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. TDiddy

    Makes you wonder just what the "H" the other 35% are thinking!?!?!?!?!?!? That sure must be some strong kool-aid!

    September 1, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. Paul

    Obama is a shoe-in in 2012. The nutcases in the opposition haven't a chance of getting the votes of average Americans.

    September 1, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Skeptic

    I gave Obama low grade not because he couldn't do anything because of the Republican sabotages, but because he caved in to Republican demands 9 out of 10 times, extending tax breaks to the wealthy every time GOP asked for it.

    September 1, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. Dave

    The reason why this economy is not working is becasue we are still under the Bush tax cut which it has not been working for over 10 years. Obama should not have extended the tax cut for riches. Look at Clinton's tax era and it worked very well before Bush.

    September 1, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Mr. Door

    Only two of three???

    September 1, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Suzie

    Hillary, where are you???

    September 1, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. terry

    Why anyone would have taken on the job that GW and his team had screwed up so badly is a mystery to me. To dig out of a hole that deep will take years and years. The people of this country just don't have the patience for such a long wait. If it can't be fixed in an hour long TV program we are simply not interested. Apparently people think that things will magically improve by electing the GOP team but I'm betting they are in for one terrific letdown.

    September 1, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. teepee

    not so prosperous to be white these days is it?

    September 1, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. Cee

    Obama really needs to read every speech ever given by FDR. He should draw some inspiration from a former President who also faced very hostile powerful opposition. FDR did NOT try to mollycoddle his detractors he was quick to point out that the average American would NOT fare well if the Republicans had their way. That was true then and it is still true today. I think it the GOP should be called Grover's Obstructionist Party, because they are far more concerned about maintaining the plutocracy that their policies have created than they are in assisting OUR President in his effort to restore economic stability.
    My fear is that our congress seems to have been taken over by right wing extremists and I can't imagine that this is an improvement. I just read about a young man who brought a gun to school and shot another student, 14 years old, who was a cross dresser, in the back of the head. It was truly a tragedy, yet the only sympathy seemed to be for the killer, which is also a tragedy, in and of itself. The jury was hung and no decision about a retrial has been made. That is the message our youths are getting raised with. We are at a crossroad we will either allow a small minority of rabid folks to run our country, or not.

    September 1, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  10. rude

    He did NOT start the recession but he ended it. Now we got to get the economy to pre-Bush levels.

    September 2, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  11. Donovan

    The 1/3 who approved must have been wasted on drugs when they took the survey

    September 2, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  12. Caldude612

    GOP controls one house of congress. Dems have the WH and the senate.
    Obama couldn't improve the economy when he had it all for two years. That's just pitiful. No leadership ability.

    September 2, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  13. Sfe

    I'm really kind of sick with "(insert president here) had low approval ratings on handling of economy." In case you all don't realize, we live in a free market system, the president and the government can do little to really affect the economy. Infrastructure and military contracts? Good for temporary jobs. Lower taxes for high income earners? Doesn't do bubkiss for jobs. Regulation to "insure no more collapses"? never insures no further collapses and always leads to more headaches for everyone. Face it, we are the ones who have to take charge of the economy. Because we are the economy.

    September 2, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  14. solowd

    Just because Obama can't speak a magic word and repair the damage doesn't mean he's doing a sh!t job. Obama and Bernanke (especially Bernanke) saved our economy from shit that LACK OF REGULATION started.

    Republican solution: REMOVE REGULATION.

    Even if you don't like Obama, don't be fooled into thinking that the GOP clowns could do any better. They're bottom feeders.

    September 2, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  15. Aki

    No one likes to say how bad inflation is even as wages barely go up and inflation rises faster than the wages (except for the rich). All that stimulus money wasn't made from work, it was printed and lended to lift up bad banks. No one here should believe that the government honestly wanted to help us by giving many billions of dollars to some rich bankers. And I bet those banks feel empowered and think they can do more and get more government help when they mess up again, then they'll be double "too big to fail."

    These banks that were in trouble should have gone through bankruptcy just like the rest of us, but they get fresh money. And that helps give so much wealth in this country to the high rich instead of the lower 90% who don't have such government connections.

    I can't tell what the economy will do, but what is being done for big banks sends a message that main street isn't bothered with by our government. These bailouts have empowered them over the rest of us. People could be helping themselves by not believing in government to help them, too.

    September 2, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  16. L

    All those people blaming the congress now what happened to you two years ago?

