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. Fair is Fair

    Now wait just a minute...

    This is a poll that the results are in favor of Obama (if you call 50% approval a good thing)... yet not a single comment to the effect of:

    "I only have a cell phone"
    "No one polled me"
    "My friends weren't called"
    "The only poll that counts is in November"

    Blah, blah, blah... ad nauseum.

    Coincidence? Methinks not.

    September 3, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. lz

    The fact remains that Bush and Chaney brought us to war in Iraq on bold-face lies. 9/11 was not brought about by Sadaam. When are you dumb Republicans going to get that through your thick noggins. The Iraq war was going to land in the lap of any president that came after Bush. Obama didn't believe in the war ... Hillary did so did Biden, Obama did not!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jay September 3rd, 2010 12:45 pm ET

    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).

    Thank you Jay. My point exactly. There is a disease spreading in our beloved country. The voice of evil is heard, understood, and embraced by a faction of our society. Our attempts at putting rights to wrongs are chided, demeaned, and derided.

    I admire the tenacity of our President. I admire his sheer determination to continue to steer our country further away from the precipice of this recession. It is going to take time, as this was very close to a depression. Yet it is evident that there are so-called Americans out ther for whom the Party is more important than their COUNTRY.

    Give me someone who cares for the well-being of ALL Americans, not just the few. Give me someone who embodies good character, intelligence, and a hard-work ethic. Give me someone willing to take on everyone and everything that has been bleeding our country dry for their own purposes. Someone who will do WHAT IS RIGHT for all, and not just for the SHORT TERM. They can be from any Political Party, and that's whom I will support.

    Obama 2012

    September 3, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. laura from Ontario

    This poor man could stand upside down and spit out quarters and still would not please Americans.

    Whom do they think will lead them out of this economic disaster, Palin.

    September 3, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Don

    the dems always talking about unfunded wars. Even with 2 wars Bush's deficits were 1/5 of Obama's.

    September 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. felicia

    What is the BIG FREAKING DEAL, President Obama has ended the war, he didn't take any credit for it, mentioned bush, and oyu people still complaining abt this and that. I'm convinced that cnn is in copmpetition with fox. You lost your station suck right along with fox.

    September 3, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. masgap

    I agree with you Dutch/Bad a 1000% We should have more of a majority so dems can get something passed and done. Remember
    the Alamo and the party of No this November. Vote Democratic for all of us.

    September 3, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Hugo

    Too funny when you consider that it was the Bush strategy for the surge that provided a victory (not even mentioned) and set the time-line for the withdrawl...

    I am always amused at the posts calling Bush a traitor and a liar for invading Iraq. Do people truly believe that there was a mass conspiracy of every branch of our intelligence gathering community to propagate a war? Do people forget that the President must ratify through Congress a declaration of war? I have always believed that the Bush philosophy was to establish a Democracy within the region that would spread and/or help control Iran's choke hold on the area. Additionally, I believe that Bush was smart enough to know we would never win in Afghanistan and that bringing war to Iraq would suck many of the terrorists into a well defined battlefield where we could annihilate as many of them as possible. How soon we forger those innocent civilians dead at the hands of radical Islam, payback tenfold! President Obama only sees the politics in war as it effects his political aspirations, he does not seem to understand that these people we are fighting are one step away from slitting our throats at the first available opportunity, or maybe he does...

    September 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. bennie new york

    Okay, Mr. Obama, build on this recent rise in your approval. Pass some new economic legislation, or pass an energy bill, or immigration reform. Any action is helpful with the midterms just two months away.

    September 3, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. BlackBarbie

    For all the Obama haters who won't admit the real reason behind their hate, think about it when you lay your pale asses out in the sun to try and get his complection type, it's not okay for him to be born black but it's ok for you to expose yourself to cancer causing rays from the sun to try and look like him, if your'e pale and you know it raise your hand, and own it don't try ro be something your not......Sun tanning is the act of exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, for the purpose of darkening skin color, that is all............LOL!

    September 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Steve

    our thanks to President Bush who made this possible for Barry

    Yes, thank you, Mr. Bush, for this trillion dollar war, thousands dead, failure to find weapons of mass destruction, and leaving an empowered Iran.

    September 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Jim

    Obama Victim,

    What exactly are you refering to? Bush made it possible by invading Iraq on false principles? Or that he lied about every possible thing he could get away with? Do you even know what the word victim means? What exactly have you been victimized by?

    September 3, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Bill

    The Spin starts here...

    September 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Debra

    This country is not good enough to deserve this President who inherited pure unadulterated manure that has resulted from years and years of neglect from previous so-called leaders. All he tried to do is save the country from depression and deal with problems that previous Presidents didn't have the guts to entertain. And he's still willing to dig into the most horrendous of our problems, reform of entitlements, in order to save those programs ultimately. And with all the vitriole he has taken about his heritage, his religion, and his intentions, he's never tried to demean any group of people, including the vicious Sarah Palin, who should be dubbed the Queen of the Reign of Terror. Kudos to Obama and bless him for putting up with his simple-minded countrymen.

    September 3, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Nodack

    Is somebody really complaining that CNN is biased? They are obviously FOX fans and for a FOX fan to complain that CNN is biased is laughable. CNN is the closest thing to being unbiased that there is and is 10,000,000,000,000 Xs less biased than FOX. FOX is 100% biased to the right without any exceptions EVER.

