September 3rd, 2010
12:40 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama approval up after Iraq speech

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" President Obama’s approval rating is up, according to a new CNN Poll."](CNN) - A new national poll indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating has edged up three points, and it appears that the war in Iraq is behind the bump. But according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, Americans are giving the president bad marks on the economy.

The survey, released Friday, indicates that 50 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing as president, up from 47 percent in last month, with 49 percent disapproving, down two points from August. And Obama's approval on how he's handling the conflict in Iraq now stands at 57 percent, an eight point jump from July. The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, after the president gave a prime time address from the Oval Office on Iraq.

Full results [pdf]

"Obama's decision to remove combat troops from Iraq is very popular," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only three in ten Americans say that the U.S. should still have combat troops in Iraq, with 28 percent saying that this is the right time to remove them and another four in ten thinking that should have happened before now."

But the poll doesn't suggest that the public's optimistic about Iraq - most say that the remaining U.S. troops will wind up in combat situations and that the Iraqi government won't be able to maintain order once all U.S. troops are removed.

"Only one in five think the war in Iraq is over, and the war itself remains very unpopular," adds Holland.

Six in ten questioned in the poll say the 2007 surge of U.S. combat troops in Iraq was a success. President George W. Bush ordered the increase of troops, but only four out of ten say they approve of how Bush handled the situation in Iraq, with 59 percent they disapprove.

Presidential candidate Obama pledged to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. Tuesday night President Obama announced the end of the U.S. combat mission in the country. Do Americans think Obama's doing a good job keeping campaign promises? Fifty one percent of those questioned in the poll say yes, with 47 percent saying no.

The poll indicates that the public still give the president poor marks on the economy - with four in ten giving him a thumbs up on the economy and nearly six in ten disapproving of his track record on the issue, which remains upmost in the minds of Americans.

"The fact that Iraq is not the most important issue to most Americans indicates that any advantage Obama gained as a result of his speech on Tuesday will be temporary," says Holland.

Obama's overall approval rating got its biggest bump in two regions where there are a number of endangered Democratic House seats. His approval rating is up six points in the Midwest, to 49 percent. And his 48 percent approval rating in the South is four points higher than in August. More than eight in ten Democrats like Obama and more than eight in ten Republicans dislike him. His rating among independents, at 45 percent, is essentially unchanged since last month.

The poll was conducted as the president led a two day Middle East peace initiative at the White House, which has led to promises of a second round of negotiations later this month between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. But the survey indicates that only one in four think peace can be achieved in the period ahead - the lowest number of record dating back to 1982, when the question was first asked.

The CNN/Opinon Research Corporation poll was conducted September 1-2, with 1,024 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 • Iraq • issues • President Obama
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    His approval ratings will be alot higher if we didn't have an obstructionist party hell bent on seeing him fail. The republicans are waiting for their Waterloo moment and fortunately for us, they haven't gotten it. Keep up the good work Mr. President.

    September 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Jay

    God Bless you President Obama. There is something clearly sick with society when a man that ends a war is opposed by people who support a man who starts wars (Bush).

    Tragic that we must share this planet with so many stupid and uneducated fools.

    Wish the South had successfully seceded from the North during the Civil War. At least these stupid rednecks could have had a country of their own and left the rest of us in peace, while in time, their country collapsed.

    September 3, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Shucks

    That is because he is keeping his word, unlike the previous administration that lied to the American people about everything, including raising the alert level a week prior to an election when even the homeland security head and his military advisors thought it was erroneous. This president continues to outshine, and out perform his predecessor by miles. President Obama, the republican party is in complete turmoil as noted in the most recent primaries, and the in party fighting and bickering. Now, that it seems that the economy is turning around, and new real jobs have actually been added, they are going to try to discredit, or take credit for any turn around that occurs. However, we the people have been watching the party of NO try and block any constructive plan to promote job growth, including this small business aid program. REPUBLICANS, America is watching and listening. Even though you may be more vocal, the message is very clear. You just have to have an IQ above "moron" to realize that by 2012, you better have one heck of a candidate to defeat this president. Currently you have NOTHING!!!!

    September 3, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. obama victim

    our thanks to President Bush who made this possible for Barry

    September 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Barack Obama is one of the great Presidents in United States history! What a blessing after living through eight years of agony under George Bush!

    September 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. katiec

    CNN cannot have an article about the president or democrats without adding their "buts". Hmmm, seem to miss this practice with the republicans.
    Do the higher ups at CNN ever pay any attention to Ticker? Do they care how bias it is for the right, notice that Palin is shoved down our throats daily? Ignore any accomplishments but dwell on negativity?
    Does anyone care that this website lacks in integrity and honor?
    CNN is supposed to be in big trouble with their station. Ticker is one of the reasons why.

    September 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    Obama is a great President, especially when compared to Republican Presidents, and he's just getting started.

    The Repubs will keep trying to change facts and history, but their evil deads will/do catch up to them.

    September 3, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Whatever

    Who are they polling (calling)?!?!?! How many people??!!! I have never been called and until I am (I guess I'll have to actually listen to the telemarketers-NOT)... I won't believe that they are polling the nation.

    Society expected an instant fix to a situation that took years of compliancency to get us into. STOP THE MADNESS... support him GOP or GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! The people who truly support the President must turn out in same record numbers this mid term election to ensure that the President's opponents do not win the majority. Stopping hold up progress in order to gain control only to shut down government with silly nonsense!!

    September 3, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. vic

    His approval rate never down

    September 3, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. James from Cali

    He said the war was over, but yet 50,000 troops are staying in Iraq....hmm

    September 3, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Laura, Boston

    @Shucks..its about time he kept at least one campaign promise..what about the 1000s of others he didn't keep...

