New CNN Poll: 65% give Obama thumbs down on economy
September 1st, 2011
05:00 AM ET
11 years ago

New CNN Poll: 65% give Obama thumbs down on economy

Washington (CNN) - Only a third of all Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy, according to a new national survey.

And with a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicating that more than three-quarters of the public say the country is in bad shape right now, there's little wonder why the president is getting such low marks.

According to the poll, released Wednesday morning, 28 percent of people questioned say things are going well in the country today.

"That may be a slight uptick from early August but it still represents a double-digit drop from earlier this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And it's clear that economic jitters are a drag on President Obama's standing with the voting public."

Obama gets good marks for his handling of international issues. Six in ten approve of his handling of terrorism and roughly half like his track record on foreign affairs in general and Libya in particular.
And 53 percent say they trust Obama as the nation's commander-in-chief.

But only 34 percent approve of how the president is handling economic issues, with 65 percent saying they disapprove of how he’s handling the economy. Thirty-three percent give him a thumbs up on the budget deficit and 37 percent approving of how he's dealing with unemployment.

"Two-thirds of Democrats continue to approve of Obama's economic record, but seven out of ten independents disapprove. Not surprisingly, more than nine out of ten Republicans also disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy,” adds Holland.

According to CNN poll numbers released last week, the president's overall approval rating stands at 45 percent.

The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted August 24-25, with 1,017 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 report.

Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Erik

    The state of the union is better today than what Obama inherited - the economy isn't bleeding 400,000 jobs per month, we've had over 6 quarters of private sector job growth, America's #1 enemy is dead, and the Iraq war is ending. The ship of state is slow to turn, but it is turning.

    September 1, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Chris

    65% huh? I'm guessing 90% of those are people who want the same sort of quick fix that has enabled the government to kick the can down the street for so long that a quick fix will no longer do. I hope they realize that the government is on the brink of bankruptcy, just like they are. Washington isn't going to fix the economy - it'll fix itself if and when we kick our addictions to petroleum, credit cards, and exponential growth. I don't really see that happening, so maybe if the GOP wins the White House in 2012, they can take back all the blame they so richly deserve. We'll be having this same discussion in 2016.

    And I don't really understand why conservatives are so upset with Obama anyway - the rich are richer than ever. Oh, wait. Conservatives aren't ALL rich. Not even mostly rich. Most are middle class (i.e. newly poor), but too gullible to realize that their heroes are liars. Oh, well. That's the same function religion has served for centuries.

    September 1, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Gemini Girl

    To FIELD1stSGT: You are one scary dude. Too bad this good country has to have whackjobs like you. Oh, well, I guess it can't be helped. I hope you don't own any guns, you shouldn't be allowed to own any. And if you consider yourself a real Patriot, then this country doesn't need any Patriots.

    September 1, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Voters

    America is on the wrong track not only because of its leaders but also because of the American people. We elect leaders on the basis of likeability instead of qualifications. No wonder we are in a mess.

    September 1, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Chris

    Blaming the economy on Obama is like blaming 9/11 on Saddam Hussein.

    September 1, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Lisa21

    I am so tired of the mindless devotion to Bush and now Obama. Poor Obama wasn't given a fair chance to do his job huh? Well that's what leadership is people. Taking a bad situation and making it better. Do you think Lincoln was given a fair chance? Nope his election caused a civil war. Do you think Kennedy didn't have any serious problems to deal with? Get over the false dichotomy of Republic vs. Democrat. Don't elect people because they seem cool or act like a nice guy. Regan, Bush I, Clinton agree or disagree with their policies at least the took the responsibility of their position seriously and gave this country their best. Quit electing media darlings and start thinking with your brains before it's too late.

    September 1, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    "Interesting how liberals who didn't hesitate to blame Bush for economic problems that occurred after Pelosi and Reed took control of Congress now give Obama a free pass and fault Congress when the tables are turned."

    Our economic troubles were caused by Bush's policies: Two unfunded wars and unfunded Medicare Part D.

    Bush, unlike Reagan, didn't have the stones to raise taxes when the Clinton surplus evaporated. He just kept on going, like the single-minded addict he is and always has been, never admitting a mistake and ignoring the consequences of his actions.

    President Obama's economic policies kept our country from going into a Great Depression caused by Bush's policies.

    Interesting how conservatives won't admit that after 30 years, their economic policies are all PROVEN FAILURES.

    September 1, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Fiscal incompetence!

    Attempt to transfer blame for all others.

    This is a president?

    September 1, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. George

    If only he'll stop letting himself get punk'd by Boehner......
    Obama could try compromising all he want; GOP WILL NOT compromise with you.

    Stop trying to play nice guy. Fight back and America will follow you.

    September 1, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Perryboy

    Stand-up! Mr President, you knew what you were getting into when you got in bed with these Repub/Tea Party fools. Did you really think they liked you SIR? You will get just 2 1/2 to 3 years to do magic on this economy. Bush had 8 years to f.... it up. They'll give Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or any one of the Tea Baggers a full eight years term, even if they are worse than you.

    September 1, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Chris

    If Obama would just ignore Congress and the Constitution - as his predecessor did - he could accomplish SO much more.

