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. M-AZ Independent

    The economic situation we face today is so unique, not to mention global that there is no way you could rightfully expect one man (President Obama) to fix and change what has had years to spiral into a free fall. I think my President is working hard; I sometimes fault him for always being the one that yields to the GOP, but this man is working his tale off, and I am not throwing him under the bus. I like his vision for the future and his foreign policy. I am one Independent that will be voting for President Obama again!

    These ridiculous polls are nothing more than an antagonistic media, be left or right wing trying to stir up a reaction out of the American people. Too bad many Americans are too stupid to realize the puns they are being used as. Yellow journalism has never been so bad.

    September 1, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Brainless Republicans

    I love how Republicans love a president ( Bush) who made sure the Iraqi Constitution promised every Iraqi universal health care ( Look it up folks, and yes you might just have to do some of your own research God forbid, rather than rely on Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity,'s B.S.) but when it comes to people in his own home land, Bush and all Republicans feel that its Socialism to help your own people. I mean come on people you making this easy for me, I am just schooling you guys with facts, meanwhile all you have is useless opinions, backed by no college background. But hey that's republican, conservative, and tea party for you.

    September 1, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. DKNY

    No surprises! Am sure the Republicans knows the President/White House are so concerned about the economy sincerely and are willing to try any option available to make things work; but won't support it, because in WORLD of POLITICS it doesn't work that way...or let me say IT'S A TABOO! Anyway, how's the less tax on the RICH working out for ya?

    September 1, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Ridiculous

    Amazing. If the economy was doing great, then liberals would give Obama ALL of the credit and GOP controlled congress zero. If the economy sucks (and it does), GOP gets all the blame. Amazing how this game works!

    September 1, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Dave

    Problem is, if the Republicants were in charge the problems would be three times as bad. At least Obama posesses modern thinking capabilities.

    September 1, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Timhalpert

    Lol at the lack of political understanding by some here. For everyone blaming congress for holding Barry back from doing what is necesary do you not recall the Bush years with the Dems bitching about how the president gets EVERYTHING he wants because the GOP own the senate and congress, well Barry had that same set up for two years and couldn't control Nacy Pelosi how pathetic and telling is that. He has no leadership skills he can't even get his own soldiers in congress and the senate to line up behind him, bye bye Barry

    September 1, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. sassy

    I have never been polled – I think polls can be bought. Limbaugh set the stage early on for Obama – wanted him to fail – so all the haters out there followed this tactic. I cannot believe Americans cannot see the struggle which exists today between the rich & powerful & the nobodies. As for myself, I'm still waiting on that trickle down...

    September 1, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Squigman

    The same people were polled, and the same people gave G.W.Bush, a thumbs up for all the jobs he created. Also, Bush, was recognized for his record surplus of money inthe economy under his administration. Go soak your heads.

    September 1, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. TRey

    Just go to show you how stupid 35% of the people are if they approve.

    September 1, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Pw

    All presidents are nowadays is fall guys for the machinations of the players on wall street. Republican or democrat, doesn't matter. You partisan hacks will see. Next president will be republican and nothing will change. Just wait and see.

    September 1, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. ddaamm

    Put down the obama kool aid. Why would anyone think he's a great preseident? Just look at his record since being in office. He took a bad situation and made it worse. Dems want to comlain about the republican party being obstructionists. Guess what? Obbam and the dems controlled both chanbers of congress and passed a lot of of things like the massive stimulus that was supposed to keep unemployment under 8 percent. And a healthcare law that hundreds of companies need waivers for becasue it costs too much. That isn't how you help create jobs. Remember that he scared you idiots into thinking we needed to spend all this money with no accountability and little results. Someone else asked where are the jobs the republicans promised in 2010. They didn't even get control of the house until this year which is 2011. I don't care if you think the president is a nice guy or not. You don't elect a president because he gives you tingles up your leg when he smiles like chris mathews. You vote for them to lead and get the job done. He has failed at both.

    September 1, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. david

    If this muslim raised apparent immigrant isnt impeached soon, we are all but history. The fooled majority are realizing what not- doing- your homework can cost you. We still dont know who he is.

    September 1, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. gary

    Obama is just another Carter. The job is just to big for this guy. The good news is Perry of Texas will lead us back to the promised land. We can get people working if we cut taxes for the businesses that hire people, and pass a balanced budget amendment. We must stop the run a way spending. Cut trillons not millions. We should start with a 25% cut in social security benefits. Medicare is doomed to failure. The government needs to end this program NOW.

    September 1, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Bogart

    I still see many people blaming the GOP for Obama not being able to do anything. You're talking about the same GOP who until a year ago controlled absolutely nothing in Washington. Not only did the GOP not control anything, the Dems had filibuster proof majorities for two years. President Obama could have had anything under the sun passed without the slightest bit of resistance from Congress. The economy didn't all of a sudden get bad. It was getting bad in 2008 (some argue even 2007) and the new administration threw $800B at it when we all knew it wouldn't do anything to correct the problems. The GOP was ignored and shut-out of any planning, any ideas presented by the GOP that were allowed to be forwarded were hand-picked by the Dems as purely window dressing. The people of this country are not leftists/statists/Marxist-types and THAT is why Obama can't get what he wants. The people of this country see that very clearly and have instructed their representatives to halt the BS, reverse the USS Obama back into port, reduce crushing regulations on businesses, and to simplify our tax code. It really has zero to do with Obama, it has to do simply with a minority (meant in a mathematical sense, don't start your racism crap) ideology being foisted upon the country. The country is currently, and has been for many decades, a center-right country, and it will continue to be so, regardless of how much liberal/progressives scream otherwise.

