CNN Poll: Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down
July 22nd, 2011
01:01 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's approval rating is down to 45 percent, driven in part by growing dissatisfaction on the left with the president's track record in office, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International Poll also indicates that the Republican "brand" is taking a beating in the minds of Americans.

Read full results (pdf).

The survey's Friday release comes as the Obama administration and top congressional officials continue talks on a potential deal tying roughly $3 trillion in new savings over the next decade to an increase in the nation's debt ceiling. If Congress and the President fail to raise the country's $14.3 trillion limit by August 2, Americans could face rising interest rates, a declining dollar and increasingly jittery financial markets, among other problems.

According to the poll, the president's 45 percent approval rating is down three points from June. Fifty-four percent of people questioned disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties, up six points from last month. His 54 percent disapproval rating ties the all-time high in CNN polling that the president initially reached just before last year's midterm elections.

"But drill down into that number and you'll see signs of a stirring discontent on the left," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-eight percent say they disapprove because President Obama has been too liberal, but 13 percent say they disapprove of Obama because he has not been liberal enough - nearly double what it was in May, when the question was last asked, and the first time that number has hit double digits in Obama's presidency."

Looking at that figure another way, roughly one in four Americans who disapprove of the president say they feel that way because he's not been liberal enough.

Obama's approval rating among liberals has dropped to 71 percent, the lowest point in his presidency. And the number of Democrats who want the party to renominate Obama next year, now at 77 percent, is relatively robust by historical standards but is also down a bit since June.

"It's likely that this is a reaction to some of Obama's recent actions, including his willingness to discuss major changes in Social Security and Medicare as part of the debt ceiling negotiations," adds Holland.

Some congressional Democrats appeared to be on the verge of open revolt against their own president Thursday night after hearing some of the details in the $3 trillion plan - a package many of them contend does not do nearly enough to ensure wealthier Americans share in the burden of stemming the tide of Washington's red ink.

Those Democrats are desperately trying to protect some of their party's primary legacies - entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, programs forged at the height of the New Deal and Great Society.

On the other side of the negotiating table, the poll indicates that GOP is also not faring all that well. Fifty-five percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party, a seven-point increase since March. The Democratic party's favorable rating is not much better, but it has held steady.

And only 37 percent say the policies of the Republican leaders in Congress would move the country in the right direction - a nine-point drop since the start of the year, when the GOP took over control of the House of Representatives.

"Although most Americans say that Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP, even more say that the Republicans need to cooperate more with the president," says Holland.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on July 18-20, with 1,009 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 story.

Filed under: CNN poll • Debt • Deficit • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (241 Responses)

    "August 2/11 will be armageddon-day if Washington Politicans do not agree to raise the debt-ceiling"
    this according to Pres Obamas' own words. The logic of it all, keep spending more and more with
    borrowed money.
    The irony of it all is that the very financial istitutions that caused the the world wide financial melt-down
    in the first place and were bailed-out by the American taxpayers are now threatening to down-grade
    the American credit-rating by saying: "Spend more or else"..! Yes the logic of it all...????

    July 22, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. beth

    yeah, so his approval ratings is down among liberals...I'm sure they're all going to jump on the Tea Party Express...HA!

    July 22, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    so if you look at it all the way around the country is just fed up with Washington in general. Yet as low as his approval rating has gone Obama's is still higher than the Dems and esp the new Tea Party Republicans.

    July 22, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Fonz

    Obama is going down! But America will still stand tall and continue to prosper and be the world's #1 super-power. This clown has done enough damage to this great country but true American work ethics & fiscal respinsibilty is alive and well in the USA!

    July 22, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. DAISY

    Obama is the worst USA President ever.

    July 22, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Stabilitty

    president obama would rather give in to the tea party than to protect the american people!

    July 22, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. PRP

    Why can't democratic party have an alternate to President Obama? There are many qualified democrates that can challenge Pres. Obama.

