CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement
January 16th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama announces a package of proposals to limit gun violence, a new national survey indicates that his approval rating may be edging up.

The CNN/Time Magazine/ORC International poll (PDF) also indicates that a majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.

And according to the survey, nearly six in ten approve of the job Vice President Joe Biden is doing, slightly higher than the number who approve of his boss. The vice president led a task force in the wake of the shootings that came up with specific proposals for the president on how to reduce gun violence in the country.

The president's approval rating stands at 55% in the poll, which was released Wednesday, with 43% saying they disapprove of the job Obama is doing in the White House. The president's approval rating is up three points from mid December CNN/ORC poll that was conducted just days after a suicidal gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Of those who disapprove, 34% say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal, with 7% saying they give the president a thumbs down because he's not liberal enough.

More than nine in ten Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing. That number drops to 51% for independent voters, with just 13% of Republicans approving of the president's performance in office. The poll also indicates a gender gap, with women approving of the job Obama's doing by a 59%-39% margin, and men divided (51%-48%).

The Vice President's approval rating stands at 59%, with 38% saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Biden's approval rating is up five points from last month. Besides leading the task force on curbing gun violence, Biden also had a high profile role, along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in striking a deal that temporarily averted the country going over the fiscal cliff.

According to the poll, 55% favor stricter gun control laws, with 37% saying that they strongly support such laws. Forty-four percent oppose such measures, including 27% who say they strongly oppose stricter gun control laws.

"Those numbers suggest that the change in public opinion in the wake of Newtown may come mostly in the intensity of feelings for and against gun control," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Gun control opponents in the past have developed a reputation for holding stronger views on the issue than supporters of gun control. But in the current poll, about two-thirds of those who favor stricter gun control laws feel strongly about that. That's a bit higher than the six in ten gun control opponents who strongly oppose stricter gun control. How strongly Americans feel about gun control may matter more to the success or failure of legislation tan the overall numbers."

The CNN/Time Magazine poll was conducted by ORC International Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 14-15), with 814 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun rights • Polls
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. lt_murgen

    Remember that this was a phone poll.

    Remember that most cell phones block pollsters.

    So who exactly are they polling? Folks with land-line phones who decide they like to answer opinion polls. Harldy representitive of America.

    January 16, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Bob

    How do they think that they can just ban all assault style weapons
    good luck that's all i can say
    I get that they want stricter laws but majority of people who own these assault style weapons and not going to give them up without a fight and a fight is what the US is in for. not a debate people WILL DIE before they give up their second rights

    January 16, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. W.

    I am ashamed that I was once a certified NRA firearms, self-defense, and gun safety instructor. I wish that I had more sobriety and prudent thought than to be among the diminutive minded "want-to-kill anything" population who accompanied me while I ran the shooting ranges. I should have made better choices in how to mature and be a better citizen in an advanced society that overwhelmingly considers applying appropriate measures against guns than to assign complete jurisdiction over another's life, extant.

    January 16, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. rs


    Take your money, your property, your guns.....liberal freedom isnt so free now is it?
    Grow up! We all pay taxes- the cost of a civilized society. NO ONE has lost property OR GUNS. I would remind you that the tyranny of the gun isn't freedom either.

    January 16, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Retro

    As an analyst, I have to say that a sample size of 814 people for a nationwide issue is completely unrepresentative.
    Anyone who works in statistics will look at this and roll their eyes.
    Or throw up in their mouths – just a little.

    January 16, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Who Needs A Stinkin' Constitution?

    Newsmax poll: (1/15/2013)
    Should Congress ban semi-automatic weapons?
    Yes, it should13,020(18%)
    No, it should not58,563(81%)

    CNN is obviously not true journalistic reporting.. they lean toward the left. Newsmax, of course, leans to the right. But the difference between the two is astounding!

    January 16, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Big Gulps

    814 out of 320,000,000....sounds like an efficient sample-size.

    January 16, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Ccampa

    Every time another stupid republican says Obama's laws are unconstitutional, a republican Supreme Court judge shall contradict them again. All of these people who have questionned the constitutionality of Obama's laws have shown their ignorance more than their interest. The question is, Is their shamelessness that infinite?

    January 16, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Helena Montana

    Go Away NRA!

