CNN Poll of Polls: Obama approval at 52 percent
January 21st, 2011
12:05 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: Obama approval at 52 percent

Washington (CNN) - Four days before he gives his State of the Union address, an average of the most recent national surveys indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating stands at 52 percent.

According to the CNN Poll of Polls average, compiled and released Friday, 42 percent of Americans say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties as president. The release of the survey comes one day after the second anniversary of Obama's inauguration as president.

The 52 percent approval rating is up five points from the last CNN Poll of Polls, which was conducted in mid November, after the midterm elections.

The presidential approval question asks respondents how they feel about how Obama is handling his job. It is used to measure the country's opinion of the president's performance as head of the nation.

The newest CNN Poll of Polls is an average of five national polls conducted in the past week: Gallup tracking (1/17-19), CBS/New York Times (1/15-19), CNN/Opinion Research (1/14-16), NBC/Wall Street Journal (1/13-17), and Washington Post/ABC News (1/13-16).

All polls were taken after Obama's address in Tucson, Arizona on January 12 and reflect the impact of that speech on the Arizona shootings, as well as the president's accomplishments in the lame duck session of Congress, which concluded in late December.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    I believe that is better than both Clinton and Reagan at this point in their administrations. He still has 2 years to drive home his accomplishments and improve on those figures. I think he can do it.

    January 21, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. modmike

    Just checked a gallup poll he is at 51%. Gallup is a highly respected poll and most accurate.

    January 21, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. scieng

    As Obama moves closer to the center, he should be praised for that. Of couse, he still doesn't have a clue about what creates jobs, protects citizen rights, or promotes health care.

    January 21, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Jon

    The media has an all-consuming obsession with presidents. How is Obama doing now? How about now? And now? His popularity has more to do with which party is doing better at the propaganda game and how the media covers things than how he is actually doing as president. Since sensationalism in the service of ratings holds ever more sway over the media and thus the public, the media's role as educator and as a check and balance against the excesses and abuses of power is vanishing.

    January 21, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. al in memphis

    Before he was elected, Republicans had all sorts of catchy negatives about how he would perform. Look at the last 4 years (Bush last two, Obama's first two) and how things have change. Stock market people aren't complaining, business profits have been best every, financial markets aren't crashing, Iraq is not leading the news, there is a debate about health care that includes (all Americans), banks are on notice that you can't just fleech customers at will- still unemployment is high because it will take time to get jobs back from overseas in the type of industries that pay well.

    I don't agree with all Obama's positions, but I think he understands how the office of the President is supposed to function.

    January 21, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Obama 2012. Period. End of discussion.

    January 21, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Pretzel Logic

    Just wait until the Republican primary season. After seeing what the GOP has to offer for President, Obama's ratings will be in the mid 80's.

    January 21, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Perfect. He's probably gaining independents at the expense of his base – and the independents aren't going to WORK for his campaign... and neither will his base. This is perfect.

    January 21, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Liam

    He is acting moderately now as opposed to the last two years. We will see if its real or rhetoric. Unemployment is the highest it has been since the 1930's with real unemployment near 19%. That is 1 in 5 Americans out of work. Obama has been giving the signal he is ready to work with the GOP and his numbers are rising. Its a good thing for all of us he is fleeing his business bashing agenda.

    January 21, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. w l jones

    The dept of one soul is deep in his or her mind! we American might aurgue and go on but when our country future is on the line we put our difference aside and keep our leader in office who put our country ahead of his or her politicer ambition, the late Sen. Byrd the first come to mind.

    January 21, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Robert

    The economy went bust under Bush – the worst recession since the Great Depression. Obama inherited a country where tax revenue collapsed and the number needing assistance skyrocketed. But the economy is now on the way up, unemployment is going down. Many liberals stayed home because they were disillusioned that Obama were not able to implement his vision right away, but the truth is that he was constrained by the economy and an unhelpful Republican Party. Two years from now, things will be much better. Already, the markets are 40% above their lows. The economic indicators are improving. Obama has the correct vision of investing in America and investing in the future. There is no question that Obama will be re-elected in 2012.

    January 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Jacob

    Obama has done an incredible job! But there is one thing I don't understand....the GOP took control days ago, and the economy still isn't FIXED!?!? where are the jobs, GOP!?

    January 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. PalmReader

    Obama 2012 supporter, present and accounted for.

    January 21, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Jobe

    Clintion has taught Obama a thing or two about shape-shifting evidently. Now maybe Clinton can teach him how to negotiate with a GOP Congress to spur the economy. Divided government is when we were in the money last time so lets see of Obama can make the leap. His 2012 hopes depend on it...

    January 21, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. ABM

    He has gotten ALOT done even with the Obstructionist cause us all heartburn. Fantastic President.

    January 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Njfinest2009

    That is great news, keep climbing Obama! your supporters are slowly but surely coming back.

    January 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Njfinest2009

    @ Palm reader (Ditto)

    January 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Tony

    Neither do the Republicans. In fact, Republicans have already used up their idea on creating jobs- tax cuts. The problem for Republicans is that Obama adopted the whole Bush tax cuts; the Bush tax cuts have never been canceled. If Republicans think that Obama's policies have not created jobs, the Bush tax cuts have not created jobs.

    January 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    Perfect. He's probably gaining independents at the expense of his base – and the independents aren't going to WORK for his campaign... and neither will his base. This is perfect.
    Hmmmm. Fascinating diatribe....
    How would you know who would work in his campaign or not? Did you work in his campaign for his win in '08?
    I did, right alongside Independents, Undeclareds, Democrats, AND Republicans.
    You sound bitter, and irrational.

    January 21, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. vic nashville tn

    We are better off now than two years back Repealing health care will hurt GOP in 2012
    Obama 2012

    January 21, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We the people want to and understand we must move forward and not allow the Republicans to repeal the 21st Century. e World leaders understands and respects this President because they recognize he intellectually knows the challenges that binds this global economy and that is increasingly important to all of us.

    January 21, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. jim

    Republicans .... Please explain what your boy Bush was talking about in 2004 .....

    George W. Bush's stance on housing during the 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech

    This speech was delivered at the 2004 Republican National Convention on September 2, 2004 when George W. Bush officially accepted the Republican nomination to run for President. This is a quote from that speech .....

    "Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence. Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say welcome to my home."

    George said it, not me.

    January 21, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. kayla

    GOD bless you president Obama.

    January 21, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. one voice

    It was your choice( McCain/ Palin, GREAT DEPRESSION,WORLD WAR 3) and a President that cares about the AVERAGE AMERICAN. The approval rating should be 98%

    January 21, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    This is good because I heard on the radio from a POLLSTER that African Americans and other people of Color only represent 100/1000 questioned. On top of that, people with cell phones aren't even polled. Therefore, the number is probably higher than 52%!!

    Ask the right people – get the right numbers!!

    January 21, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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