy since he views them as undocumented voters for 2012.

    Obama said we can't afford our current entitlement programs so he created a new entitlement program and mislebled it reform. It will cost us more not less. See what it costs when the illegals get it.

    Obama demonizes big business who does he think creates jobs.

    July 23, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. FM

    Those who are disapproving the way the President is handling the economy, were they really aware of how bad the economy was and where it was heading to, when he took over the Office? knowledge is something one can not buy instead its something one can acquire!

    July 23, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Peter s

    Obama is not an economic magician and you all cable TV are to blame? where were you when former President BUSH, Cheney and Karl Rove were rooming the wall street? collapsed our economy and then said wal street got drunk then my question is who was the brewer of the beer , wine, vodka, or whisky? Its you egoistic cable tv led by fix news, and the bush entire regime!! so please knock it of lying with statistics!!. MAY GOD BLESS PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE WORK OF HIS HANDS!

    July 23, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Mike

    Polls are over rated ppl only respond in the heat of the moment it's not a sign for November!

    July 23, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. beevee

    CNN pl. stop be these meaningless polls. Just who are these folks you are taking polls of? what is their party affiliation? I can bet that the people with low opinion of the president's handling of economy are mostly republicans. To me they seem to make a lot of sense especially in the long-term. It sure cannot be a shrt-term remedy considering how deep a hole we got into under the previous administration.

    July 23, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Mike

    Since this is a CNN poll I would assume a "non-biased" poll would probably have his numbers lower.

    You can group CNN in with the likes of MSNBC when it comes to being anything but positive toward Democrats.
    After all if you read the CNN posts then most of the people in the poll are probably Democrats to begin with so even 42% is quite a surprise.

    July 23, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. JES

    What do you expect more spending an more debt.

    Your taxes will be going up next year and Obama doesn't care about anybody but him.

    July 23, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Basic Econ 101

    I have an MBA from one of the nation's top Ivy League schools ... so maybe some critic of the President can explain to me how adminstration policy is a PRIMARY .... or even SECONDARY ... lever for the economy ... especially in the short term.

    Jobs are created 1st and foremost by demand for additonal products. So called "job creation tax cuts to businesses" do ZERO to create DEMAND. A businessman hires more people when he can't meet demand.

    Whe she can't meet demand, the businesswoman is losing potential profits and is MOTIVATED to hire. The only thing tax policy does is inflate the profits of the business .... IT DOES NOT contribute to reducing unemployment.

    Tax cuts for PP&E (property, plant & equipment) only STEALS from the future and results in capital orders today. It is not sound policy and it is what the GOP has done for 30 years .... robbed Peter to pay Paul. Unfortunately the day of reckoning is hear it its hear on President Obama's watch.

    At best, tax cuts for businesses are a TIERTIARY influence on unemployment.

    GOP'ers .... I'm waiting for your lucid explaination of fiscal policy. Tell me why businesses order without demand. Tell me how tax cuts to business creates DEMAND

    July 23, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Wisconsinite

    If Hillary Clinton does not quickly disassociate herself from the Obama Administration, she and the Democrats will not stand a chance of winning the 2012 presidential election.

    July 23, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Oregon Calling

    Say it ain't so Joe "nearly nine in 10 Republicans disapproving of Obama's job on the economy".... I am shocked!!!!!!

    I still approve!

    Peace 🙂

    middle age person here as race and gender shouldn't matter.

    July 23, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. La Piovra

    I note that the power to hire or to lend to small businesses lies exactly with the financial institutions and megabusinesses that were bailed out... but were royally miffed over being re-regulated. They are now sitting on their assets instead of putting them into the domestic economy, and the resulting discontent is recoiling on the party that passed the regulations. A coincidence, Watson?

    July 23, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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