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. Marine57

    "New CNN Poll: 65% give Obama thumbs down on economy"
    Please add me to the thumbs down side of the poll.

    September 1, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. kaparrishatl

    What would be better if the media ran a poll asking the average citizen how much the know or understand civics!! The party of NO would not help this President if he went out and made all the jobs available for every person looking for work right now. This is a climate of not what can we do to help the people, but what can we do to make sure this Black President does not get re-elected. Yes, I said it! The color of his skin has made his job difficult.

    September 1, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. cevans, texas

    It took eight (8) years to tear the economy down. Why do we expect the President to build it back up in two (2) years? How soon do we forget or just choose to have a collective memory. No matter what the President has done, is trying to do, it will never be enough for some you people. The party of NO is still saying NO! You do realize that, don't you? He can not do it alone. Put the blame where it belong, CONGRESS!

    September 1, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Mikey

    Obama inherited quite a mess from W and Cheney. How you can blame that all on him is unbelievable.
    Republicans have done everything to stand in Obama's way of trying to fix things and we are still paynig for couple of wars.

    September 1, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. TEA PARTY Mike

    Given these dismal poll numbers one might ask why Obama should expect he has any credibility left when he says he knows what to do to create jobs and grow the economy.
    Polls show a majority of voters did not what the first stimulus passed and don't believe it worked as promised. Given that and Obama's dismal ratings on how he has handled the economy,what are the odds his new plan will impress a majority of voters. He has spent a lot of time telling us he is worried Republicans will not support it. I thinks he should be more worried that a majority of voters will not support his new plan any more then they did the first stimulus.
    If Obama's first stimulus had worked as promised, we would not need a second one. Republicans did not have the votes to block the first one, even though voters did not want it and would have liked it if Republicans could have blocked it.
    Obama got Obamacare. Pelosi said if Obamacare was passed it would create 400,000 jobs right away. Can someone identify those 400,000 jobs? I don't think so. But Obama got Obamacare. Republicans could not block it even though a majority of voters did not want it and still don't and would have liked it if Republicans could have blocked it.
    Obama got several extensions on unemployment and he got Republican votes to pass those bills. Republicans did not block that. Obama claims another extension on unemployment will create a million jobs. If that is true the past extensions should have also. Anyone see millions of new jobs created from the past extensions? But Obama says unemployment extensions create millions of jobs. He got that. Not blocked by Republicans.
    Obama also got in increase in spending of 600 billion over the last Bush Budget. The last Bush Budget was 3.2 trillion, current spending levels are 3.8 trillion.
    Obama says government spending creates jobs. The government has never even come close to spending as much as it does now with the stimulus and the 3.8 trillion budget. Republicans did not block that. The recent budget spending cuts mostly go into effect in the future. Obama has had all the spending he could possible want for nearly 3 years.
    If the bills Obama has already gotten passed had delivered on his promises, we would not need a second stimulus. Obama 's policies have failed, they were not blocked by Republicans.

    September 1, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. a health economist

    @ John,

    As others have pointed out to you, PA is not a representative sample of the US as a whole. And looking into the disapproval statistic by itself is a little misleading. Some of the independents that disapprove, and probably most of the democrats that disapprove, would not necessarily vote Republican next election simply because they "disapprove" of Obama. There are many things I disapprove of how he's been doing things, including issues with the economy. But I approve of extremely little of what the republicans have done and want to do.

    September 1, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Bill

    @A Soldier

    "I can say that most military member dont trust the President as Commander in Chief."

    No, you can say that it's YOUR opinion that you don't trust the President but as for "most miltary" members, that would be least according to those who have spoke out in support of the fact that in the past 2 1/2 years we've finally gone after the real eneny and are succeeding in that goal. Generals have made it clear that more al Queda and their supporters have been killed in the past two years than were previously under an adminstristration that was more interested in nation building and contractor's profits in Iraq.

    September 1, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Aaron

    He kept the PATRIOT act, he allowed the federal wiretapping abuses to continue, he's allowing the TSA to continue to photograph us nude and fondle our children, he didn't close Guantanamo, and he's doing nothing to stop U.S. corporations from continuing to outsource jobs and send paychecks to foreign workers that U.S. workers need if we're going to have any money circulating in our economy.

    If you do a blind test and try to tell who's in office purely by what they're doing, I can't tell if Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Obama is in the White House right now.

    September 1, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    So basically this poll states that 2/3 of the American public are standing with the 1/3 government body (Republican controller House). Sounds like Obama needs to start listening to the American people, instead of his advisors. We the American people are TERRIFIED to give this president anymore power. He hasnt done anything right wiith the power we gave him when he was first elected and now we are asked to trust him for 4 more years. Not gonna happen!!!

    September 1, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Republican who supports President Obama

    Before the election in 2008 I was talking with a headhunter and he told me that many in the business community did not like candidate Obama and were afraid that he would be anti-business. We are in 2011 and the business community has been reaping benefits from this government but they are not helping the economy by hiring or spending capital. Instead they are hoarding cash and paying bonuses to the big wigs.

    The working class should realize that the GOP is not the answer. They are the problem. They want to stall any glimmer of improvement for votes.

    September 1, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. chris

    I'll be surprised if he gets re-elected. He's done nothing to improve the situation this country is in. He's an ineffective leader who has gotten the US deeper in debt. I like everyone else was "taken" by his "yes we can" and "change you can believe in" BS...not voting for this loser next time. Didnt he tell us that he'd get BOTH political parties to work together by "bridging the gap"?

