September 24th, 2010
12:13 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama at all time low

(CNN) – President Barack Obama is contending with the lowest approval rating of his 20-month presidency, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds.

The president's approval rating now stands at 42 percent – an all time low in CNN polling and 8 points lower than where Obama was only three weeks ago. Moreover, 56 percent of all Americans think the president has fallen short of their expectations. (More poll results)

The president's sagging poll numbers couldn't come at a worse time for congressional Democrats, themselves facing a nine-point deficit in the so-called "generic ballot" question heading into the midterm elections. In fact, the president's approval rating is the same as that of President Clinton's in 1994 – the midterm election year that saw Republicans wrest control of both the House and Senate.

In even worse news for congressional Democrats, likely voters say they are considerably more likely to vote for a candidate the president opposes than one he supports. On the other hand, 50 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a Tea Party-backed candidate while a third of Americans said Tea Party support would dissuade their vote for a candidate.

Still, the president can take some solace in the fact several past presidents have been beset by slumping numbers at the 2-year mark: In addition to Clinton, both Reagan and Jimmy Carter found their support at 42 percent at this point in their first term. Of course, Clinton and Reagan went on to big reelection wins only two years later.

Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. MrUniteUs

    Not surprisng with millions spent attacking the President, and all the attention given to right wing pundints and candiates.
    Near zero given to liberal talk show host or candidates. Quick whose running against Rand Paul, Chritine O'donnel, or Miller in Alaska.
    Stock markets up, we're creating jobs, not losing 700,000 a month. The budget defiicit is down but CNN didn't tell you.
    As right wing talk show hosts know a chunk of the public is a malleable. I heard one host pretend to be liberal ond day and by the end of the show he had long time fans agreeing with his new liberal positions. Then he revealed to them at the end of the show that he was just kidding.

    September 24, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. The reality is...

    You know his approval ratings are way down when even a liberal news outlet like CNN can't hide the truth anymore.

    September 24, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. vic, Nashville TN

    CNN management change reflect on today blogs 90% fever for GOP

    September 24, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. AF.

    Obama is doing fine. Where are the GOP blocker who intend to block any progress to help the working class American. Give the GOP the lead again is going to open war to other counties to kill more American soldiers. NO to REPUBLICANS

    September 24, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Democrats are just plain Stupid

    When Democrat friendly CNN starts reporting what the American people have known for months, you know Obama is in trouble. Maybe Jon Klein was fired because the CNN brass have finally seen the light.

    America be damned. All Democrats want is POWER.

    September 24, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Jim

    Although I am not crazy about our President the last thing I want our President to do is fail. If he fails we all fail. These so called nation first Republicans have not worked with our President since he took office. President Obama along with the rest of the Democrats need to grow a set of balls and slam the Republicans hard. The Republican party should be classified as traitors to our nation arrested and sent to the Farm!

    September 24, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Kregg

    0bama is now a record breaker; breaking his own record. See how great and wonderful 0bama is everyone? 0bama is full of ambitious and it wasn't good enough to be worse then jimmy carter. No! 0bama through his will wouldn't accept this and marched on to even beat his own record. Hurray 0bama! And if you don't like it then your a hateful hating hater kkk'er and "insert some wacky comment here" and just need to give him more of a chance... again. Otherwise the great and powerful 0bama will threaten you with bowing before you like a whipped submitten kitten. So take that you hater hating hateful haters!

    September 24, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. harold

    I don't worry about the polls I worry about the economy and my money. Take away overseas problems like Greece and the road to making my 401k looks good. It looks damn better than when GB left and the first couple of months when Obama got in office. I take the slow but sure recovery. By the next couple of years, I can take the money and run.

    September 24, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Michael from Ventura

    The President is doing what he can with what he has to work with. Just as Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996 (two yrs after these same polling numbers) President Obama will be re-elected in 2012. The republiCANTS offer nothing – except to make things worse. Once the American people start hearing privatize Social Security and phase out Medicare- the Party of NO will be TOLD No!

    September 24, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Dave

    Mr. Obama,
    I'm still waiting for my healthcare plan that will be the "exact same one that presidents and senators have".
    When is that coming?

    September 24, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Peace-B-Still

    President Obama is doing a great job. Keep your head up high and continue to fight for the middle class Mr. President.. Greed, wealth and name calling will not defead why President Obama was elected to office. There is a greater force behind the screen. Once the nay sayer figure it out, then their eyes will be opened. Thank God there is hope for this true Gentile. There is war down here and there is war in Heaven.

