CNN Poll: Obama vs. GOP in Congress
January 19th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama vs. GOP in Congress

Washington (CNN) – Although the public thinks that GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives will be good for the country, a new national poll indicates most Americans appear to prefer President Barack Obama's approach to the issues.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also suggests that new House Speaker John Boehner's star is on the rise.

Full results (pdf)

According to the poll, Americans say by a 50 to 41 percent margin that Republican control of the House is good for the country, and 56 percent predict that congressional Republicans will have more influence than the president over the direction the nation takes in the next two years.

"But that's not what they want," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By a 50 to 44 percent margin, the public wants Obama to have more influence than the GOP."

The poll indicates president and the GOP are essentially tied when it comes to their budget policies, with 46 percent saying they prefer Obama's proposals and 43 percent saying they favor the congressional Republicans approach to dealing with the tough choices involved both in cutting programs to reduce the budget deficit and still maintaining needed federal programs.

"Obama's numbers on those questions are far better than the figures Bill Clinton posted in 1995, when Newt Gingrich led the GOP to a takeover on Capitol Hill," adds Holland. "When Clinton defended himself in a press conference as still 'relevant' to the process, only 13 percent thought he would have more influence than the GOP and only 40 percent wanted him to do so."

According to the survey, another big difference between 1995 and today is the top Republican on the Hill. In 1995, Gingrich's favorable rating was stuck in the mid to high 20's. By contrast, Boehner's popularity has been on the rise since the election. The number who have a favorable opinion of Boehner has doubled since September and is up nine points since December. Forty-five percent now say they have a positive view of Boehner, compared to only 23 percent who have an unfavorable view of him. About a third of the public is still unfamiliar with the new Speaker.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Poll Archive • Extra • Hillary Clinton • John Boehner • John McCain • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Njfinest2009

    Where are the jobs John Boehner???????????????

    January 19, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Earth to wingnuts – are you receiving....."

    I'm sorry to inform you, but their tinfoil hats are fairly low tech and are only capable of receiving delusional fantasyland talking points, irony-laden hypocrisy, conspiracy theories and ideological platitudes. Just wait. CNN hasn't gotten around to it yet, but the GOP is already gearing up the spin and noise machine to lay claim to all the recent data showing that the economy is slowly on the mend, as if them atking over the House in November was free market magic pixie dust and every single economist out there just refuses to acknowledge that their expertise, schooling, theories, data, historical evidenec, etc., all have nothing to do with helping us understand what the economy has been and is doing...that it's all just a result of the GOP winning an election and not yet having done a single thing whatsoever with their control over the House. Comrade Kyl gave us our first taste of it either today or yesterday and I guarantee you it's being beamed out to the parrots for prompt regurgitation as we speak.

    January 19, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. michaelam

    Where are the jobs, Boehner?! Jobs, jobs jobs! Get to work and quit wasting our time and tax dollars. No one will ever take the GOP/Tea Bag Party seriously until they repeal their own health care!

    January 19, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. FM

    michael wrote:

    I find it amazing Boehner's popularity is rising....he hasn't done anything yet lol. Once again americans show how stupid they really are.
    It is because they have seen him weeping most of the times!

    January 19, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Although the public thinks that GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives will be good for the country, a new national poll indicates most Americans appear to prefer President Barack Obama's approach to the issues.
    Which is why he and the Democrats got their clock cleaned last November. Honestly CNN, can't you spend your money on something better than a ridiculous poll like this? Coming out with stuff like this only makes readers question the quality of your polls and reporting.

    January 19, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Luke Brown

    I hope Boehner turns out to be a great speaker. We have so many problems in this country, it's criminal that our political institutions are more concerned with creating partisan advantage than providing leadership. So far, the GOP and the Tea Party people have offered ZERO ideas for moving this country forward.

    Boehner needs to really step up to the plate and act like a leader. It always looks to me like he has just downed a couple of shots before he goes on television. Avoiding public gatherings where there is alcohol like the state dinner for the Chinese guy doesn't help dispel the reports of his heavy drinking.

    January 19, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. civility is cool

    "The polls reflect the remaining stench of Pelosi's leadership. Once people see that new management is in charge, polls will rise"

    Perhaps the person who posted this could explain to the class how it is then, that the President's numbers are rising but the Republican numbers are not????? One would certainly, logically, think that the Republican party's numbers would be the highest right after the god-almighty "mandate" which swept them into power . . . right? Somehow you think they're going to get BETTER as time goes on? Dream on, friend.

    January 19, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. XWngLady

    Boehner is actually less ridiculous than his attack dogs Cantor and DeMint. He's older and has been in office awhile. He wants power and he wants to win, but he is just as put off by the angry, know-nothing, far-right goons in his party as the Democrats are. While I think Boehner could be reasonable, he probably won't be because he values power over people (over poor/middle class people that is).

    January 19, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Sebastian Kent

    The President needs to name names to the American public EARLY – use the bully PULPIT against Congressmen who obstruct and do nothing. I didn`t hire GOP Congressmen to SHOWBOAT by bringing us legislation that is doomed to fail. I want them focusing on solutions to problems that remain untackled – show me you can execute a constructive vision Mr. GOP`er.

    January 19, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy Boehner's leadership is still too questionable and that's not good for the country.

    January 19, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Robert

    People naively voted for Republicans thinking they will hold Obama in check, when in fact, the intransigent and obstructionist Republicans who see politics as a zero-sum game will ensure nothing gets done. The Republicans will also pick fights over issues like repeal of healthcare reform, abortions, gays – none of which have a hope of passing, most are based on ignorance and hatred; and meanwhile, the country will fall further behind the rest of the world in areas of education & investment that really matter to our economic future.

    January 19, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. lol

    Lmao @ betterdays dude, the right lives off the labor of the poor working class and would deny all benefits if allowed. Most wealthy republicans I know were propped up by someone elses work....parents, friends...etc. to reduce taxes as bush did makes no sense...the 4.5 trillion dollar surplus he was handed was not his to use to aid his daddys opec was there to make a better America for all our children. that people need services is a fact and just because someone is born or married wealthy does not mean that all the rest are lessor beings. In California...local service tax base was shifted from property to income....thus helping only the wealthy and leaving everyone else with crappy schools and services...especially when the economy is bad and when the services are needed most. How can a budget be balanced with such a inconsistant tax base? Disabled veterans get dumped on by the GOP....the very people usually putting them in harms way... the GOP is an insidious crap-bucket of greed!

    January 19, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. kevin

    FOX News is not news. Lets just hope Obama stands for the people who actually do work for a living the way Clinton did.

    January 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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