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. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Correction. Obonzo didn't "decide" to remove combat forces from Iraq. He merely implemented the Status of Forces Agreement that has existed between the US and Iraq since December 2008. In other words, he implemented GWB's deal.

    September 3, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. odumbo

    Thank you for carrying out Bush's plan and taking the credit, classy. This happened because of the surge that Obama was against. Jay half your demo idols are from the south. Think before you post. Wake up sheep!

    September 3, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. T'SAH from Virginia

    @ katiec September 3rd, 2010 12:48 pm ET

    You hit the nail right on the HEAD – integrity is not the 'key issue' on CNN's Ticker!! Their headlines also do not correspond with the story – It the headline is NEGATIVE – there is a BUT in the story! This also occurs if the headline is POSITIVE – there's another BUT!!

    President Obama will go down as being one of the greatest Presidents of all time!!! Just like the Economy is slowly recovering – just what President Obama has predicted since DAY 1 – people will realize that he's doing what he has promised and that is the reason why he got elected!!

    The RepubliCAN'Ts can continue with the 'empty rhetoric' and 'hatred for Obama' but it will NOT get them anywhere!!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Dave

    Isn't it ironic that the party of no socialism is mad at Obama because he is not doing anything to strengthen the economy, so basically they are waiting for the government to do something to help them. Ha-ha..

    I've had no problems in the economy because I don't wait on anybody. One door closes another one opens. All you republican socialist take that!

    September 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Alice

    I wouldn't say 3 pts is ANYTHING.......He has a LONG WAY to go before he changes my mind and alot of others. God Bless USA

    September 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Quote: 'The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points'
    I change my own mind about Obama +-3 points depending on the time of day. This is not news. The honest, valid thing to say would have been that Obama's approval rating remained statistically the same. CNN needs to learn basic statistics.

    September 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. patrick

    Chris Matthews, did you hear that?
    Stop slamming the president for reading a teleprompter. It was reading with a teleprompter that gave you those chills up your legs during his campaign speeches. How come it is not working for you now?
    You are a fraud and phony ... a fair-weather friend. You have a nasty habit of trashing people when they are down. in 2000, "Al Gore it too stiff, too intellectual, does not connect with the American people", you mocked the hell out of him, that when you got the president you wanted – G.W. Bush, you couldn't stop complaining about him. Hillary Clinton. You very much anointed her, that when she started losing in some primaries you started talking about "The Hillary cackle" you mocked the living daylights out of her. Now Obama is down in the polls, you are questioning him. You are not in a position to tell him and his team what to do. After all, how did you help President Carter?
    I'll keep watching Hardball though, even though sometimes you display some level of ignorance that baffles me. You don't need a rocket scientist or political scientist to figure out that had the Racist Republicans or spineless Democrats helped the President the economy would have been in much better shape.

    September 3, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Dem4Life

    Thank you President Obama for sticking to your guns. The republicans who lied us into the Iraq and took their eyes of the ball is now trying to dis-credit our President. They are complete idiots. All these scare tatics and mumbo jumbo about the our President not being right for America. What is that suppose to mean. Now, the repulicans are pissed off the a black man is running the country. Just like Ed Shultzs states. All of the anger is coming from old, white, and angry mccain and liar palin leftovers.

    September 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Really????? That was nothing but a campaign speech, with zero substance to it, at all.

    How do you figure that raised his approval rating??? I downgraded the entire speech as campaign rhetoric, of zero value.

    September 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Jerry - Florida

    What a joke! This man and his cronies had little or nothing to do with the results of the Iraq war. If anyone needs to take credit for the results it's President Bush. President NObama not only opposed the war in Iraq; he and "Deep Throat Biden" even opposed the surge.

    Now they are taking credit (and main-stream media and CNN are trumpeting their lies) for something they attempted to obstruct. These people are not only liars and hypocrites, but they have no shame. The American populace should remember all this when it comes time to clean house!

    Stay tuned!

    September 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Peter

    Isn't it wonderful to have a President with actual thoughts in his head?
    I'm so very proud of him and again proud of the United States for electing him. More good things from our president are on the way.

