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. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    It's so hard to fathom - we have a president who makes a promise and then tries very hard to keep his word. They weren't just campaign nonsense like we heard for so long.

    President Obama is a man with integrity who wants to help the American people and who loves this country.

    Thank you, America, for voting for this man!

    OBAMA – 2012

    September 3, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Bill

    I don't know how anyone can approve of our President. Other than trying to be somewhat respectful he has done nothing but drag the economy into the ground and be led around by Bush on the war initiatives. He will go down as worse than even Carter.

    September 3, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We have spent trillions in the Iraq war, trillions that now can be used to reduce our deficit. Republicans knew this was President Obama's plan to reduce the deficit and that's why they have lied to the American people and refused to help the cause. THINK ABOUT IT.

    September 3, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. HR

    I think the President has done a great job of cleaning up the economic catatrophies and the international conficts created by our misguided and inept former President and his administration. Now If the President can just get the financial advisors to take a course on 21st century economics, and understand we need to incentivise our companies to bring back jobs and invest in competitive manufacturing. Also, he needs to also educate all that with our economy based on housing, and consumerism, the longer you dont spend, the more painful it will be. Spending and investing will fuel growth. If we dont, we will safe ourselves into a depression ! Good work so far Mr. President, now please use your influence and communications gifts to send the message. Im a big fan, have voted for you, and am so glad we didnt have another four years of Republicans, we would surely have been in a deep depression and created a global catastrophy.

    September 3, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Robert

    One of the Greatest Presidents this country has known... stay tuned for more. And vote Democratic this fall to keep the momentum going!

    September 3, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Facts are not fair to the GOP

    We are beginning to see the demise of the Dumb as Rocks (Dar) conservative movement. While Republicans are celebrating the success of their efforts of moving American jobs overseas to hurt workers and unions, people are beginning to see through their attempts to punish the middle class for the last 8 years.

    September 3, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Chad from Tampa

    This is the same guy that opposed the surge, which made it possible for him to have his little speech. GWB never gets any credit, Obama is a tool.

    September 3, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. William

    well we know that poll is a lie because all the other polls show him going down. he is at 43 % approval not 50 % and the people that really count the independents give him only a 33 % approval.

    September 3, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. John Galt

    Dutch: I see you repeat this "obstructionist" point in lots of postings, but the republicans (assuming that's who you're referring to) can't obstruct anything the President and democrats want to do. They've got majorities in both houses. They may be a loud minority, but they've got no power to stop this President. And everyone has the right to be on the other side of any or all of these issues. Posts like this remove any credibility from your ideas.

    September 3, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. John

    Obama has misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach and has failed to address the main issue. Fiscal disasters like the health-care plan, where improvements in costs and not coverage itself were what Americans wanted. Overall, he has failed to connect with the voters, and his overall plummet in the polls are clear evidence to this. A small bounce up in the polls right after a speech is normal, regardless of who is in office.

    September 3, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. alex

    His approval rating will be better if he take another vacation.Each time he blame Bush- isee his code, I cannot do it,it is too hard to be president,. and it is also Bush gilt.

    September 3, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. terry,va

    @ Jeff Brown.....get back in line to get your food stamps and welfare check. If you get out of line you will have to stay at home and get it out of the mail box!!
    @Dutch/Bad Newz,Va...your posts shows true brilliance in sporting the blind mice that follows Obummie. Get of the Kool-Aid and see things for what they are. Obummie has piss poor economic policies. That is why the repubs are against him. The only people that support him have their hand out or are the liberal radicals that don't care about the country and it's survival. Their goal is to become like Greece and explode the country economically.
    @ Jay......We are headed for a civil war with the MOST racially and economically dividing president we have ever had.

    September 3, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. robert

    It was a great speech. I have a feeling, the vacation is over. Obama will have one thing after another for the next 5 weeks leading up the elections. Cmon, good economic news, maybe a half point drop in unemployment or a great round of earnings reports...

    September 3, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Mark B.

    You people are absolutely seperated from truth. This was GWB's timeline and ONLY because he stuck to his guns (something Obama could never even conceptualize) and wouldn't cowtow to the likes of then Sens. Obama, Reid and Spreaker Pelosi this would not have been possible. Progressives and liberals can try to revise history but you can't revise present day reality. Many here are sheep following the other sheep.