    September 1, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. Bernie

    We need another democratic to run against him in the next election....PLEASE

    September 1, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. BiggBenn

    I wouldn't matter if it was a Republican or Democrat in office when the economy goes down. No one even thinks about the fact that economies always follow a cyclical pattern. It also isn't the fault of the current president. Think about the recent presidents, the recent congresses, the consumer spending habits, credit obligations (both national and personal), fluctuations and uncertanty of world economies. There are so many contributing factors, but when a scapegoat must be had, people point the finger at a single individual.

    September 1, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. salvatore

    Only 60% approve of his handling of terrorism. What does the guy have to do, kill Bin Laden?

    September 1, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  15. Linda

    Obama has try to do everything in his power to bring jobs- he wanted to build a high speed railroad- the Republicans said no, he wants to repair and rebuild our failing dangerous infrastructure, The Repubs say no – they are all about cutting government when we the people need it most. They are a lunatic fringe – but wha tis scary, so was Hitler. America wake up! Unless you are part of the top 2 percent of wealth in this nation, you should be doing everything you can to help Obama !

    September 1, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Barack Obama wasted his first two years in office using a majority in the House and the Senate to force into law a "Healthcare Reform Bill" that 80% of the American people neither wanted nor understood. His jobs speech should have been made two years ago. Now it is too late. The barn burned into the foundation well before the horses even smelled the smoke. He never even tried to close the barn door to keep the horses from getting out. With that bitter disappointment off my chest, I will vote for him again in a heartbeat if the Republicans nominate Bachmann, Perry, Palin, or any other ultraright, nitwit canditate for President in 2012. I much prefer a possible death by a thousand cuts from Obama over an ensured quick death from the current field of GOP presidential candidates.

    September 1, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  17. Ja'queezie La'toofta Ru'bula Jones

    While I am NOT a supporter of President Obama, I would be the first to agree that he inherited a mess; this was caused by BOTH political parties (in my opinion), especially the deficit.

    I am certain that he is a nice man, and would make a good neighbor. However, I just don't agree with a lot of his policies. I believe that the President would have been more successful if he had spent more time in the Senate prior to running for the office.of the presidency.

    Either way, he IS the President of this great country. I pray every night that he will seek God's wisdom, and use that wisdom to bring this country back to prosperity, both fiscally and morally. I dread to think what my grandchildren will face in their future if SOMETHING positive is not done.

    September 1, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. jb

    Bottom line 230 years of American politics 10 trillion in debt. Two and a half additional years of Obama 17 trillion in debt. Numbers don't lie.

    September 1, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  19. SK

    Here's the problem: EPA stopping oil and gas industries from doing their job by providing more people to work and making the US indepent of backstabbing nations (less unemployment); Sending billions over to countries that take arms against us (needs to stop – save money in budget); revoke the health care law (save more money); kick out illegals and take our soldiers out of these wars, put them 20 feet from each other on the borders with orders shoot to kill, meanwhile exporting out the illegals instead of giving them free education, health care and government assistance (save more money and bring us out of war); lock the borders and become a self sufficient nation. Encourage Americans to buy american and demand American products. It would be amazing to see how fast the U.S. grows and becomes a nation of surplus again. Quite frankly, I'm amazed no one has thought of this yet. Most importantly, quit lying in bed with countries that are out for our downfall.

    September 1, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  20. McBob

    Frankly the guy has been pretty much a failure across the board. He's done... 1 termer, thank god!

    September 1, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. ahetch

    The tea party/republicans will stop at nothing to make Obama a one term president. They are the party of money and as such have the power to keep America broke and miserable until they get their way.

    September 1, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Holly

    Illegal’s = unemployment
    Shame on O for back door dealings.
    If you are an unemployed American – you need the power of NumbersUSA
    It’s all related! The myth that illegal aliens only hold jobs that American workers won’t do is just that — a myth. Recent studies estimate that 20 percent of cooks, 25 percent of construction workers, 22 percent of maids and housekeeping personnel, and 25 percent of groundskeepers are illegal aliens. In addition, 40 percent of illegal aliens are visa overstays, many of whom take high-end jobs from Americans.
    When fast-food company Chipotle was audited and hundreds of its illegal workers were fired, American citizens lined up the next day for a chance to work at those jobs. . .
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data from last year show that 98.3 percent of employees were confirmed as work-authorized instantly or within 24 hours using E-Verify. A 2009 report by research firm Westat found that those eligible to work are immediately confirmed 99.5 percent of the time.
    E-Verify is free, very accurate and reduces paperwork for American businesses.
    Please put your efforts into helping the truly down and out Americans. Please put your efforts in helping mothers, fathers, teenagers find work. There are generations of families who cannot compete with the under the table dealings of illegal’s and have gone out of business. Fax your representative today. Faxes and calls work and faxes are free at NumbersUSA…..(there is POWER in Numbers, look it up and just do it!)

    September 1, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Brian

    No one can get us out of the disaster Bush caused, no one. All you hear from the GOP is about spending... That spending.... I guess they mean the spending after Lehman's collapse when we were on the precipice of the abyss and the financial system was on the verge of collapse after 8 years of a Republican who inherited surpluses.

    That's the spending they're referring to. And the answer according to the GOP clown car: tax cuts.

    Because they worked so well.

    September 1, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Lee

    The economy is far bigger than any president. But one thing he can do is to stop debasing the dollar with deficit spending.

    September 1, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  25. AlohaBetty

    So who the hell are these 35% who think Obama is doing well with the economy I'd like to know. All the unions and Obama's cronies I'm sure!

    September 1, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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