    September 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Hey Republicans

    Here's a story you won't see a link to on Drudge.

    September 3, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Who cares about his approval! He isn't running for election this year. And sorry republicans! He won and you lost in a democratic election! You still have yet to accept the outcome! What sore losers! And it's not as if the country is ready to forgive republicans for creating the crises we are in today! Republicans still hold to the same tired old policies that failed during Bush Jr. Why don't you come up with new ideas? Ideas that won't fail?

    September 3, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Don Beal

    The economy is improving but it takes a while to get turn something as enormous as the economy of the US and for that matter the world around. If the Republicans and especially the Tea Partiers with their mentality had been in charge for the last 20 months, we would all be in breadlines. Obama is doing fine.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Bessy

    I'm glad to see that SOME Americans are starting to see that this man only wants to help this country. He was left with a horrible mess and he gets no help from any of the Republicans. Al they want to see is the country fail so they can talk themselves back in office. It really is too bad that there are so many " followers " in this country and that they won't even try to learn what is true and what isn't. They really should check things out before they follow idiots. Also, religion plays no part in politics contrary to what these fanatics would have you believe. I vote every election and have voted for Republicans in the past, however, I will NEVER vote for another one.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Double D

    Obama has done more GREAT things to help Average Americans then Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush all put together.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Marty, FL

    God bless our country, the troops and President Obama.

    Keep fulfilling the promises for the American people: responsibly ending an unnecessary war, finance reform, Mathew Shepard Act, health care, nuclear nonproliferation, diplomacy with global community for peace, etc.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Reality

    With all of the out of control spending, shoving stimulus, healthcare and lawsuits against AZ – down our collective throats, I am shocked that his approval rating is so high.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |

    The President was true to his campaingm promise regarding this said chapter of American history. The Repulicans think we won a war and give credit to the Bush surge. But the reality is we collapsed an admittedly evil regime, brought the country into violent chaos and destroyed the county's infrastructure - some places still do not have electricity. And left the country with a shell of a goverment that is not a democracy. Worst of all the chaos allowed Al Queda to thrive in the lawless areas off Iraq. And all this because of lies regarding WMD. So what did we win ? A safer enviorment from terrorists. Not really, more to the point, a better enviorment for Al Queda in Iraq.

    September 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Amanda

    God continue to bless and help this country because Obama certainly isn't going to.

    September 3, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    @ Shucks "That is because he is keeping his word, unlike the previous administration that lied to the American people about everything"
    Really? Really?
    Is unemployment over 8%?
    Is Gitmo closed?
    How many "5 day review the bill before we vote" periods have we experienced?
    Summer of recovery?

    OK, if you say so!

    September 3, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Haren

    Come November and republican will have surprise.
    This poll changes on the mood of the people on that particular time.
    More they get educated about voting for their own interest, they will vote for democrats.
    Republican party is for rich and for corporation nothing more or less.

    September 3, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    I see where the lying toady once again "slammed" Republicans once again for the failure of his stimulus program, even though they were given no input and the libs hold the majority in both houses of Congress and the presidency. Of course the drug crazed followers immediately chimed in like it was the Republicans fault. Here is a clue libs, you can't give a trillion dollars to corrupt union bosses and dope addled left wing crackpots and expect the economy to recover. But Obama was once again able to "slam" someone beteween his many vacations.

    September 3, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Don

    8 years of Bush led to this crisis? All 8 years of President Bush's deficet combined is less the the first year of Obama. You would think I did great things if you gave me 3 trillion dollars. Since Washington to Bush the deficit was 9 trillion. Over 230 years to rack up that number. That has grown to 13 trillion in the first 2 years. With all of that money we still have 9.6% unemployeed.

    September 3, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Laverne

    to obama victim: You are so disrespectful in addressing President Obama, you may not consider him your president, but HE IS the president of the United States. It is people like you who keep this country from moving forward. You reap what you sew so don't be surprised when the time come when you are totally disrespected by others for no reason at all. LOSER!

    September 3, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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