    July 22, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Bob Myatt

    I am an Independent the majority of Americans....And I am also a senior citizen on social security....and a member of AARP....we have 40 million members.......And if my vote means anything next Nov.? None of the current republicans will be in office....After that date....They have proven to be nothing but pawns of the wealthiest Americans in our great country....Their MOTO >" take from the poor and give to the rich"

    July 22, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. CJG

    I still support Obama as President since I feel at least he is the adult in the room and is not led by extremist ideas. That said I do see how liberals would be disillusioned with him , as a moderate he makes me more comfortable than what I see coming out of the right wing, I am far more concerned with the ideas in the GOP that would take this country in a wrong and disasterous direction . For a group that talks contituional rights , they seem to only think it applies to them and thier ideas. The right is lbecoming too extreme ,which is not a healthy thing for this country. They are now a party of follow the leader even if he goes off the cliff! Give me a calm cool President Obama any day !

    July 22, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Ann Marie

    Polls, polls, polls. So sick of the unprecedented Presidential disrespect. Can anyone toss this man a bone. Can you imagine what he could accomplish if there were not so many haters? I don't mean one has to support him on everything, especially if you disagree on policy that is different than his, but jeesh. There is no one and I mean no one, Republican or Democrat that could have fixed everything in 1 1/2 yrs. He should be commended at least for stepping up and trying, period, he's taking the heat everywhere, show some respect for the office if if you don't like him. Everyone talks about his spending when the reality is that he had no other choice than to spend in order to offset a huge financial crisis. Unreal. Republicans will be the end of the middle class if allowed to go forward. Too bad compromise and reaching across the aisle are taken as signs of weakness by some people. I thought we were more evolved than that but I am sadly disappointed.

    July 22, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. SilverHair

    Just like most polls – can be made to indicate just about anything requester wants to establish.

    July 22, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Zious

    Democrats need to find someone to contest a primary against Obama. He seems more and more likely to be a one term president. He expects the independents, who are more and more dissatisfied with the direction of the economy and its handling by the President who has at best been on the sidelines looking up at the stars, to vote for him by compromising with the republicans. They would if it were compromising but the President has simply capitulated to the republicans time and again. He may not have lost his base but they won't come out and vote as they did the last time and with the race being so close he is bound to lose. Hillary Clinton who has been superlative in her role since conceding defeat in the primaries should be looked at and persuaded to make a run if possible.

    July 22, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Barry from Wisconsin

    Does the so-called left (that would include me) want a tea party person instead. Grow up, progressives. The President is doing the best he is able with a split congress and a polarized electorate.

    July 22, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Thinkfirstyo

    The GOP is purposefully attempting to sink the economy to ensure Obama loses in 2012. Economic sabotage.

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Frank

    Only 55% say they have an unfavorable view of the Republicans? This may be a 7 point increase, but we still have a long way to go if the Middle Class is to stand up to the 400 people who earn more than 150 Million other Americans!

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. charles smiles

    1009 participants...seriously!?! 1009 people speaks on behalf of 300 million americans.

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Disappointed I wish some one from the democrats challenge him again (may be Hillary Clinton)
    When he announced that they killed Osama Bin Laden that was great moment. That is the only thing he delivers to us.
    Today local unemployment report came it’s went up by 0.1% why Declines occurred in government job at the same time we see increases in private sector.

    People need jobs government is firing ridiculous

    Low income, middle class, seniors are losing confidence on president

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. collins Robert

    1009 people speaks for america? wow

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Blaum

    One and done...

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Marty

    He lost me and I was part of his campaign and a conributor.

    July 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Texas Doc

    Yet he will still destroy ANY candidate the GOTea Party can field.

    July 22, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. GrogInOhio

    re: "Stirring discontent on the left"... Meh. Not to worry, we may be disappointed in the president, but the probability of liberals voting for any one of the current clowns in the GOP clown car or even NOT voting in November 2012 is exactly zero.

    July 22, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Mark

    How did this make it on CNN? Seriously is someone going to get fired for posting this?

    July 22, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. willard

    I'm really belived that people amercian
    Are like funny play game vote of his history black obama also he was lots problems ecommony that is too bad for obama

    July 22, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Thinkfirstyo

    ... by the way, anyone who supports "Cut, Cap and Balance" has no understanding of macroeconomics.

    July 22, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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