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. cactusjack

    What did people who voted for Obama really expect? He never held a real job, has never even managed a convenience store. Zero experience, and we elected him to run the most complicated government in the world. He wasn't qualified for the job. Hello America, wake up, the man is not qualified to be president. he should never have been elected. It's your fault the mess we are in. Votes count. You have proven that you are not smart enough to govern yourself. Face it. Don't be mad at him, he is in over his head and drowning. Only his ego keeps him from bailing out. Because of him the case for a black president has been set back 50 more years.

    September 1, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Ron

    The founding fathers planned for that. It is the reason the executive branch exist, in one person, giving them the flexibility to be a leader.

    September 1, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. standingwave

    Can't believe Republicans,who cheered the idea of paying for 2 wars with tax cuts,are complaining about Obama's handling of the economy.Perhaps if they would stop fighting the President and instead try to work together for the people they represent,we could make some progress.

    September 1, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!

    Yes Obama has been a dismal failure but he didn't do it all by himself. You take a man with absolutely no spine (how does he stand up?) and pair him with an opposition party right of the dark ages who attacks everything he tries to do, even when they first agreed to it, and you have a recipe for disaster. What are we to do? On one hand we can re-elect this disappointing non-entity or we can elect someone from the medieval party that destroyed and continues to destroy this country. Like I said, we're all going to die
    Lucullus, NYC

    September 1, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. PDXSerric

    "It is amazing how many people want to blame everything on the Republican controlled house. Did they forget that Obama had 2 years with a completely Democrat controlled congress and the only thing he accomplished was spending money."

    Yeah, it's not like the GOP abused the filibuster rule to block anything/everything for those two years. The GOP made many promises for 2010, but the only one they've been able to keep is to try and discredit Obama at any cost, even if that cost is shouldered by average, unemployed Americans. Get a clue, people: it isn't that hard to look back and see, clearly, how the GOP have fought tooth and nail to ensure Obama as a one-term president. The GOP has no answers, nor do they have any interest in changing politics. Their goal is to halt any change so they can go back to business as usual with the lobbyists in charge.

    Get a clue, people. Stop listening to the bobble heads on FOX news, etc. and open your eyes. Is Obama the greatest president? Of course not. But we will never know what good he can accomplish as long as we allow the GOP/TP to force us into high unemployment, bankruptcy and national debt just to steal the seat from the Democrats in 2012. Why not forgo the elections altogether and just have one of the GOP become Dear Comrade Leader for Life? They would love nothing more.

    September 1, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Mike from Memphis

    I agree that CNN's article is irresponsible unless the disapproval ratings for Congress, specifically on THEIR handling of the economy, are also given. Have Americans forgotten their grade school civics so quickly? CONGRESS IS IN CHARGE OF SPENDING! Unless, of course, you are George Bush, and you use false intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction to justify invading a country that had nothing whatever to do with the World Trade Center attack, and then spend trillions of dollars to keep waging TWO wars for years WITHOUT Congressional approval. Every person I know, Democrat and Republican, thinks Obama is a weak President, but they blame Bush and the GOP for destroying the prosperity of the Clinton years and putting us in a mess not even FDR could fix. No, and not Reagan, either. We had virtually no national debt after Carter, and a catastrophic one after Reagan.

    September 1, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. John

    45% approval is downright popular compared to Congress and the Republicans. In this country, the President is not king- he can't do much without the approval of Congress, and with the party of NO controlling the House, nothing constructive can happen. The economy was improving until the Republicans got control of the House, and look at what has happened since.

    September 1, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. william barry

    The failure of the Democratic base to show up in 2010 set Obama up for the unfortunate reality of Repiglican obstruction of an agenda that would benefit the nation. The best option now is to show up BIG in 2012 and put as many Democrates as possible in the House, the Senate and the White House. It is the "Average American's" only hope against the Class Warfare being executed by the Rich.

    September 1, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Sonic10158

    If obama didn't do anything helpful to the economy when the democrats had the House, Senate, AND the White House, of course he won't fix it with a gop house

    September 1, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Blame Obama ALL you want and don't forget to have fun while you're doing it but in the end Obama WILL win. Why you ask: because he CARRIES THE EDUCATED VOTE. That's why – and we know what Congress is NOT doing so John, in PA (some backwoods place I'm sure) tell YOUR nation to get used to it.

    September 1, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. United Idiots of America

    80% of Americans don't know how their government works, so they blame the man on TV. This poll is completely ignorant and pushes ignorance more... The economy is congresses job, not the president... We would be in so much worse shape had McCain been elected and we will be dead if any of the current idiots in the GOP get elected in 2012. This president may not be 100% the best at his position, but he looks a hell of a lot better than the ones trying to get in.

    You want to blame someone, blame the politicians taking money from the lobbyist to keep corporations from paying taxes or the CEOs making 10.5 million a year who are paying less taxes than the 40k stiffs working for them... Educate yourself, because the current education system is making us bigger idiots so these things can continue.