    Sorry BO but ya STINK!

    September 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Eli

    "If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition."
    -Barack Hussein Obama, February 2, 2009, interview with Matt Lauer

    September 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Stephen

    While I think that Obama probably has good intentions, I have been very disappointed with his economic policies. My biggest concern is that he is spending too much money on entitlement programs. I am not referring to things like social security and medicare. I am referring to things that allow young/middle age adults to live off the government despite their ability to get an education or job. This is different than people who get laid off or who lose their job due to economic factors. I am referring to the people who continuously take advantage of the system. And by no means is this an isolated issue. Instead of living off welfare for years, these people should take advantage of some of the grants available for people to attend community colleges. They could even do this while they work.

    I honestly wanted to like Obama. I am very impressed by the way he handled Libya. Also, his decision to enter Pakistan to catch Osama Bin Laden took a lot of guts and courage (He could have suffered big time if these weren't successful). It shows that he is willing to risk his position for the good of the American people. I also like how he has tried to work towards a more bi-partisan government. This was evidenced by the way he recently agreed to post-pone his discussion with congress so the GOP could have their debates.

    However, I will not be voting for him due to the fact that he has not addressed the problems with the economy. This is one thing that has a direct effect on our long-term performance. While I recognize that he only has a limited amount of influence on this matter, he didn't even make an effort to correct our problems. Just a few months ago, he refused to post-pone his vacation and recall congress from theirs to address the problems with the budget, jobs, etc. Why did he wait till now to do these things? This is one of many questions I have for him regarding this subject. Due to these factors, my vote will be used to try to give someone else a chance in office.

    September 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Enough is Enough

    That's because Obama keeps giving taxpayers and business the middle finger.

    September 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Pete from St Paul

    The "NO" strategy is actually working.
    Yes. It is. They've been doggedly, and determinedly at it since January 20th, 2009. The GOP's focus, intent, and tenacity is quite frankly enviable.
    Unfortunately for them and for us their "NOs" haven't just impacted the President's efficacy but also the nation's recovery. And when you do something over, and over, and over again with no provocation nor justification it becomes hard for even the blind to NOT see what your motivation is, and where your true allegiance lies.
    It is my fervent hope that when the Republican nominee is chosen and he stands there debating our President in front of the ENTIRE nation that ALL of their "NO's" come home to roost......and poop all over their nominees' head.
    You've bent over backwards and have garnered a treasure trove of 'bitch slapping moments for the GOP nominee Mr. President. We are all impatiently awaiting that SMACKDOWN.
    Obama 2012

    September 1, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Tzckrl

    What is he waiting for? He should take out the magic wand and make things all better right now! It's just the economy - and it's all his fault and it should be so easy to fix - so do it already!

    September 1, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Mike

    I just love how all the Obama lovers blame the republicans for all the failures. For two years they had both houses and nothing was made better. In fact it got worse, but all you brain washed people keep following your lame duck. Your always good for a laugh.

    September 1, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Johny

    This president makes Bush look good. In fact, I would gladly have him back over this novice who never even held a real job.

    The president had a majority of democrats both in the house and in the senate during his first two years of office and spent money like drunken sailors. Now who is going to pay for this mess? Where are the jobs?

    September 1, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. LarryClinton

    Obama is a good person. No doubt...
    He just does not have the backbone to run this country....He won't stand tall for what is right, and he lets President Boehner run the country.

    September 1, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. ILS

    It is amazing you continue to publish these bias polls based on the responses of little over a 1,000 people. Come on you know that low number is not representative of the U.S. population. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows this poll is meritless and shouldn't be published. It sadens me every time I see such ridiculous information. We all know that the problems with the economy is the result of the congress' in action. Let's put the blame were it belongs and stop taking up valuable space on your website publishing information that is skewed and unreliable!

    September 1, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Liberal Elite = Anyone with an education...

    It's very funny how posters constantly accuse the President and liberals of blaming Bush for the problems that, by the way, he did actually create. Then, in almost the same breath, they say the Teapublicans who are dedicated to ensuring the President gets only one term, at the cost of our country and our jobs, shouldn't get any blame for our current situation because, after all, the Democrats had a (barely) majority in congress from 2006-2010.
    To sum up, according to the Teapublicans, it's not okay to blame Bush for the crisis HE CREATED, but it is okay to blame the Democrats because they had a majority in congress for 4 of the last 10 years. GOP hypocrisy isn't even suprising anymore.

    September 1, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. JMissal

    For those griping that the republicans are holding up things in the House, what was your excuse the first two years of Obama's presidency when the democrats held a filibuster-proof majority in BOTH the House and Senate? Afterall, nothing was accomplished in THAT time frame either.

    September 1, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. cornell b

    I'll be the first to say it. America was not ready for a black president... you proved your point White America, if whitey cant do it blackey sure as hell wont. Im black and wont vote for another black president again because no mattter what he do the whole "im not going to take orders from a monkey" mindset is going to set him or her back. His ratings were lower than NIxon, Come on people, you know what it is.

    September 1, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Gayle

    Who in the HELL is being polled. You can take all the polls you like but we Americans really know who got up into this mess and realize that its going to take awhile to get out of it. People really need to be concern with who we are sending to Washington to work with the President. I have never in my life seen so many so call grown people acting like children. My vote will not change for President but it will change for those I send to represent. I really want people who really want to work with the President and not play games with all of our lives.

    September 1, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Pat in il

    Incredibly naive and misleading. Obama is doing's the party of NO that won't let him acrually do his job. Shameful!

    September 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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