    September 3, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. WM

    CNN lies. They had a poll going when the prez made his speech the other night. In every question, he was failing, so, what did they do. They closed it down early and would not let people have their say.

    September 3, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Liz the First

    Obama's approval ratings say a lot more about what the rethuglican'ts are doing than what he's doing. we have half the congress trying to stop him from succeeding. these people are sitting on their hands instead of trying to help the country out of the mess they created. i have a suggestion for helping the debt. let's not pay these jerks for doing nothing. if they refuse to help govern, we should refuse to pay them.

    September 3, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |

    Wait... wait wait wait.... where's all the usual posts about how polls are biased and unreliable because they only call people with land lines? Where's the "well, I've never been called for a poll and I'm 60 years old... so obviously the results are flawed"? Oh that's right.. THIS poll supports your world-view... so there's no reason to claim it's inaccurate. I mean.. IF they HAD called you... this is what you would have felt... so THIS poll must be accurate and doesn't warrent a comment about how the group doing the poll is notoriously biased for the right. Oh my... and no mention of sampling error? Thanks guys... I really get a kick out of the collective intellect at the CNN commments section.

    September 3, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. nell

    Can you reporters stop throwing in " but" each time the President speaks or states something positive? If I wanted to listen to Fox News, then I would change the channel. Please, stop asking your 'analyst' leading questions. Why should anyone ever wonder why the economy is so bad?

    September 3, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Aviate

    September 3rd, 2010 12:48 pm ET
    our thanks to President Bush who made this possible for Barry

    It's true. If Bush hadn't lied us into a war we didn't need to fight, against a country that was no threat to us, to get rid of WMD that didn't exist and then proceed to botch the execution of that war so badly that instead of taking "weeks, maybe months" as we were told in 2003, and costing trillions of dollars, instead of the "$50 billion tops" Bush & Co claimed it would cost, not to mention ruining the lives of thousands of our soldiers and their families and those of countless millions of Iraqis, all while strengthening Iran's influence in the region, then Obama would not have been able to get us out of this mess.

    So yes, W "made this possible" for President Obama. But only conservatives, in their twisted, through-the-looking-glass world, think that this something for which W deserves congratulations and kudos.

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

    George Bush started a war of choice on a lie and maybe now it's over, 4400 dead Americans 100,000 Iragies, trillion dollars all on a lie, but if the American people think that Congress is a mess now wait until after the Election in Nov. there will be more obstuctionist when we get more republicians and moron teaparty people in, and that their only job will be is to make the next 2 years a total failure so they can take over again and put the last decade of abuse back in power.

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

    It's also refreshing to see SO many comments that dismiss the views of the right as simply being held by "ignorant uneducated fools". I mean... if they could only see the light... and be as smart as I am.. they would SURELY be progressives and democrats. My freshman comp professor TOLD me that I'm smarter than they are... and that I should think for myself... and these uneducated rednecks are lower than me because they lack the education that I have. Obviously if they WERE educated they would think for themselves... and think just like ME!

    September 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. water bearer

    obama victim September 3rd, 2010 12:48 pm ET

    our thanks to President Bush who made this possible for Barry

    How can you possibly say something like that??!! What Bush "made possible" was for THOUSANDS of Americans to be killed, TRILLIONS of American dollars to be wasted and HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent Iraqis to be killed!!!!! He also "made possible" that most of the rest of the WORLD to hate us for eight long years!!!!!

    You, Obama Victim, are an ANTI_AMERICAN BOOB!!!!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Perry

    Those who are frightful about America becoming involved in an outbreak of violence in Iraq are missing the point.

    We are not getting involved anymore. We have done everything we can do. We cannot stay there forever. Whatever happens now happens.

    God be with the good guys.

    September 3, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. rightwingnut


    "if only cnn wasn't controlled by the crazy right...."

    what a joke. you people disgust me with your willingness to blindly spread hate

    September 3, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Why does this surprise anyone/ The bobbleheads at both ends of the spectrum hated the speech, so real people liked what they heard. Maybe the real people actually listened to President Obama instead of waiting for him to fly into a rage so a cable news associate producer intern trainee would have something else to add to the endless loop of pablum they serve up.

    Hmmmmm – who's out of touch?

    September 3, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6