    How is it possible that FOX fans can't see that?

    September 3, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Jim

    Pres. Obama has delivered for the American people! He ended Bush's foolish $1 trillion Iraq War. He negotiated the START treaty with Russia. He has launched negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He has a plan to end the Afghanistan occupation. He saved the economy from total collapse in 2009. He accomplished major health care and financial reforms. He compelled BP to set up a compensation fund for Gulf oil disaster victims. I thank God we have such an intelligent and honest President!

    September 3, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Peace-B-Still

    Mr. President, keep on pressing on, because your reward will be great.
    Mr. President, keep on extending your hands, because your reward will be great.
    Mr. President, keep your eyes on the prize – because your reward will be great.
    Mr. President, keep treating your enemies right – because your reward will be great.
    Mr. President, keep treating your neighbors right – because your reward will be great.
    God don’t go back on his words.
    This world was created by his words. All I see is Good -versus- Evil. God -versus-Devil.

    What have the republican done for the last 19 months or so? All I have heard is NO, NO, NO, NO.
    No Obama this –
    No Obama that –
    No Obama did that –
    No Obama should have done this –
    No Obama got to do that –
    No Obama got to do this –
    No big government,
    No government at all.

    So why are they trying so hard to stay in Government positions if it so bad? It’s a 24 hour cycle of NO, NO, NO, NO. How much do this word worth. It worth a lot it seems because, we have paid their salary for over 19 months.

    Jesus came preaching Love. All I see is hate. Love thy neighbor’s as thy selves. I guess they do not like themselves. If they could bottle up the air and put a price on it they would do it.

    If you are truly a child of God you will know the false prophets when you see them. Glenn Beck surly seems to be one. He spread hate and lies and then turns around and preach the gospel. I’m not judging him, but the Bible say to be aware of false prophets.

    The m(Men) e(Evil) d(Den) i (In) a (America) plays a big role in this 24 hours cycle.

    September 3, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Tj

    His approval rating nerver change .........he is doing a great job! NOW CNN POLL ME

    September 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Me

    I say what I mean and I mean what I say.


    including the polls that make me feel BAD
    AS WELL AS the polls that make me feel GOOD (like this one)
    have no worth or meaning.
    I have never been polled.
    Have you ever been polled?
    Do you know ANYBODY who has participated in one of these polls?
    Have you ever heard of Frank Luntz?
    Polls is what they give us in lieu of actual journalism
    The only poll that matters is the one we all participate in and that's in Novemeber!

    September 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Shirley in California

    As far as I am concerned it will only continue to RISE despite what the evil, manipulative republicans try.

    Oh the Bush years – how wonderful they were and how quickly people forget.

    Waking up morning after morning to FEAR. Being told we were under a RED CODE or an ORANGE CODE or whatever. I felt as if I were living in some third world country. I didn't feel safe at all. Many people stopped eating lunch outdoors. Ridiculous.

    ECONOMY: 750,000 JOBS LOST people. Not found. LOST each month. Banks crumbling and Wall Street throwing parties.

    I'll stick with our current president. Do you really want to return to these turbulent times? I don't.

    September 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Duck Fallas

    The right's continuous bashing of our Commander in Chief undermines his authority and weakens our country. They are providing aid and comfort to the enemy. Those of us with loved ones serving in those God forsaken sand pits can't tolerate the mission being undermined by supposed Americans who would readily compromise the safety for the troops they claim to support if political points can be gained by bashing the President.

    Republicans are endangering our troops. They must be stopped.

    September 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Obama's approval rating always inches up a bit after he shows his face on TV–and then always drops back, or maybe a little lower, a week or two later. It's been very consistent in that regard in the seventeen months I've been tracking it.

    September 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Jeannette, American via Canada

    When will Americans, look, understand and take stock of the real culprits in the destruction of their economy? Thirty or more years has been the slow and increasing downfall of the economy.
    Truth is simply the rarest of what they want to know or read. Americans want to live in a "Disneyland," type of world. Blame is the name of the game, and twisting history, in all fields, has been the easiest way to keep the ignorant in place.
    Living outside,' the cabins four walls,' has open the minds and eyes of those trying to understand what is going on the the USA.
    American television shows and news media, is truly a "JOKE!"
    Unfortunately, the general population of America is giving "The Herd of Sheep," falling off the cliff, a run for there money.
    That is why my family exodus from the USA, to make a more viable life. Maybe Canada is perfect, but, after more than three decades, we realized it was the best move for us. So, go ahead, keep throwing stones at our windows: at least our economy is better.
    Being debt free, is heaven!

    September 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian


    His approval rating would be a lot higher if he didn't insist on wasting trillions of bucks on a health care welfare scheme 60% of us want repealed, or trying to raise everyone's energy costs with a cap'n'tax scheme 61% of us think is a bad idea, or wasting more trillions bailing out unions and protecting the jobs of public-sector employees.

    September 3, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Keep It Real

    The recessive economy is holding his poll numbers down. Actually, it should not be because we are doing a lot better than when he first began. In January 2009 we were losing about 750,000 jobs per month, now we just had a net loss of 54,000, with the private sector actually adding jobs. We are headed in the right direction and definately a better direction than before President Obama was sworn into office.

    September 3, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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