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. papazeus

    I agree with jay!!! I believe ratings will keep going up in the right direction, Gallups results are pretty accurate. It is sad that people would comment on everything our president does. We just need to look to years back and see were we are today. I do not agree with thanking mr bush for the surge, as he was the one who started the war.

    As far as the mosque drama, it is unfortunate that so many people are so passionate about it. Do people realize that other than a mosque , there is a lot of other establishments in the area that may be offensive to others. How ironic that the same people who are fueling a religious war, will be the same ones, wishing you a happy holiday season in the months to come!!

    I hope people think it twice, before they vote republican. People do need to educate themselves and look at the facts....and not follow a gold digger like Sarah Palin!!

    What we need is Education, Education and more Education...

    God Bless America !!!

    September 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    obama victim 12:48 pm ET "our thanks to President Bush who made this possible for Barry"

    By starting a pointless war based on lies that resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 American military personnel, tens of thousands (some estimates are over 100,000) Iraquis, and nearly a trillion dollars in debt? You're welcome to thank ex-President Bush all you want, but leave us out of it.

    September 3, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. gt

    Thank you, Thank you Mr. President Obama. I thank you because for keeping your word, and you are a President, the majority American and world wating for. I thank you Mr. President for working hard to get us back lead the world agian. We should be able be happy and Thank God for leding us to select the honest, and smart president in history.
    God Bless America, again and again

    September 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. President Teleprompter

    Amazing -nothing has changed in the Mideast - settlements are still the non starter for serious discussions –and Jersulaem and the Golan Heights will not be relinquished by Israel - These talks will fizzle by Christmas and a new round of attacks will start. Sorry but it has been that way since 1952. If Obama really wanted to see progress, he could have insisted that settlement activity cease - Israel has been violating a UN sanction for years with settlement activity and the US has done nothing. How can the US expect nations like North Korea Iran Cuba China Venezuela et al take UN sanctions and directives seriously while the US allows Israel to flaunt them for years? And Iran will never back down from its muclear weapons path so long as the US allows Israel to illegally keep tactical nuclear weapons despite US rules to the contrary

    September 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Tom

    Alfred E. Newman as president...what a concept. what me worry? You libs got to have a chromosone missing. Nothing Obama's done has worked or will work unless that is what he wants. I can't stand to listen to his voice. He makes Bill look like a OK president.

    September 3, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Pragmatic

    If you can find Conservative Pat Buchan's latest article on The Cakewalk War, worth a read:

    Quoting: " Iran saw its great enemy Sadam removed and Shia allies come to power in Baghdad. BinLaden saw America bled dry by wars. AlQaeda has spread to Somalia, Yemen and North Africa. America was tied down by war and China emerged ....."

    He ends by asking "What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona"

    September 3, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Good work, Mr President. The Republicans will always be popular as long as the American people refuse to read and to think.

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. james

    some of you people are very funny , can't wait to see your specials on Comedy Central, First of all lets talk about the Bush haters, look he has been gone almost 2 years anything happening with America right now is solely on Obama's shoulders, things like the Stock Market reform which now makes it legal for these big companies to no longer release records to the public, how about the health care reform that over 60% of the country did not want ,but was pushed through with back room politics with tons of fluff added for extra measure , you or most likely WE will be paying for the next 4 years before it even goes into action, or how about the unemployment issue which is not getting better no matter how much the right lies. Wana talk about Iran? didn't think so, as our resident president just watches them become a nuclear power. or North Korea who can sink an alies ship and we don't even have the guts to condem them for it , all the while they threaten South Korea with nuclear threats, but the admin says nothing at all. or how about his admin increaseing tensions with the rest of the world by releasing statements to the U.N stateing U.S.A. is one of the largest violaters of human rights(kinda defeats the cause of us condeming Iraq, and other countries for their violations) , and ofcourse lets not forget we are about to send troops to Yemen (for some reason) eventhough our Combat troops will be Back in Iraq with in 6 months and peace keeping troops are still there(all the troops from Vietnam were called peace keeping troops), or how about cash for Clunkers Billions spent to fatten the pockets of G.M. , Ford, and Chrysler , WE are Trillions in Debt yet he keeps spending at a record breaking rate ,you can't just set at home on welfare and keep screaming good job Obama you need to educate yourself!!

    and as for Jay I'm from Texas one of the few States to have a budget surplus while i bet your State is Millions in debt ,i'd like to know if the South did leave the Union where would you get your , food , oil, and natural gas, You use the term Redneck as an insult ,that term was used to discribe people who's neck was red from being in the sun all day working to support their families and to produce the food you eat, the cloths you wear , the gas for you car, and to pay for your unemployment claims, these people are the backbone of America , how Dare you insult them , why don't you go hugg a tree while the South tries to keep America strong , you moron

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. glib lib

    Of course his ratings are down. Every Republican worth his salt has been harping the same BS obstructionist talking points since the day the President took office.
    William James (1842-1910) The father of modern Psychology said "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe"

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Dave

    But, it's the economy, stupid!

    September 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Allen in Hartwell GA

    This item was posted at 1220 New York time. It's now 1420. What are the latest poll results?

    September 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. SouthernMan

    All the people of the south east are not dumb. Most of the folks down here just don't pay attention to the people they vote for. If they did, they would know that the Republicans will never overturn R v W. The GOP talk about how they are against abortion, but know they would lose many more elections if it was band. It would be the best thing that could happen to the Democrats.