    September 1, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. TXJim

    I'm voting for him but.. I would give him a thumbs down on the economy.. but I would give everyone else a thumbs down too.. and I would give all the GOP a thumbs down as well.. way down..

    I think he hasn't succeeded in undoing what GWB did.. but I like his plan much better than any alternatives..

    So me giving him a thumbs down would be the qauivalent of me giving one to my team when they are losing at halftime..

    Cant wait to see the second half though..

    September 1, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. TXJim

    I'm voting for him but.. I would give him a thumbs down on the economy.. but I would give everyone else a thumbs down too.. and I would give all the GOP a thumbs down as well.. way down..

    I think he hasn't succeeded in undoing what GWB did.. but I like his plan much better than any alternatives..

    So me giving him a thumbs down would be the equivalent of me giving one to my team when they are losing at halftime..

    Cant wait to see the second half though..

    September 1, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Bill

    All of those clowns who think the GOP has any answers to repairing the economy are sorely misinformed. Go ahead, vote for a republican and see what happens. Acutally, we have already seen what happens with failed GOP economic policies. Sadly, I think the American people are just too stupid and swayed by venomous rheoric to see this.

    September 1, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. John

    For all of you complaining about health care reform – health care is a mess in this country and had to be fixed. Did you see the statisics on infant mortality that came out yesterday? – more than 40 countries better than the good ol' USA! And while covering most of the 45 million insured, health care reform will actually REDUCE the deficit. Facts seem to be a difficult thing for teabaggers to deal with!

    September 1, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. John

    Oops, meant 45 million UNinsured in that last post.

    September 1, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Obama 2012

    Considering what he took over back in 2008, I would say short of Godly miracle, anyone would have struggled, but i approve of his work, and effort after all the stock market is up 4,700 point since he's been in office. ( was 6800 the day of in swearing in)

    September 1, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. howcouldIhavevotedforObama?

    the 35% that think he is doing OK with the economy must work for the U.S. government-they sure are not out here in the business world!

    September 1, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Bessy

    @ John, Pa. Hmm ! Not where I work in Pa. Around here the majority of the people say that they would NEVER even vote for another Republican. It's Obama/2012 all the way.

    September 1, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. oldbones24

    WTF If the GOP continues to block everything we are really going down. I WAS a REPUB but now I'm an independent. I am so ASHAMED of the GOP. How can they face their families knowing they have brought the country to this petty playground antics. To Heli with us they are the only ones that matter.

    September 1, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. NVa Native

    The tea-tards keep throwing out fox lies thinking if they keep bleating the lies their sheople will believe.
    The truth is 60% of Americans approve of and support our President, only the fools who watch fox are manipulated to think otherwise. Those who follow fox (27%) hate our President.
    No matter what lies the fox celebrities spin everybody knows who caused this mess – the jerks who voted for tax breaks (subsidies) for the rich and de-regulation so corporations can pollute and prey on citizens without obstruction.

    Obama will stomp the tee-bagger celebrities in 2012.

    September 1, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. James

    Anyone with a calculator and a brain would say NO to Obama! His solution to the problem caused by Bush's OVERSPENDING is more OVERSPENDING. Kinda like trying to drink yourself sober! This country is going to have one heck of a hangover.

    September 1, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Brainless Republicans

    Well D, Bush had 6 years of a Republican controlled congress ( 2000-06) and managed to start 2 expensive wars ( for mere nothing) be responsible for the deaths of innocent Iraqi, and pass a 1 TRILLION tax break that was promised to help the economy. Meanwhile your Republican controlled congress at that time was busy renaming French Fries to Freedom Fries, or French Toast to Freedom Toast, in the Congress cafeteria, all while collecting $168,000 a year checks and full benefits, including "GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE" which they despise so much, but are not above it for themselves. Just plain pathetic please do some research before you speak, that goes to all you so called conservatives.

    September 1, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. bloocanary

    You know, they say if both sides are unhappy, then it's a fair compromise. Unfortunately, that doesn't lend itself well to the polls. Mr. President, the Republican party won't be satisfied until you concede 100% to their wishes. They've both stated and demonstrate their complete unwillingness to compromise on anything (despite the fact that the country they're in charge of is split nearly down the middle in terms of political affiliation. And the people who put you in office are sick of watching you pander to the right at the expense of the left. You'll never manage to please both sides with the way the Republicans are behaving, so maybe it's time to refocus on the tenets of the party that got you elected in the first place.

    September 1, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Jason

    Yeah, whatever. Fact is we had GM gaining jobs and factories, til the RIGHT decided to manufacture a debt ceiling "crisis". The hard fact is, this is indicative of dysfunction in congress, rather than the Oval Office. Most Americans are smart enough to get it and will vote for him in '12. To bad CNN writers are too interested in perpetuating Right Wing myths these days. Sad how far the network has fallen. It used to be about integrity. Even my more middle ground 68 year old father in law, recognizes that slip!

    September 1, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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