    September 1, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Mike - Dayton, OH

    Anyone who thinks this president or any president has the ability to make any meaningful change to our economic situation in the short-term is incredibly deluded. Monetary policy has been pushed to the hilt, interest rates are next to zero and you may not see another fiscal stimulus in your lifetime. Republicans love to talk about corporate tax rates, government regulations and the "uncertainties" of health care reform – the extent to which those things are preventing hiring at all are almost non-existent compared to the real reasons businesses aren't hiring – and that is because domestic aggregate demand is flat, U.S. companies' markets have shifted to Asia, U.S. jobs (manufacturing and service) have been outsourced overseas and productivity and technology gains have allowed companies to maintain profitability with much fewer workers. How much of that is due to President Obama? None. And why is aggregate demand flat? Americans massively over-leveraged for more than 15 years straight, over-spending on credit cards, school and car loans and pulling the equity out of their homes to fund even more spending. Then overnight the value of those homes (our greatest sense of and store of wealth) plummeted, along with retirement and investment accounts, job security and health benefit security. And right alongside that is our experiencing the longest run of virtually zero wage growth in American history – even longer and flatter than the depression years. The personal savings rate spiked from a low of 1% in '05 to our now current average of around 5.5% – that's a lot money not going into our 70% consumer-based economy. And that's before you get to the rest of the global economic headwinds: Tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear disasters, tornadoes, floods, drought, Euro debt crisis, Mid-East Revolutions, etc. How much of this is Obama's fault again? So what have Republicans done to mitigate these consumer uncertainties? Took us to the deadline of raising all personal income tax rates unless they got upper-income tax cuts extended; took us to the deadline of a government shutdown; took us to the deadline of government default; got our credit rating lowered; shutting down the FAA and all airport construction for 2 weeks. How about the GOP jobs plan? They haven't offered one in 200+ days of running the House of Representatives, unless you count de-funding Planned Parenthood and NPR. They were against bailing out the auto industry (which saved hundreds of thousands of jobs) and against any meaningful fiscal stimulus measures. If they proposed anything it would be the following: 1) Eliminating as many regulations as possible (the lack of which in the financial industry gave us this crisis); lowering taxes (even though personal federal income taxes are the lowest in 50+years), and repealing health care reform (so Americans can have the certainty of knowing they won't be covered for their preexisting conditions). Oh and don't forget, also massively reducing federally-funded jobs in the short-run, which should nicely spur GDP growth.

    September 1, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Give me another

    Blame Bush, blame Congess, blame Boehner, blame the tea party, blame my little dog. Obama is the president, he needs to take some responsibilty for something.

    September 1, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. w l jones

    If took the same poll in 1929 90% of the people would say I have not ate today compare to today they would say one tenth of one per cent would say I did not eat today while 99.9% I ate three meals and been snaking in between all day. Which mean the president is during something right under a bad situation without any help from the Republican.

    September 1, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Mark

    Has everybody forgotten that it is congress that spends the money and makes the laws? They have. And I bet all these "patriots" have too.

    September 1, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Bob

    Hey "No end in sight"! Pllease don't speak for me you pompous individual! I do work for a living and have done so for lots of years, I do care about raising taxes and pleased that President Obama has not suggested raising taxes in my income bracket , and I do have grandchildren (5) that I care deeply about. So don't try to tell me what I think. I happen to think if congress would stop acting like spoiled brats, maybe, just maybe something could be accomplished. My hope is that your beloved tea party with it's incredible simplistic solutions to complex problems will wear out it's welcome by 2012. Thank you.

    September 1, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Mark

    To John PA. what about the past 10 years? You must love Clinton then-balanced budget steady economy. Regan used a teleprompter you really look at the depth of a problem, huh. just like palin-with her traditional AMERICAN economic policies-BORROW!

    September 1, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Jess C

    Our company has been doing double-digit profits growth for the past 2 years, we're fortunate and have made some good decisions. Obama supported the US car industry and it's paid off in jobs; no mention of that? It's easy to put all the blame on the standing Pres.; seems to take away the focus from the real cause of this mess. Obama has crap to work with in what has been deemed the worse Congress yet. How about their ratings? A President can't do much without their support unfortunately. If we thought he could come in a wave a magic wand and forget that we had 2 unfunded wars, deregulated Wall St. and tax breaks for big corps. and the wealthy without spending, we live in fairy land. I want to see some of these state deal with their natural disasters w/out FEMA. Honestly, Obama could cure cancer and someone would find fault...probably big pharma as it woulds hugely cut into their profit line. America is off course...the GOP is a roadblock to progress.

    September 1, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Hey D ...

    did you forget that Dems were filibustered a

    September 1, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Mark

    hey Ed you're stupid Obamma hasn't spent a penny. Your wonderful republican congress does. Also this has been growing for 30 years with never a plan to pay it back. Did you ever want the debt payed back when the president was white?

    September 1, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Indy

    Republicans have had 12 years to create employment with their Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and it has been proven 100% that it does not work. I think people are confused and 100% of the people polled have no clue how the economy works and anyone that thinks fours years is enough to get the economy rolling after eight years of war and the Bush administration is living in denial.Also it is has been proven that a telepromter has nothing to do with a robust economy so all the idiots that post on here that Obama uses a telepromter sometimes can shut up now.

    September 1, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. CBR

    The economy and the job market are two areas where every American should be looking for ways to improve the prospects/ WE hear about what the government needs to do but we are the people in the country who need to step up to the plate.

    Banks, large corporations, major sports groups, the media, large box stores need to find ways to open the job market. Those in charge are receiving great financial compensation for the job they are supposedly doing. How can they justify huge salaries while profits are supposedly down. If each person in the highest tax brackets found a way to hire five people. All of those people would begin to spend money which will mean more jobs.

    Instead of looking out for number one try looking out for others. The result will be tremendous.


    September 1, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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