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. CNN Tea Party!

    Every President needs a dance partner and the Republicans Tea Party have no rhythm. CNN hitch their wagon to the Tea Party which the American people have a lower approval rating then the President. Good Luck CNN with your Tea Party Debate!

    September 1, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. David

    How pathetic you liberals look trying to make excuses for this President. For two years he had the majority in the House and Senate. Prior to that, Democrats owned the House and Senate, which helped to start the downward spiral leading to our current economic death roll. Sure, the Bush wars didn’t help, but neither did the irresponsible domestic spending and the Fed mortgage policy making affordable housing to people who had no business owning a home. Now you have the Executive branch and the Senate and you are still making excuses?! Face facts, he made promises that he couldn’t live up to because he lacks leadership. What did you expect from someone who has never worked in the private sector? I run a small business and I would NEVER hire anyone without business experience to run my company for the very reason we find ourselves in. Just saying...

    September 1, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Lisa - VA

    Considering where this country was and considering who he has to deal with in Congress, I am surprise the country is not worst off than what it is. I think it's a shame that most people in this country isn't giviing Obama time do anything. Giving the state of this economy, I am unclear as to what they think ANYONE (Democrate or Republican) can do in 2 1/2 years. My GOD...they gave Bush 8 years to screw up...but cannot give Obama 4 years (before talking bad about him) to fix things. The same people who participated in this polling, probably are the same ones who didn't show up to the polls to vote in 2010. Yes..I said it.

    September 1, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Expat American

    When will the poor whites who vote republican realize that the GOP cares nothing for them?

    It will take the better part of a generation to repair the damage of the failed Bush administration – far longer than the 2.50-3.00 years that the Republicans have spent making sure as best they can that another one of their Grand Old Party Liars and Mass Murderers continue their work of stepping on the necks of working people?

    September 1, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Jody

    Duh... The US is not communist. Thus, the President doesn't control the economy. He's not CEO of American business; he's a public-organization's top executive. Seems people lack even a basic understanding of econ in the US and don't know this. Duh again.

    September 1, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Ed Texas

    How many jobs have the Repub controlled Congress created since they became the majority? Oh, I forgot they were too busy saying "no" to everything Obams proposed and obstructing the government to please the Tea Baggers and Glover Norquest. Like they always say they want will stop at nothing (including destorying our country) in order to make sure Obama is a one term President.

    September 1, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Liberal Bias

    The general consensus here and in every other venue I frequent is that the Conservative, CEO driven house has effectively shut down this administration.
    For anyone to think otherwise is plain out of their mind.
    Obama inherited an disaster. How soon we forget.

    September 1, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. GOP Reality Check

    To the low information voters like the one above who think "Obama had 2 years with a completely Democrat controlled congress ":

    Did you guys forget that republicans continually filibustered the Democrats a RECORD number of times during those 2 years via the Senate, which is why it's been called the place "where bills go to die"? See, most people (with a brain in their head) would say being filibustered a RECORD number of times by the minority party is definitely NOT a sign of "complete control".

    Well .. did you low information types forget? Or are you still trying to pass off a bogus republican talking point and failing miserably?

    September 1, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. CPW

    So you dont like what I have to say so please dont post this either. Freedom of speech jokes on me.

    September 1, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. phoenix86

    I cannot believe how some are still trying to lay the failure of Obama at the feet of the Republicans. The democrats controlled both Houses of Congress for the first two years of Obama's administration. During that time, they blew the deficit into over $1 trillion annually, focused on the nationalization of the US healthcare system through a bill that they didn't read; bailded out GM by robbing the creditors and giving it to their Union political contributors.

    The only thing shocking about this survey is that 1/3 of the people still believe that Obama knows what he is doing.

    September 1, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Mark

    This budjet problem is 30 years old. Bush borrowed the most 6 trillion. Which america loved cause we didn't have to pay for it. Now that we are looking at the debt like it just got bad! stupid! Obama started his presidency with US in debt 12 trillon dollars. what do you do with that when the yearly budget is 3.5 trillion and we borrow 40% of that. So I find the the hypocracy of the republicans disgusting-they borrowfor 20 years (regan, bush, bush) its fine-the black guy wants to borrow and congress says "oh my god he wants to borrow"! I'm a math teacher and the republicans need a lesson in addition and subtraction-there has been no proposal from anybody to balance the budget, pay down 14 trillion debt-nothing. Congress is chicken to do the right economic move-with budget-vs-debt-taxes will have to rise. no we didn't just spend too much we felt no problem borrowing to pretend we were a mightier country than we are-do you want to pay for a trillion dollar defense bill or borrow it and pay in 3000. We all know what this country did. We are going to be the new second rate country-yeah.

