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. GL

    The hell with your polls Cnn. He is doing a great job.

    September 24, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Mike, Albany

    His poll numbers a low because hate filled republicans and tea partiers are the only ones doing the talking out there. Democrats need to be more vocal about their accomplishments. Never has a president had to deal with so much opposition and hate from the other side - there is a vocal minority who WANT Obama to fail and d**n the consequences for our country. I can't see why anybody would want to be president, but Obama agreed to take on the job, and he has done excellent work. It's now time to make people aware of this. Once Democrats start speaking up, you'll see the poll numbers recover.

    September 24, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    The fact is that he has inherited the bigget mess left by the previous inept, pro-rich liar-filled administration since the Depression. It is ONLY through his wonderful policies that the economy didn't drop to the depression level, which it would have if his opponent had sadly won the election. Thank God that enough voters were intelligent enough to vote the way they did in 2008. As far, as the TEALIBAN is concerned, it has become obvious that the creation of that ugly, racist, regressive monster is the handiwork of the Koch brothers and their anti-democracy ilk,

    September 24, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Ohioan with no Job

    let's face it... The Democrats had the House, the Senate, and the Executive and blew it.

    I blame Reid and Pelosi, and their old school politics.. They need to do the right thing and RESIGN,,,

    September 24, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Jason

    his polls numbers are down because he doesn't listen to the American people many of whom are out of work trying find a job; instead he, and the other liberals focus on that health care bill. I'm not against the bill,but there is a time and place to do things when a huge chunk of the American people are out of work and our country is basicily living off credit cards going to China to beg for money. Obama could have used the money and energy he was going using for health care reform to put the American people back to work repairing our infilstructure our roads bridges our interstate which was built in the 50s

    September 24, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    never in the history of this country has a president had to deal with so much hate mis trust and just plain dislike. and the sad part is this is probably the smartest president this country has ever had. Tech is a great thing and will get better but sometimes when you put good things in the hand of fools it become bad. with all the polls taken about the President's approval rating it funny that I was never polled and neither was the people I know. If you want bad results you know who to ask. i just hate the American people can't see through the bull one for you poll PRESIDENT OBAMA you will forever have my vote but most of all my PRAYERS

    September 24, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Mikerobjohn

    YAWN!!! People who are Democrats are no different than the Republican sore losers. If democrats read something positive about the President, they get excited. If they read something negative, like the fixed poll numbers, they get disappointed. If a sore loser Republican reads something positive about the President, they get very depressed and angry. If they read something negative, they get excited and the enthusiasum gap widens. Therefore, those sore loser Republicans are going to watch FOX NEWS for their dose of negativity so that they can get excited. Democrats need to stop reading the negative made up stuff. More negativity is being printed about the PResident because the media wants to control the election.

    September 24, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. ted

    what do you expect from someone who has had community organizer experience?

    If he is supposed to be so brilliant as the liberal media claims, why did he refuse to have all his college grades and test results open for review. Could it be that he is a moron? Someone who is brilliant does not refues to show his intelligence.

    September 24, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. John from LA

    How low can he go!!!!-Can't wait for 2012!

    September 24, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. D Frost

    No kidding?! A couple more years, and this ugly experiment will be over.

    September 24, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Ed

    ANOTHER all time low? Wow-I thought this was a reprint of last weeks article! Hey CNN-don't delete this article-it is going to come in handy in another week...

    September 24, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Mikerobjohn

    CNN is losing ratings and they need to go negative to attrack the sore loser Republicans.

    September 24, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Jeremy

    Both parties are full of self serving hypocrites who will do and say anything just to get your vote. See through the BS America, do some research, look elsewhere than CNN and Fox news...neither of them care about you, me or anyone else. All they're after is ratings.

    September 24, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. GL

    You right wings nuts that comment on this site don't keep your hope up becasue two years is a very very long way off and don't forget your Party will pull together and put Sara Palin on the ticket to run against President Obama which will make shoulld President Obama get a second term. CNN is starting to be the mouth piece for the Republcans as well as Sara Pallin, CNN have been getting a big check for FOX Noise to post polling everyday against President Obama. CNN continue to allow Sara Palin to lie without even pointing out all her likes. CNN you are just trying to up your rating even by always pollilng the President. As well all have seen the only polls, that count is the real ones.

