CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats' support for Obama drops
November 23rd, 2011
11:56 AM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats' support for Obama drops

Washington (CNN) - Although President Barack Obama's overall approval rating remains steady, his standing among Democrats, and in particular among blue-collar Democrats, appears to have dropped, according to a new national survey.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday, 44% of Americans say they approve of the job the president's doing in the White House, with 54% saying they disapprove of how Obama is handling his duties. The president's approval rating has hovered in the same mid-40's range since June in CNN surveys.

Full results (pdf)

But the poll indicates that there has been some change when Democrats are asked whether they want to see their party renominate Obama, with 26% of Democrats saying that they would prefer the party to nominate another Democrat for president next year, up from 18% in October.

Nonetheless, a robust 72% of Democrats are still in the president's corner - and in any case, the changes are strictly hypothetical, since there is no indication that Obama will face a serious challenger in any primary next year.

"The biggest change comes among white Democrats with no college education, a group typically considered the core of the party's blue-collar constituency," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Half of all white Democrats with no college education say they don't want President Obama heading their party's ticket next year."

Then-Sen. Obama's appeal to blue collar whites was limited in the 2008 cycle. In the Democratic primaries they tended to back his main rival, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. And in the general election they went for the Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee, by 18 points, according to CNN exit polls.

The CNN survey indicates that the president's signature piece of domestic legislation - last year's health care reform bill - remains unpopular, although some of the opposition comes from people who think the bill should have gone farther. Thirty-eight percent favor the new health care law; 37% oppose it because they think it is too liberal and another 14% oppose it because they believe it is not liberal enough.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from November 18-20, with 1,019 adult Americans, including 504 Democrats and independents who lean Democratic 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: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Bill wrote:
    Good. Then vote Republican and see how you like the way things turn out.
    They did that in 2010. I guess they forgot who actually laid them off.

    November 23, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Howard

    barack ovomit is a self-serving, corrupt, con man ...
    the mainstream media are his stooges, and shills ...
    and, the American people are his marks !!!
    Save America ... kick this un-American, lying scoundrel out of office !!!

    November 23, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Independent Voters

    I feel sad for president Obama he doing his best to help this country and the racist republican party dont like him because he black. Wake up american the republican party are evil people look at Newt in the debate.
    Michelle Obama was booed by racist Nascar fans the world is laughing at america seeing how they treating our president.

    Republican are trying there best to destroy our country so they can blame it on president Obama.

    November 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Socialist wrote:
    Aren't they more likely to just stay at home and not vote? Or are you saying they'll hold their nose and vote for Obama anyways? If they sit it out, I think Obama would lose. I guess they'll have to scare them to the polls, like you said.
    The Republicans will scare the electorate just like they did in 2008 with Palin. Republicans have been preaching doom, gloom and destruction since Election NIght 2008. It worked in 2010, for the last and final time. I guess you really haven't been paying to all of the elections that took place in 2011. Republicans have gotten shellacked in almost every contest.

    November 23, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Voted for Hope in 2008, voting for Change in 2012

    > Good. Then vote Republican and see how you like the way things turn out

    Well, "hope & change" turned out to be "no hope for a job and change for the worse". Nothing to lose at this point.

    November 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Sheryl D

    Four and the Door, go read up up on the three branches of Gov and you can see why nothing is getting done, to blame President Obama and his administration is being dishonest, have you even bothered to see what he has put forth ? If some of those in DC weren't so heck bent on making him a One term like yourself, more would get done for sure. President Obama has a Core, and his core is about helping ALL Americans not just the few.

    November 23, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. ron j.

    it doesnt matter who is in the white house, both parties represent the top 1% or the rich..... the bottom line is this once proud nation has been given over to the dogs. america is goin down!!!!

    November 23, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    Republicans like for people to have jobs, they just don't want many to have GOOD PAYING jobs with good benefits. Note Newt Gingrich saying he'd like to replace union school janitors with children. If these blue collar workers think they'll get a better deal from ANYBODY that was up there on that stage last night then go vote for them. Just don't start crying when your union is busted, wages and benefits slashed and you're told that you should be "happy just to have a job".

    November 23, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Chuck

    It was asked how Obama can win with 26% of Democrats wishing for another candidate. He can win because the Republican field of potentials is basically a joke. With 300 million people in this country why are these all we can come up with.

    November 23, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. R

    @ Rudy NYC
    "Disapproval doesn't always mean that you disagree with who is doing it."

    This particular poll seems to suggest otherwise, and yes, disapproval can mean that you disagree with who is doing it – it's called having an opinion. Not that I place a lot of stock in these polls to begin with, as they will change as quickly as the wind.

    November 23, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. SwilliamP

    There is nothing like a good choice in 2012... A man who has forgotten the unemployed and underemployed, and a group who believe they are bad and should be gotten rid of. 'The Jewish Problem in 1930s Germany flash-forwards to 'The unemployed Problem' in the 2010'? In the eyes of Conservative Republicans at least. So Obama is a great choice; by default.

    November 23, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Emmy Skaddittle

    It is not as if these people have become republicans, they will still vote for him but with the same enthusiasm that the republicans will vote for mittens

    November 23, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Good. Then vote Republican and see how you like the way things turn out.
    They already did that in 2010 and there has been a dramatic improvement in Washington this year. Obama's 2011 Federal Budget has been cut by $100 billion. And then the increase Obama needed for the debt ceiling did not come as he wanted with no spending cuts attached. Now Americans will see federal government spending cut by $1.2 trillion.
    Voting Republican has been very good to the voters. Their voices were heard.

    November 23, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. E G30

    Some people are just gonna be crybabies. If Obama looses who do think is gonna be crying the most? Blue collar workers who lost their jobs because they were stupid union workers who bit the hand that fed them. Ohio and Wisconsin are kicking themselves right now. Then they will be out there with those OwS idiots trying to occupy the tissue factory. It seems to me that because of Obama's skin he is held to higher standard than every other president in the history of this nation. It must suck being the first black president.

    November 23, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. MN Mom

    This is not particularly telling as far as the 2012 elections because many of these Democrats are upset that President Obama has not taken a stronger stand on protecting the unions, protecting the middle class, and having the rich pay their fair share. However, the GOP is even FARTHER away from what these Democrats want and they will not be be voting Republican. Democrats have learned their lesson that not turning up to vote leads to right-wing Republican majorities who attack unions, lay-off middle class workers such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters, decimate education funding, and hand all sorts of tax cuts and subsidies out to their rich cronies. These Democrats may not like what President Obama is doing (not his ideas, but that he isn't being more partisan in implementing them), but they are certainly not going to let the GOP make any more gains.

    November 23, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Usually a new President's Popularity rises in the first term. The Blue Dog Democrats as well as most people live in the real world. The expect a president to lead at least part of the time. Obama has voted present too many times. After 75 years of Social Engineering things ar no better than 75 years ago. The question is will it get worse before it gets better. It don't look like it. The Blue Dog Democrats realise that.

    November 23, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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