    September 1, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. NES5000B

    WOW! The haters are out today!

    @John in PA – 8 out of 10? Really? Where do you live? Where do you get your facts? 20% unemployment ? I haven't heard President Obama blame anyone. Everything starts in California – we were feeling the recession in late 2006 and all of 2007 and things have picked up out here which means it will continue to spread across the country. I only know of 2 people who are still unemployed when my company had layoffs in 2008 – they sound just like you – full of hate and blaming Obama for everything. But then they were lazy – always complaining and not the sharpest bulbs in the bunch. How can YOU blame one person for this mess we are in? That is a simple answer to a complex situation. It's people like you that will hold this country back. It's either all your way or NO WAY. Maybe you should try another approach.

    September 1, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    Dear GOP Reality Check,

    The democrats in the House and the Senate had the numbers to override any filibuster at will. They chose not to, preferring to play politics instead. Get a grip.

    September 1, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Mark

    demococracy over facism any time- hear that dick cheney

    September 1, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Elena

    I don't think we can pinpoint a single individual person for this problem(regardless of my own personal opinion). I feel that we are at much fault as those who created it for allowing this over spending of billions of dollars on a bunch of things that government wasn't designed to address. It isn't doing us any good, not now and most definitely not when I get older.

    September 1, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    It is absolutely SCARY that 35% of the people in this country are totally clueless. One can only hope they also do not know how to vote.

    September 1, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. JoeinNY

    Thank goodness our clueless Muslim-in-Chief will soon be out of office, hopefully the next president, Dem or Repub will have a clue.

    September 1, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Obama inherited an disaster.
    And turned it into a MEGA-DISASTER with his failed policies.

    September 1, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    This poll was answered by people who don't know how to screen their calls, so, um, yeah.

    September 1, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. ah

    I see the paid Tea Party shills are out in full force today.

    September 1, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. ah

    JoeinNY....hmmm funny but Muslims don't eat pork bbq or drink beer. Nice try, though.

    September 1, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. noname

    i'm voting for Obama again because he keeps the economy down which I'm taking advantage by buying short sales homes.
    he is like a car salesman that only gives you lots of lemon.

    September 1, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Darryl

    Gotta love these glass jawed , myopic minded cowards who do nothing but complain about the president. They just don't like the fact that he can' t join the KKK, and "restore" their country back to them. Of course these cowards will deny any racist tendencies, this country has been losing jobs since the 80's and this accelerated during the past decade... and of course it's President Obama's fault. No way did it have to do with these greedy corporations that refuse to reinvest in the country that they supposedly love so much.

    September 1, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Bevans

    Here comes the Left with the Party of No not allowing him to do anything...mybe they should stop for a second and think that this is a good thing since he cannot create another wasteful stimulus package that failed to live up to the hype...but it did save over 5 billion jobs and created another 6 billion shovel ready jobs...that was sarcasm in case the Left missed it. For over 5 years the Democrats held the majority in the House and Senate and then 2 of those years the White House as well...but now it is the GOP to blame...please, get a reality check and see what the Democrats have done to this country with their progressive agenda...silly Left.

    September 1, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Mark

    Tea Party supporters-balance the budget! Paul Ryan says he can save 100 billion a year. SO WHAT! We borrow 1.5 trillion per year-so what ya gonna do? nothing here balances nothing-cuts won't either-congress should stop bitching and start with a balanced budget-raise taxes or cut the budget by the 1.5 trillion we borrow-are you brave enough to do the right thing-borrowing is not a conservative idea-but not paying our debts is. I voted for Regan twice but realized that when he left office there was no plan in place to pay down the 2 trillion dollar debt-and look now 25 years later. Debt 7 times larger. Tax cuts did no job creation. The Coke Bros. (pun intended) have been buying our financial policies-STOP THEM or make them pay.

    September 1, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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