    September 24, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. DrMabuse

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha...poor thing!...hahahahahahahaha....

    September 24, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Expat American

    These fools disparaging the President today would be facing even worse economic living conditions had McCain been elected President.

    Only difference is that these same fools could hold up their chin, knowing that while they may be poor and white, they can rest in their ridiculous belief that a bi-racial Harvard educated man is still lower than poor white trash.

    So he couldn’t fix 8 years of failed policies in under 2 years….? How fast could the Patriot Tea Bigots solve anything? With O’Donnell and Palin and the helm?

    September 24, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Independent 1

    I did not vote for Obama and when he won, I wished him well. Although I have my reservations with the Dems and even the Reps, I never wished him failure. Why in the world did he push healthcare so much at a time when millions of Americans are out of work? That alone is what we should focus on....I'm sure he meant well but that won't bring home the bacon......

    September 24, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. jenn, philadelphia

    Amazing how it's Bush and the Republican's fault. A majority in the Senate, a majority in the House and he can't get his agenda passed, but it's not his fault. The polls must be lies. If they weren't so damaging, liberals would make me laugh.

    September 24, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Washington DC Insider

    @Chris, well we can always ask Hillary Clinton to run in 2012. I think we need strong leadership, and sorry fellow Dems, it isn't Obama. This November, we are going to see whether the American Public is fed up with how the Democrats have been running things. And to be honest, I am sitting this November out, rather than vote for a Republican candidate or an inept Democratic candidate.

    I suspect this November it is going to be a blood bath, and the Right is going to be touting their victory, and the Liberal Left will spewing more hate and bile, which is how they drove away the Independents and alienated the Blue Dog Democrats like myself.

    Clinton 2012!

    September 24, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Ohioan with no Job

    I just seen the post where someone blame Bush for Obama's polll numbers.
    ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID !!!!!! remember that one from Carville in 1992..

    September 24, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. republicans hate america

    we should tax all the americans that cheer-leaded Bush into a 3 trillion dollar nation building effort in Iraq.

    September 24, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. James

    The Anti-Business President. I can tell you this the business community cannot stand him due to his constant bashing and insistance on onerous regulations.

    September 24, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. MAhole

    So What??? No one called me for this poll – as usual.

    IMHO, the president is doing a fine job – with the mess that was left to him and the childish pranks that the Rethuglicans are pulling daily – no-no-no and fillibuster-fillibuster-fillibuster.

    THE REPUBLICANS are the ones who are truly in trouble – no leadership, no plans, no nothing...........

    We'll see come Nov.

    September 24, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Ariely

    Lead by the presidednt: OBAMA THE CHANGE

    Persians – clever people- (today called Iranians) invented the Chess game.
    The winner of the game has to be a master on advance planning of many moves as well as misleading the opponent.
    Are the Iranian theocrats the new champions?

    President "OBAMA THE CHANGE"
    Pls deal with main treat to west civitations for centuries and the 21 century moral values by:

    *USA is the big satin.
    *End of democracy
    *Denying human rights/
    *Main terror supporter.

    Don't permit the world to be threatened by terrorists protected by Iran NUKS.
    Help Iranian people to replace the Islamist regime.

    President ""OBAMA THE CHANGE" – for a Change can you change your leadership ?
    – Whole selling of moral and values
    -Being the worldwide Islamic ambassador
    _ Offering Islamist more legitimacy worldwide without receive any mutuality from the Muslims?

    Using yours:
    -Impressive TV imaging
    -Charismatic speeches, not backed by facts

    !!! Covering the emptiness of" OBAMA THE CHANGE!!!

    September 24, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Ray in Oxfordshire

    Wow!! Americans, some of you guys are so ignorant. Go check Obama's speech Nov 4 2008................he said it all!!

    September 24, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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