    September 3, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "CNN cannot have an article about the president or democrats without adding their "buts". Hmmm, seem to miss this practice with the republicans."

    That's because there's an unwritten agreement amongst most "news" media. Fox is the ugly girl that the mediocre girl hangs out with to make herself look prettier. Get it? They all support the establishment, period. Any time there is a threat to the status quo that would seriously shake things up, Fox goes bonkers and the rest pretend to be reasonable while pushing the same nonsense in a more subtle manner. CNN, after all, is a giant you really think they would want a government that reigns in corporate abuse of the middle class? If you do, you've probably got about 10 minutes until your luncheon of peyote and hash brownies really kicks into full gear.

    September 3, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Johnny DC

    You have to be kidding, Liberal posters....

    All Obama did was follow through on Bush's timeline. God Bless President Obama? Are you kidding? He opposed the surge, which was unanimously applauded as the reason for our most recent successes, and now he's using the Bush gameplan for departure of troops.

    Grow a spine. Obama claims this is a campaign promise delivered, when it was a goal already established by a "horrible" predecessor. Read, and learn some facts, morons.

    September 3, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. leo PA

    God bless you Odama........

    September 3, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Dean

    Oh yeah ,Thanks George Bush for starting a war that has sucked the life from our economy just so you could settle an old score with saddom not to mention make Dick Cheney a rich man.

    September 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Dean

    Jeff Brown in Jersey September 3rd, 2010 12:48 pm ET

    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!

    It is really going to be a blessing for you children when they have to pay for all Obama's bills.

    To date, Obama is probably the worst president ever and unless he changes drastically, history will prove which one of us is correct.

    September 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. yokayoka

    Hey Jay i agree with you "Tragic that we must share this planet with so many stupid and uneducated fools". It is my belief we can afford to save some few dollars to invest in USA other than funding misguided ideological imperialistic adventures in this time of history.

    September 3, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Liz

    Do these same people know that this pull-out was already scheduled by President Bush in December 2008?

    September 3, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Dean

    Shucks September 3rd, 2010 12:47 pm ET

    That is because he is keeping his word, unlike the previous administration that lied to the American people about everything

    Of course, they don't see it as self-imposed. It's all George Bush's fault.

    George Bush, who doesn't have a vote in congress and who no longer occupies the White House, is to blame for it all.

    He broke Obama's promise to put all bills on the White House web site for five days before signing them.

    He broke Obama's promise to have the congressional health care negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN.

    He broke Obama's promise to end earmarks.

    He broke Obama's promise to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent.

    He broke Obama's promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo in the first year.

    He broke Obama's promise to make peace with direct, no precondition talks with America's most hate-filled enemies during his first year in office, ushering in a new era of global cooperation.

    He broke Obama's promise to end the hiring of former lobbyists into high White House jobs.

    He broke Obama's promise to end no-compete contracts with the government.

    He broke Obama's promise to disclose the names of all attendees at closed White House meetings.

    He broke Obama's promise for a new era of bipartisan cooperation in all matters.

    He broke Obama's promise to have chosen a home church to attend Sunday services with his family by Easter of last year.

    Yes, it's all George Bush's fault. President Obama is nothing more than a puppet in the never-ending failed Bush administration.
    If only George Bush wasn't still in charge, all of President Obama's problems would be solved. His promises would have been kept, the economy would be back on track, Iran would have stopped its work on developing a nuclear bomb and would be negotiating a peace treaty with Israel. North Korea would have ended its tyrannical regime, and integrity would have been restored to the federal government.

    Oh, and did I mention what it would be like if the Democrats, under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, didn't have the heavy yoke of George Bush around their necks? There would be no ear marks, no closed-door drafting of bills, no increase in deficit spending, no special-interest influence (unions), no vote buying (Nebraska, Louisiana).

    September 3, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Tulsa

    Mr. President,
    Job well done.
    One Citizen.

    PS.... Don't let the Republicans stop you WE THE PEOPLE voted you in and we will see you through. The lies and contemptuous actions of the Republican party will catch up to them eventually. Head up, eyes on the goal.

    September 3, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. mark brydges

    being a canadian i can tell you that canada excep;t for redneck neaderthal alberta and their six pack economy is one big obama supporter. and stated in some of these other opinions how can a country condem a man who has stopped a war and is trying to end another war and at the same time clean up the economic catastrophe thats been left to him be at 50 percent in the polls. its beyond me that a man who has accomplished what he has in two years that took bush and cheney eight years to create can be villified the way he is by those red neck no mind republican ghouls dressed up as human beings. as far as canada and the rest of the world is concened i hope the american people have the forsight to understand how lucky they are to have a man of obamas character and intellect running your country come november. give the man a chance to succeed and if he does we ll alll be the better for it.

    September 3, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Ex-republican

    Congratulation, Mr. President!
    Just do it this way, and in 2012 you will have two more votes for you from my family. Both of my daughters will be old enough to vote for first time, and their votes will go to you!
    God bless you, Mr. President!

    September 3, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. S.positive

    The President has the truth on his side, while the repub have the...

    September 3, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. jamarsu

    Because he is a man of integrity who keeps his promises and doesn't lie to the American People (like Bush did). He is truly knocking himself out. You can see it in his face and all that gray hair, and all he gets is a lot of BS from the tea party idiots and the Republicans. Those people definitely don't like being in the minority. As Bob Dylan once said " The Times They are a Changin." Get with it you old windbags.

    September 3, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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