    I wouldn't go out and celebrate over a 3 point jump..remember the unemployment rate just ticked up another 1/10th of a point. It is now 9.6% nevermind what the underemployed rate is about 18% in some states.

    If it wasn't for the surge, we would still be there. So even though Bush brought the country into an unnecessary war (I hold him responsible for that), he still gets credit for handling it right when he did.

    Laura, Boston

    September 3, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. RJ

    God Bless you Obama oh gross! I am embarrassed to have him as our president. he is the worst president and I am a democrat too, but not for long. In November I am voting republican for all elections. We need change from this! I'd take Bush back in a heart beat! Yuck!

    September 3, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Funny how the repubs want Regan to be credited with "wining the cold war" forget about the fifty years of effort by many Presidents and partiots, and when Obama has to step up and delcare the war over and won, they see it as a Bush victory??

    It's Dubya's fault, not his victory.

    September 3, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. RJ

    Obamas poll numbers are down only because people don't like what he has done! Pretty simple!

    September 3, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Dave, Central Illinois

    You libtards are so clueless. Bush approved the surge which brought about the eventual victory in Iraq. I know that libtards like to rewrite history to suit their needs, but give it a few more years until thinking people can't remember it anymore at least.
    Oh, Jay, you are the uneducated fool. Your total lack of historical perspective clearly shows your ignorance. But, then again, you are a libtard and thus have an excuse....

    September 3, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. AF.

    Thank you Mr. President. You have done a great job for the troops and their family. God bless you, God bless USA

    September 3, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. norma

    Thank you President Obama for continuing to fulfill your campaign promises. Combat troops out of Iraq. 7 straight months of private sector job growth. Health insurance reform preventing private health insurance companies from dropping coverage when you actually need the coverage you've paid for. Fair pay act for women. And, by the way, more deportations of illegal immigrants than any other president in history.

    That is Hope and Change we can believe in! (and it eats up you angry rigth wingers, doesn't it?!?!)

    September 3, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Mike D.

    My number one reason behind voting for Obama was his promise to end the war. This is a great start but lets get ALL the soldiers home.

    September 3, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    ONLY IDIOTS sit and listen to the blatant GOP lies, hate, fear, negativity. If they have no hope, no plans, to he!! with them.

    VOTE the GOP out !!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. The Incompetent Mr. Obama

    I am laughing at the comments supporting Mr. OBOZO. These are the kool-aid drinkers who can pay for his tax increases and the deficit this clown is running up.

    OBOZO's highlights:
    *Increased taxes and fees
    *More than tripled the deficit in less than 16 months
    *Increase Fed GOVT Budget spending by over 20%
    *Supports amnesty so we can have more on welfare
    *Has no clue how to create jobs (except GOVT jobs where debt runs higher)

    Yeah, OBOZO is doing a great job.

    You fools pay for this. Call me when you have successfully run a business.

    September 3, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    President Obama is a good man, a brilliant man and sincere-caring man, who wants to do his very best for America! We approve of you, President Obama, no matter what the haters say.

    Considering the "stellar" candidates that the GOP has, they should not count their "chickens" before they hatch!

    Folks, please tell your friends the TRUTH, about what the GOP has planned IF they win a majority: investigations, impeachment of a democratically elected president; they will repeal Medicare and Social Security!

    in NOvember vote NO for the Party of NO!

    (To CNN: what's up? Why pander to the lying Conservatives?)

    September 3, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. TooManyMisinformed

    Outstanding job taking credit for the surge from the previous administration and then using the same stratgegy for Afghanistan, "we'll pull out . . . but depending on circumstances on the ground." Regarding obstructionists, why would people in their right mind be so gullible and actually approve quadrupling of the deficit, trampling on our civil liberties, appointing people who don't pay their taxes to be in charge in key positions in government, and who squandered all the stimulus money with no jobs being created except government jobs.

    Each day when I ride to and from work, I see an increasing number of unemployed just sitting around or begging on the street numbers.
    That's what's happening outside the beltway, and why would anyone be so incredibly stupid to believe there has been an economic recovery? There have also been more lies, arrogance, and unwillingness to listen to the citizens of this nation. How is that an improvement over the previous administration? Liberals need to quit using false information and rhetoric in their desperate attempts to promote lies before the November elections. The results are all around us, in our faces, in the numbers spelled out in the number of unemployed, the unemployment rate, and the deficit. You can't argue with that. And most importantly, this started with a Democrat controlled Congress during the last two years of the Bush administration.

    Liberals stand by for the largest proctological surgery in history when November comes around; that's when voters who are sick and tired of your political agenda that is ruining this country will perform the "rectal-cranial" extraction at the polls!

    September 3, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Nadeem

    A few things are related.

    1. Iraq war over

    2. Gulf Spill over

    3. Healthcare is not the boogy man the GOP claimed it was, seniors are gettting cheques to the the doughnut hole, people are not being deinsured.

    In the end it is still about the economy and untill this mild recovery turns into a strong recovery his numbers will not go too much higher. when i compare him to the GOP, i would still pick President Obama over what appears to be going back to the Bush agenda.

    September 3, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Mike

    katiec, CNN and the rest of the MSM give Democrats and the left a break far more often than republicans. The 'buts' are very real, and it's about time Obama starts to get objectively measured rather than having the press as a fan club. If anything they need to be tougher, particularly on foreign policy and the economy, two areas of impotency by the Obama Administration.

    September 3, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Engloid

    A fool and his money will soon be parted, as the saying goes. The stupid votors are being parted from their money, and will be for many many years now.

    Isn't it interesting how easily an idiot's opinion can be swayed? Obama does a speech and gains about 10% in popularity.

    How about that 9.6% unemployment? Thanks Obama, for changing so many unemployed people's lives!! They once had to work for a living, now they're poor and don't have to work!!

    September 3, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6