    January 16, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. jonBOY

    what a silly poll they must have had this done with choice people.
    hmmm..hey ill just make a pie chart and make it seem to the masses(sheeple) that the majority are in favor of gun control. wooh hoo.

    January 16, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Cliff

    I guess the 5 people they polled are the majority now. I really hope the people who ready this can see through the smoke screen they are putting up. I worked for the government for many years and I can tell you they don't really think most American can tell what is real or fabricated. They know there are many people who will just buy their BS hook line and sinker. It is a shame we have come to this. Example 900 shooting deaths since the CT incident, but they forgot to mention the shooting were most likely criminals who were shot during the commission of a crime. Love the way they play hide and seek.

    January 16, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Freedom1

    Let me get this straight. Its okay to sell automatic weapons to drug cartels, who use them to kill americans. But its not okay to sell automatic weapons to americans. Right?

    January 16, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. kite005

    More guns is clearly the answer right? That way there will be more access for the law abiding people and less motivation for the criminals to try something. Is that correct? I'm pretty sure what it would do is put more guns into the hands of the people that we don't want to be in possession

    January 16, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. glenview0818

    This is how a Congress and Legislature can get reelected with a 85% disapproval rating, by dividing everyone up into groups on issues that really have little or no effect on US citizens. i.e. assault weapons are used in 1% of crimes. They are experts on these diversionary tactics. They really needed this, considering they can't solve the debt crisis so along comes a diversion. They cant' afford to have the public see them botch the debt negotiations, or have to explain how they are spending defense funding.

    January 16, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. david

    Why is everyone ignoring the obvious.. In addition to stricter gun control laws.. How about Stricter penalties for those that BREAK the law. If you are caught using a gun in a crime... you go to jail . No plea deals, no leniency. You go to jail. You kill someone with a gun, you go to jail for LIFE. No Plea deals, No leniency.
    That way, the law abiding gun owners can enjoy their hunting and target shooting.

    January 16, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Barrythedivider

    Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda a.k.a. CNN. Aurora, Sandy Hook and those to come, should be independently investigated for their dubious exploitation by this extremist driven Federalist rogue administration. The "polls", the "mass shootings", the obviously coordinated attack on gun rights by the Marxist left politicians and there stooges is the work product of the rogue elements at the DHS, ATF, DOJ, WH, FEMA, FBI et al staged terror factory to fulfill a treasonous agenda. No one is fooled and those involved will be held accountable!

    January 16, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. PushingBack

    And with the NRA taking the stance that it is, America is just going grow more and more tired of it's rhetoric.

    January 16, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. martiniano

    I like to see how the comments trash the process of the polling when the result is not what they want. If this poll said Americans want less gun control the right would tout it as the obvious end of the argument. Peasant Hypocrites.

    January 16, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. TMD

    Taking away assault rifles and high capacity magazines is not going to change a single thing. I agree with tightening down on background checks but not with banning assault weapons.

    January 16, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. WhatDoesThatMean

    Wow! 814 adults and this is enough to base your opinion on? Way to go CNN.

    January 16, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Kyle M wrote....similar to dozens of other posts

    A poll of less than a thousand Americans sure does represent a majority of this country. What a ridiculous article.
    The right wing said similar stuff about any "unfavorable" polling leading up to the 2012 elections. So, in order to make up for the erroneous polling data being published the "liberal mainstream media", the right wing conducted their own polls that results that were more to their liking. Polls that were proven to be woefully inaccurate....all of them.

    January 16, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. MW

    What I find really funny is – with a 3.5 error rate in the poll which can equate to a 7% swing – the headline could have just as easily been the Majoirty Disapprove of .......
    we always say – statistics dont lie – just statisticians.

    January 16, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Bob Smith

    I have to say. I agree with what was done. Because the legislation is dead on arrival, the executive orders are nothing that should not have really been done in the first place. I am not democrat, but I can say that none should be worried about their guns rights since the 10rd magazine and the assault weapon ban, probably wont make it past the senate.

    January 16, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. "NRA"...enforces America's Gun culture

    "Unless'...The American People come together to bind the Country as one and start to work together to change the
    Gun-Culture...real change will not happen..'Change must be the Will of the People'......

    January 16, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Miguelito_Mike

    Thank God the American People are not governed by the results of telephone or internet polls.

    January 16, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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