    1. When Bush was president, any one with common sense would look into the numbers and recognize that the country was doing very good, the unemployment rate was under control between 2000 and 2006, despite two disasters, namely 9/11 and Katrina. in 2007, Democrats took control of the Senate and Congress and it was all downhill from that point. Yet you blamed Bush at that time. Now you are blaming congress and not the inept president? Talk about double standard.

    2. This president had the luxury of having both congress and Senate (fillibuster proof majority) for the first two years of his presidency. He and the democrats could have passed any bill he wanted to passed. Infact they rammed the useless health care bill down the throat of America. Why didn't they do something to make economy and jobs situation better at that time? Now the Democrats turn around and blame congress? Oh by the way, Senate is still controlled by Democrats.

    This is all politics played by Democrats to get Obama Elected in 2012. If he had any good intentions and any idea about what needs to be done, he could have and should have done it in the first two years of his presidency. There is a reason why America spoke and put Republicans in charge of congress. They saw what this president is capable of.

    September 2, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  17. Robert

    It seems no wartime president can be successful with domestic issues, and no peacetime president can be successful with foreign issues.

    September 2, 2011 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  18. 60minuteman

    Tax cuts for rich people in 2002. Renewed tax cuts for rich in Dec 2010. All of this for the "Job Creators", who have yet to create a SINGLE job. This is STILL bush and his minions' economy, and the repubs aim to keep it this way.

    September 2, 2011 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  19. Blake

    I don't remember being polled. Not to mention, for a brilliant-minded president who clearly wants the best for's impossible to solely blame Obama for the nation's economic problems. It's congress's inability to compromise for the good of the nation that's the problem! Instead, the majority in the house has shown the nation that they're more interested in their own personal interests instead of that of the nation's. God bless our representatives and our president...but remember, they're in office for we, the people...all of us...and not themselves.

    September 2, 2011 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  20. Blake

    In response to "African American" on 9/1/11, 5:47pm: Nice try. Your glaring contradiction shows your true race, white, after all. Those who voted for Barack Obama and believed in his "Yes We Can" speech clearly understand that our nation's problems are not and cannot be due to one man. Instead, we are witnessing what happens to a brilliant president when...

    1) An opposing House majority is unwilling to compromise from their own personal beliefs while disregarding the better interests of the nation, and...
    2) the numerous economic land minds laid by our previous insufficient president have begun to roost...and our current president has to pay the price.

    September 2, 2011 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  21. Dan

    Neither party cares about creating jobs. It's about making their donors even more wealthy and helping multi-national companies make more at the expense of U.S. workers. U.S. jobs are lost to free trade with countries with low wages, few environmental regulations, lower legal risks, and less government debt from wars and stimulus funds. Bush was a terrible President, but Gore would have been even worse signing the Kyoto Agreement that would have put strong regulations on the U.S. and none on China or India. Obama hasn't done anything that fixes the fundamentals of why companies aren't choosing to create jobs in the U.S.. Paying companies $300,000 per working in stimulus funds is a short-term fix in unemployment, but it's even more debt to cause problems down the road.

    September 2, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  22. Zavier

    As a political science major, this just shows the ignorance of Americans today. If they believe the economy is Obama's fault they should get a basic understanding of political science in regards to american government and also basic economics in regard to a "world economy". Don't hide behind ignorance and blame Obama, you just sound plain stupid.

    September 2, 2011 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  23. cony 007

    Can you imagine if Obama didn't help the auto industry and Bush and Obama did not do any bailouts. Our country would be much worst than it is now. Both GW and Obama saved the US from going into a deep depression but most of you who are commenting are morons and have never lived during the depression so you have no idea what it is to truly suffer hunger and misery. The Republicans are just interested in getting Obama out because they are nuts and many of them are racist. The Democrats have no spine to back up the president. So you have a stalemate for the American people. The American people should be outrage not about Obama. The American people should be outrage about our entire political system that needs to be redone. Our politicians have sold out to corrupted lobbyist, multinational corporations and mainly the Industrial War Complex that Pres. Ike warned us about in 1959. We need radical change. This change can only come from our youth. The current generation is lost in decadence, materialism and greed. Our youth are the only hope left to save America.

    September 2, 2011 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  24. cony 007

    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land ... all because of public pressure.

    If you really love your country then I'm asking each of you to share this message to every person that you know.
    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/2012 . The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.


    If you agree with the above, pass it on.

    September 2, 2011 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  25. haha

    Americans wanted change and they got it, change for the worse.

    September 2, 2011 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
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