    September 24, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. lefty avenger

    Obama has not lived up to his promises of the progressive left liberal intellectual wing. We voted him in to install universal health care ala europe and canada, end all the wars and bring the troops home and to grant equal rights to all americans even if you disagree with their lifestyle. Obama has tried to play middle of the road and please the republicans. All republicans can't stand Obama and voted against him last election, they voted for McBush. Why? because they wanted Bush and McBush to be our right wing dictators for life. 8 years of Bush Co. decimated the working class of this country. Obama is not great as advertised but he is not the permanent non-stop train wreck of the far right bail out the hedge fund tea party wacko repubicans.

    September 24, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Polls are nice........but you can keep 'em!

    Our President is doing an OUTSTANDING job. He has not been able to fulfill ALL of his campaign promises due to lack of support from fellow Democraps, and the Usual Suspects (GOP/Teabaggers) but he's in there doing the RIGHT thing which is a refreshing change of pace coming from the White House inhabitants.

    Those of you saying he should listen to what "the American people" want, he DID and we elected him based on those things: Healthcare and Wall Street Reform, saving what was left of our economy, and so on. He needs our support.

    I stand with my President. From where a lot of us stand the alternative is beyond horrific, unnaceptable,and incomprehensible.

    Obama 2012.

    September 24, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Deb

    Yea, thats what happens when every big corporation in America is spending millions to make him look bad. When will Americans wake up?

    September 24, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. harold

    hey John how many died in terriost attacks since Obama took over? How many died during Bush's term? Hate all you want, until there is another 911 on Obama's watch can the bull. Show me where Obama raised taxes? you can't because he hasn't. For those with a brain, your post is laughable!!

    September 24, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Robert

    It all seems so simple to blame the President for ALL of the present circumstance, while forgetting what the republicans had done the prior eight years. The President has accomplished much and took on these problems that were not of his making however, he has stepped up and continues to go forward. The pushback against the President is CLEARLY based on lies, half truths, racism, bigotry.....and a great frea that people with no real power or money can indeed have a voice....the republicans want to go backward so they yield to hate and bigotry – they have missed the opportunity....can anyone see this?

    September 24, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Rhea

    Best President we have ever had. Love him. And everyone I know feels the same way. Wonder where you get this info...or better yet how much money you are getting to fake these polls???

    September 24, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    "Again, I WAS NOT polled. He is doing a fantastic job as far as I, my friends and neighbors think."

    Well, S. in California... this isn't a poll of S. in California and your friends and neighbors. It's not a poll of me and my friends and neighbors either... if it was, Obama would come in at about 12% tops.

    But for grins and giggles, S in California, we'll add an "approve" for you and take away a "disapprove" from the total. Now Obama has a 42.05% approval rating instead of 42%. You're right – his numbers did go up.

    September 24, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Eric

    He hasn't fallen below my expectations. He's demonstrating the level of competency and experience I expected of him.

    So I expect things to keep getting worse.

    September 24, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Mike Conley

    Put this in perspective. GW was trending in the 20s. Our President is in the 40s and no one wins the Presidency with even 50% these days....

    September 24, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Shari from Madison

    I'm upset that this has happened to President Obama. I'm not saying I approve of everything he's done or not done, but he doesn't deserve this. It took 8 years to get us in this mess, how is it possible to get out of it in just 2 years and how can we we expect a mere human to do all the work himself? Shame on the "fair weather" impatient and in some cases racist people. who rate this President so badly.

    September 24, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Tam

    He still did more in one year than Bush in 8 - Bush sure did more than enough, eh? How many years will it take to fix?

    As for all of you complaining about medicare - I suppose you are all healthy and have never had to pay out of your pocket for surgery and hospital stays at the for-profit hospitals?

    September 24, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. the great orator.

    Obama can execute a written speach with great finesse...this was his preparation to run for Prez...not only is he a bad communicator he is no leader....!

    September 24, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Lynn

    Poll me, please poll me. Then the opinions wouldn't be so lop-sided. Those polled have extrememly selective memories, do they really want to return to big business and to hell with the middle class. But Bush got 8 yrs to mess up our country, for goodness sakes give Obama the same to clean up the debris.

    September 24, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Steve

    One important lesson I learned in the military is that it is better to make a wrong decision than no decision at all. Obama needs to be slow to promise and quick to act (he seems to have gotten himself into trouble doing the exact opposite).

    September 24, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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